I am not a fan of Text messaging. It’s not that I am against the practice; I just don’t particularly enjoy participating. I guess I see text messages as kind of impersonal. This is ironic since I really enjoy instant messaging over the internet. Maybe I feel this way because of work. My control system on campus sends me text messages periodically in response to emergency alarms. If the campus chiller stops working, I get a message that basically says “I’m broke, fix me now.” But in a more technical language that computer control systems use. This kind of makes me gun shy of text messages. While my work computer system is good at sharing bad news, it does so in a rather manic way. Everything is a critical alarm, and they seem to come in groups.
My youngest son, however, feels just the opposite about text messages, if his cell phone bill is any reflection. I believe that he uses text messages as a form of covert communication. Upon reflection this would have been a wonderful tool back in my teen years. We used to have to resort to passing notes, which is really difficult over great distances. You had to use stamps and envelopes and actually wait for a long time for a response.
All in all I think we are in a better time.
There are a few things about text messaging that gets my goat. For one, I can’t simply get a text and flip open my phone and read it. I have to search for my reading glasses first. For another, when you get a text message you have to look at a list of messages on your screen. This is like a preview line on e-mail. This is a good feature, however it has its draw backs.
For example, I received a text message from my lovely wife the other day with the title of “I threatened to quit today”. Oh my god I knew she has a stressful job, but I didn’t know how serious things were. I switched the phone immediately away from text messaging and called her. “So how’s work?” I asked, while preparing for the worse. It turns out that she called our cable provider and threatened to quit our cable service if we didn’t get the low rate that were being advertised for new subscribers. Whew.
Cell phones are a technological wonder that has both pros and cons. iThey are a good tool if I can just remember my glasses and to read the whole message.
Sorry, I have to go my computer is texting me….