Call me old fashioned

Call me old fashioned — it’s fine by me — but I really don’t dig on text messaging as my primary means of communication.  Some of my friends (you know who you are) have a tendency to text in favor of calling.  And, well, that irritates me.

Texting is good for short, quick messages, that do not require a lot of thought or response.  Here are some examples:

“Can you pick up a six pack on your way over?”
“I’m running late, be there in 5 minutes.”
” I’m down with the Polynesian flu, I can’t come to your party.”

Texting is not good for conversations.  For example, the following are not good topics for text messages:

“I’ve been thinking a lot about the Cartesian saying, ‘I think therefore, I am.’ I’m not so sure that I agree with it.  What are your thoughts?”
“It’s good to hear from you.  It’s been a long time since we last talked.  I’ve been busy over the past five years and now have been married, had a kid, divorced, now I’m a Buddhist Monk living in San Francisco.  What have you been up to?”

Aside from the fact that texting is not good for long conversations, it also sends a message to the recipient (and not just via SMS).  Texting says, “I’ve got something to say to you, but it’s not worth it to me to take the time to make a phone call —  you might go on about your Aunt Wilma like you always do or have something you want to tell me and I don’t have time for that.

Finally, texting can be dangerous.  I’ve received texts while driving.  It is not only difficult and dangerous, but it is illegal to text while driving (at least here in MD).  Sometimes, when I don’t respond, I get a subsequent message that insinuates that I should have responded by now.  These people assume that you are in a place where you can respond, which is not always the case.  Usually, I just call them back.  Sometimes I feel like they’re really wondering why I called.

As I said, maybe I’m old fashioned, but I’d almost always prefer a phone call to a text.

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