Monday, September 22, 2008

Am I a Luddite? I Don't Understand Text Messaging

Photo from source, Wikipedia

This is just a short text message to say that I don't understand texting! I was very slow to get a cell phone (though I did have a telephone lineman sized phone in the early 90s for work). I drug my feet, not wanting to pay $60 a month for something I didn't think I would use.

But, with The Other Half being a flight attendant, and at all corners of our country on any given day, circumstances dictated that we needed mobile phones. "Belling the cat" is what I call it. Since getting the phone, I do use it more than I thought I would, but we rarely go past our allotted 500 minutes. Our initial service included everything of course, for a limited time only. But eventually, we pared down to basic cell service.

I wouldn't mind occasionally using the built in camera to send photos to my email, but mostly, the extra services are useless to me. 95% of the time, I am near a computer, where most of the cell phone services are much easier to use. And here I am, typing away on a 101-key QWERTY keyboard to tell you, I just don't understand using a 12-key, tiny phone pad to type text messages.

According to Wikpedia, 40% of cell phone users regularly use text messaging. What's worse, it has actually been deemed to be as addictive as cigarette smoking. OMG! Oops, I just committed probably the biggest problem connected to all of this texting.

And that is, the degradation to the written word. We've seen this coming for some time, with gamers using leet, with LOL Kitteh, and instant messaging on computers. Being a proficient typist, typing OMG takes more thought and effort than typing "oh my God!" Our English has gotten so jumbled, I fear what resumes are going to look like in a couple of years.

What I don't understand is, why is texting so popular? You're holding a phone in your hands, if you need to contact somebody, call them! Now, I understand that there are rare occurrences, like Mom is in an important meeting, or Dad is in court (again), and you simply must tell them that you've gotten your arms ripped off in a thresher. . .but then, how are you texting? Nevermind. I get that there are circumstances where it could be handy.

But usually it's not necessary. Usually, you are annoying the person on the other end. And often, you are texting somebody like me that doesn't have texting in their plan, and have to pay for the message, whether they read it or not. Nice. Knock it off!

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