Monday, July 9, 2007

The Art of Texting

During the DrinkFest last week, I was deeply impressed by the amount of text messaging going on, even with people who had a beer in one hand and were carrying on live conversations. Some people sent complex messages, thumbs flying over keypads...some have clever little phones that flip open to what looks like a small keyboard... the screen makes it easier to read and send said messages, I presume.

All in all, enough letters of the alphabet were sent through space to clog the East River...which, I know, I know... it isn't a river... and that's saying something.

I am new to a point.

Back in the 1990's, when I was a regular visitor to the UK, text was cheaper then calling someone, so, everyone sent text messages. I've had the same telephone number in the UK since 1998... I carry my cute pay as you go phone back and forth with me when I travel there, and it's as cute and clever now as when I bought it. I've only upgraded once... it's sturdy, it can take and receive calls, sends text messages, and is a nice shade of blue. I'm good with it. Still, I didn't master the art of the text.

Back in the US of A, I didn't text. It was expensive, the packages weren't text friendly and, oh, right! I didn't have a mobile phone.

I was a landlubber. Being a former employee of the old behemoth, AT&T, my generous retirement package included free telephone service within a certain Bell, my little home held four phone lines.


Free ones.

With all the bells and whistles.

We were lazy sods, the children and I... and my dad when he lived with us. Why yell for someone when you could call them, even if they were two rooms away? Yes, I would pick up my portable phone in the sunroom and dial another number in my house to tell my son, who was in his room, to take the garbage out.

And I wondered why my ass was the size of Kansas.

The upside was, I knew every single number of every person I knew, without looking them up. And, if my son didn't answer, I could leave a voicemail for him.

Now, I live and breathe by the mobile phone, the cell phone, the almighty sliding red phone that has already conked out on me, this POS chocolate phone. It holds all my numbers, numbers I'm lost without because I've no idea what they are without this POS. It has photos, and can do all sorts of things I've yet to figure out... and it has messages I want to save.

Yes, messages.

I text.

I envy the two thumbed texter... their hands cradle the phone as they focus on the screen, brow furrowed... texting like mad. I am a one thumb texting person, myself. I've tried to give the left hand a go at messages... it is fearful, however, and won't jump in.

Let us be honest, what letters are really on the left side of the phone? GHI? PQRS?? How many words do you type that have Q in them? Sure, the middle keys are up for grabs, but, with the right thumb being such a dominatrix...I've thought of putting a little black outfit on grabs those middle keys and takes control. The left thumb remains meek and submissive, content with words that hold the seldom used 'S' or 'G'.... quickly hitting the key before the right thumb can grab those letters, too. You see, I don't use T9.

"What?" Self said. "You don't use T9?"

Self really gets on my nerves at times.

No, I don't use T9. I've a good reason. I can't figure it out. The Investment has tried to teach me, on numerous occasions. Since he, too, has a short attention span, it goes something like this:

"Okay, Mom... you just hit the button, and the word will show up and you scroll past until you find the word you want."

"Let me try." I try. "Oh, I didn't know I could download music."

"You can? Whoa."


I despise texttalk. I did not attend good schools in order to type "C U L8R"

I type out full sentences, with punctuation. This becomes a long and arduous process, and will remove me from ever having (kids, scroll down a few lines) a saucy conversation via text. My partner would be asleep by the time I typed in "Oh, yes, that would be very nice if we (fill in the blanks)".

You can see how the right thumb has control and the full workout in any text conversation and how I am concerned over my lopsided look of a strong, powerful right thumb... I wonder if I'll start to have a Sissy Hankshaw look eventually.

To keep peace, I let the left hand close the phone sometimes.... or hit the unlock button. You can feel the sense of accomplishment it achieves from this little task.

Ah! Then you have the worry of multiple text conversations. What then? I wear reading glasses... cute ones, but, reading glasses nonetheless. To text, I have to flip them down from my head or touch myself all over to find them, put them on, read the text and text back.

The first thing I have to do is see who the text is from.

You have to be very careful, I would imagine, on what you say to whom. I had three text conversations going on Saturday night (woot).... none were anything to be concerned about, however, I wanted to keep them separate. I wondered what would happen if you had one going with a friend, one with a colleague, and one that was slightly risque.

Watching the name at the top would be a priority, wouldn't it? If not, well, it would give you something to journal about in the morning.....


golfwidow said...

Wait. Did you say "saucy?"

.:scrolls back up to check:.


Bud said...

I kind of hate texting. But I'm slowly getting int it with my iPhone. My daughter has the Chocolate and loves it. I love the iPhone to death but don't see any great advantage to texting over calling. Unless you're a spy or something. This could change for me, I realize. Gotta get my thumbs to be more precise, however.

Corey's Mom said...

Wow, you're good... I watch the people txting, and I get scared that, if I try, I'll wind up with arthritis in my thumbs. I've got the Amber Alert text subscription and I'll send a picture or two a month.

So, the Chocolate isn't "all that"? I've been waiting for friends to review it before I upgrade from my Sony phone.

Anonymous said...

I abandon the whole text thing in favour of phoning people.. Takes way too long for me to send texts and I end up frustrated or sending total rubbish as I use predictive text. My lovely man managed to send him Mother a text meant for me recently.... "I love you, can't wait to see yoou. You are so going to get it"... His rather bemused mum who texts... replied thus: I love you too son.. and What am I getting? Some hiking boots? Bad move to admit this mistake to me.. heheh LLB

Quin said...

cm~the review on the chocolate, from those i know who have one, to those i stop on the street who have one are a resounding "IT SUCKS ROCKS"

llb~oh, that did make me laugh. umm, and what did he give both of you?

Quin said...

gw~i did indeed say was kinda minxish, wasn't it?

bud~you've got the iphone! go crazy!

shutterbug said...

I understand the short attention span thing :)

I refuse to use text talk and type out all my texts just as if I was writing a letter or talking to someone - just think about it, soon kids won't know anything but text talk and they will start teaching it in schools....

sends a shiver down my spine just thinking about it!

pistolah said...

I am a right thumb (or sometimes double fisted) T9 who uses punctuation and full words and sentences and can carry on a full conversation while driving and texting. I can't stand receiving texts that are incomplete words that make me have to go into my outbox to reread what I've written.

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