Thursday, October 02, 2008

Don't Text Me

For a guy whose in his late forties, I’ve kept up pretty well with technology.

I update my cell phone every two years. I need high-speed internet. I do all my banking online. I’m the go-to guy for Mom and Dad’s computer questions.

But one thing I don’t think I’ll ever understand is texting.

I mean, it’s just so inefficient.

For example, I took a typing class when I was a freshman in high school. Mind you, this was back in the day when we didn’t even have electric typewriters in the classroom, much less a computer keyboard.

The letter “Q” hadn’t even been invented yet.
The word for “fire” was ‘ga’.

We had these huge, ancient Royal typewriters from the 1940s to learn on. The pic here is exactly the same model we used. Can you believe that?

Every day, we were subjected to a five minute speed-typing test and we’d work so incredibly hard to get our typing speed up. I remember when I finally got up to 80 words per minute, which, let me tell you was quite a feat on these old clunkers.

So, I just don’t understand why so many (young) people use texting. It takes three keystrokes just to input one letter. Heaven help you if you want to use the % symbol or proper punctuation.

I know these kids can text much faster than I, but still, they might manage ten words per minute at best. And most of these are "R U 2"

We speak at 225 words per minute. That is, unless you're from the South like me, then it's about half that. If you're from Wisconsin like Miss Healthypants, then it's more like 5000 wpm which causes me to end up saying "Whaaaat?" every other sentence.

225 wpm is twenty times faster than the best texter. Doesn’t it make sense to pick up the phone and just call someone or at least leave a voice message?

When I was home visiting family in Texas recently, I noticed that my 20-year-old first-cousin-once-removed was texting her dad. I saw this as an opportunity to find out about this mystery and asked her why she didn’t just call him.

She said she really didn’t feel like talking to him.

I can understand that. I love using email at work, especially since I really don’t want to actually speak with anyone unless I have to.

But remember, I broke the 80 wpm sound barrier on a pre-historic typewriter. I’m probably buzzing along here at 120 wpm on a computer keyboard. However, I can probably manage only 2 words per minute texting from a cell phone.

Also, with texting, you don’t really know if the person actually received the communication. I barely know how to even read a text I’ve received, much less compose and send one. I’m sure I’ve received messages that I’ve never even read.

If anyone can tell me what the appeal is with texting, I’d love to hear it.

But for now, I just don’t get it.

7 Comments:

At 1:52 PM , Blogger sfoofie said...

I don't get it or use texting either. Plus, I get really mad that it charged me 10 cents for INCOMING texts. Luckily most of my friends know I don't use texting. And if they don't, I charge them 10 cents for every in-person sentence I speak to them.

 
At 3:43 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

Me neither. The Child was begging for texting priviledges on her cell and I told her that she could have texting when she paid for it.

 
At 5:36 PM , Anonymous Bro said...

That's easy. It's like writing notes when we were in grade school. Too nervous to think of what to say in person. Easier to compose what you will and send it. We who run the networks like if for two reasons. First, we get to charge for it. Second, while not efficient for the folks typing them in, they are VERY efficient on network resources. Just a tiny little packet of data than can afford to wait it's turn instead of a whole line being tied up in a real time conversation.

 
At 8:56 PM , Blogger Breenlantern said...

we have an iphone...so one letter per "button" and is set up like a real keyboard.

text comes in handy when i want to get a quick message to friends but cant talk (in a meeting, loud bar, etc.) just another useful tool to compliment, not replace, talking, e-mailing and writing...

 
At 8:55 AM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

I still think it's goofy...and funny that both you and Worms, Puppies, BBQ wrote about it on your blogs! :)

 
At 8:29 AM , Anonymous seachange said...

I'm with you in not seeing the point of texting when you can say it faster.

Daughter loves to text, but then she's a young 18. :-)

 
At 6:27 PM , Blogger Barb said...

I only use it when I NEED to say something that I don't want anyone else to hear... or my husband uses it to tell me he's in a meeting when I've called. Other than that ~ just call me!

 

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