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Thursday, June 24, 2010

To discuss text messaging: Serious conversations need not apply

I've been hanging around a younger crowd lately, the result of wearing a trenchcoat and driving a windowless van doing musicals.

I don't think I've ever texted so much in my life.

According to Verizon, in the past month, I have sent and received about 1,000 texts each (I have unlimited in-network texting plus 500 extra so it's all good). That's about 10 times as many as usual, although I am a far cry from how many I'm sure 13-year-old girls send back and forth about how dreamy Justin Bieber is.*

* The dreamiest of the dreamiestes.

Not that I really mind, as it means people are actually interested in hearing from me, and smartly know I am not a talk-on-the-phone person, an irony not lost on me considering my journalism job requires me to constantly be on the phone.

True story: When I was in 8th or 9th grade and a girl would call my house, I'd be so against talking on the phone that I had my mom tell them I wasn't there.

Another true story: I was a loser.

But text messaging wasn't invented back then. That's right, kids. INVENTED. We had AOL Instant Messenger by the time I was in high school, and that was the cat's meow for a bit- we'd all spend hours doing epic conversations about nothing at all. If you were lucky, the person you were messaging with didn't use an obnoxious dark background/light font combination that I'm sure caused early onset cataracts.

With texting, there is instant gratification, and no one expects you to say much, because you only have so many characters. But I draw the line at texting about anything of gravitas. Or using the word "Gravitas" in a texting conversation, actually. And that's why even with my increased texting, I still won't have serious conversations that involve me twiddling my thumbs.

Far too many arguments have begun from texting because you can't figure out the tone. That's led to a gross overuse of LOL, haha and ;) to diffuse a comment.

Consider:
  • I'm totally going to kill my mom lol :)
  • I'm totally going to kill my mom
In the former, the texter is joking. In the latter, they provided Exhibit A for the prosecution. See? Another:
  • U r such a dirty whore :) Im gonna screw ur bf to get back at u LOL
  • U r such a dirty whore. Im gonna screw ur bf to get back at u.
In this, the first texter, who assuredly will screw her friend's bf because she's a slut like that, is just kinda joking. In the second, she is outlining the plot of "The Hills."

One last example:
  • 2 hell w/ Team Jakob n Team Edward haha. What about Team Harry Potter? LOL!!!
  • 2 hell w/ Team Jakob n Team Edward. What about Team Harry Potter?
Both texters are giant dorks and possibly pedophiles. Bad example.

Please provide your own examples. We need to expose this problem for what it is. LOL.

14 comments:

FunnyGal KAT said...

I'm not a big texter (I talk too much to limit myself to so few characters), but we recently got news of our niece's birth by text. So impersonal. (On the bright side, it didn't include an "LOL" so I'm assuming she really has arrived...)

P said...

"I am a man LOL"
"I am a man"

Does that work?

I'm not really a man.

I'm not a phone person either.

Back in the early days of mobile phones and texting, my friend once fell out with me for calling her a cow. I meant it as a joke but she didn't realise (the fact she had started going out with my ex at the time may have also been a touchy subject which might have made her think I was being serious) . . . LOL wasn't as widely used them, maybe if it had been we wouldn't have fallen out for a week!

Herding Cats said...

I have to admit - I was the girl with bad font/color schemes on AIM. I am so ashamed...

Amy xxoo said...

So here i am, admitting to a stupid mistake - i told my best friend i was pregnant via text.
To be fair, i am not a big phone person, and i was scared how she would react over the phone ( she had been trying to fall pregnant for a long time and it kinda happened to me accidentally ). We had a huge falling out which we are still trying to get over - but that would have happened however i told her, because i had what she wanted.....

Andy said...

KAT- Did you at least get a picture text? I mean, c'mon.
P- LOL is the reason kids today can't write properly.
Cats- Don't pass go, don't collect $200.
Amy- Yeah, I can kinda see why'd she be mad, although it wasn't your fault you got preggers (well, you know what I mean).

BeckEye said...

I hate texting and talking on the phone, so any phone communication is lose-lose for me. I wish everything could be done via email.

However, as much as I dislike talking on the phone, I hate when people keep texting me and their texts get longer and longer...at some point I just pick up the phone and call them because it's so damn annoying. And you can tell by my lack of emoticons that I'm not kidding when I say it's so damn annoying.

alexis said...

Instant Messenger and Chat Rooms taught me how to type as fast as I can today and I thank them for it!

Mindy said...

Also in journ, also hate talking on the phone. I don't get it. Perhaps people like us are prone toward loathing phone calls.

Smeave said...

OMG, LOL, U R soooo funny, Andy!

Jenners said...

U such good blogger. LOL.

(I think that means I insulted you.)

Cadence said...

Oh, I looooved AIM! I always prided myself on my pretty color schemes and font choices.

Meanwhile, I detest LOL. It's a lie. I've watched people text "LOL," and guess what? They're not laughing.

I do text all the time though. I'd love to look back through my cell phone bill and see how many texts I send/receive a month, but that seems like it would take a whole lot of energy. But please feel free to text me at any time!

Sam_I_am said...

AIM was awesome. Remember how everyone would freak out at school when the network went down and they couldn't AIM? I don't think young kids should have cell phones, though. They need to learn how to socialize before texting completely destroys their ability to have a conversation in real life.

kisatrtle said...

I'm thinking about kicking your ass, lol!

I'm thinking about kicking your ass.

Katie said...

I seriously think my marriage dissolved due to over texting. We argued more via text message than we ever did in person.

Texting...I won't even admit how many I send each day...it is a horrific horrible thing and is the death of many relationships!

:-) Found you through a fellow bloggers link. Like your stuff. New follower now!

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