I’m actually rather proud of the way I’ve embraced the digital revolution. Of course, raising a child who seemed born with bytes instead of a brain kind of pulled me into the technological age, whether I wanted to be there or not. But generally, I’ve adapted to modern forms of communication with ease.
An uneasy typist, I quickly fell in love with word processing and the ability to fix all my typing errors with the flick of a wrist. No more White-Out, or those ridiculous correction cartridges I once used in the electric typewriter.
E-mail is SO handy, especially for someone like me who finds it a real struggle to call people on the telephone. Don’t ask me why. Something about interrupting people in the middle of their busy lives when they might be doing something important or interesting just scares me silly. Using e-mail makes it easy to impart the necessary information which they can then read and respond to at their leisure.
And although I don’t like telephones that much, I love my cell phone. Because I’m also the world’s worst worrier, it comforts me to know that the people I care about can contact me no matter where I am (except in the bathroom…I won’t answer the phone in the bathroom, even though I’ve witnessed the fact that some people actually do.)
But it’s taking me a bit longer to embrace texting. One of the biggest problems I have with texting is physically doing it. You see, I inherited these ugly, fat thumbs from some ancient middle-eastern ancestor – hammerhead thumbs, they’re called, and I’ve determined they can be traced directly from my paternal line. These obnoxious digits easily cover an entire row of keys on the teeny tiny phone keyboard. In order to text with any degree of accuracy, I have to press the keys with the tip of my thumbnail. If I can set the phone down on a flat surface, I do better using my index fingers, like typing on a regular keyboard. But sometimes it’s impossible to do that. Like the other morning when I was walking the dogs and trying to answer a text message at the same time – while wearing gloves. It’s ridiculous.
Why didn’t I just call the person back, you ask?
That’s the other thing about texting. I find myself involved in these long text message conversations with people. They might start out with something as simple as R U there? and then segue into a protracted exchange. Why in the world don’t we just dial each other up and talk on the darn phone? Isn’t that what they were invented for after all? What would Alexander Graham Bell have to say if he could see all us of trying to write messages on this thing he worked so hard to invent purposely so that we could actually speak to one another? Once I get started on a text conversation, I find myself powerless to stop, as if I’ve been sucked into this vortex and can’t fight my way to solid ground.
Personally, I like to text people just for simple things. For instance, at the end of the workday, I might text my husband and ask “When will u b home?”
My phone buzzes. He replies “lving soon.”
But then I wonder -am I supposed to respond? Will he know I got that message?
So I text back -“ok~good.”
My phone buzzes again – “will you P-U dogs?”
“Yes” I answer.
Buzzz. “I’ll get mail,” he replies.
“k” I respond (praying that this will be the end of the conversation).
I wait with baited breath.
I breath a sigh of relief and start shutting down my work computer.
“don’t 4get 2 stop at the bank.”
Fine. I’m not answering this one. I hurry up and shove my phone in my purse, hastily get into my coat and gloves, and head out to my car. I’m just about to put the key in the ignition, when a virulent buzz begins inside my purse. I pull out the phone and see that I have one new text message from Jim.
“R U there?”