Time Magazine recently had an article about how everyone has a cell phone now, and in that article were some interesting stats. One that caught my eye was that in the USA, almost 40% of cell phone users prefer texting to talking on the phone. Another sizable percentage said they were now closer with family because of cell phones.
That is sooooo my family. None of us have ever been big phone talkers. Big talkers in person, but not on the phone. It’s always seemed more of a chore to us.
And then came texts.
Now, we fill cyberspace with text chatter. Even my 79 year-old mother has gotten in on it. I’ve had some very lengthy discussions via text. I can hardly see what I am typing, but that doesn’t stop me–we have learned to interpret each other’s unique style of texting. It seems a lot easier to stay in touch via text. I will text my brother and say, “What up?” To which he will respond, “Nada. You?” And I will say, “Ditto. C u at (next family event).” I know he is doing okay, and he knows I am, which neither of us really knew before texting because of that chore thing. We relied on our parents to give us big news, and that might not have come in the timeliest manner.
Texting is also pretty handy in my line of work. I text my agent, and my friends who live around the country. At the RWA conference this summer, several people remarked that they didn’t know how we connected before texting. I know, right? I know how we did it–we hung out in bars, nyuk nyuk. This time, I confirmed meetings, changed them, located them, and took pictures of them with my cell phone and texted those pictures, too.
Texting is also great when traveling (We just touched down! Come pick me up). And you don’t have to get the dump of what all went wrong at home while you were gone before you have gotten your baggage.
Texting is a great invention, but I do think at times we take it too far. I have a hard time getting my sister on the actual phone. Sometimes, I just want to talk because first of all, I can’t see the screen very well without glasses (which are never handy when texting) and second, sometimes the topic is so long, I don’t want to type it all out.
I am very against texting and driving, and I won’t do it, no matter how much I am dying to look and see what the text is. I can at least wait until I get to Starbucks .
I might feel differently about the fabulouness of texting if I had a teenager. A friend told me just this week that her fifteen year0old daughter cannot lift her head from her phone even when she is speaking to her. So she took the girl’s phone for a week and an enormous meltdown ensued. ENORMOUS. They are still reeling. I can avow that I don’t love texting THAT much.
Do you text? Has texting changed the dynamic in your family? Do your kids have phones, and do they sleep with them? Do you text and drive? When contacting a sibling, child, or parent, do you prefer text, phone, or email?