Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Generation TXT

So here we are.  Someday we may not know what our voices sound like.  I was making dinner one night when I got a series of txts from one of Kiera's friends. It turned out to be a chain text message. Although annoying- it's simple to delete and move on.  Minutes later a message arrived to recant the need to forward the message- the 8 year old who sent it had a sudden realization that by txting said msg to everyone in her address book- no untold riches were revealed, health was not restored and her long lost love did not come a knocking at her door.  I then get an entirely cryptic message and am completely befuddled as Kiera enters the room asking "whatch doin?". The look on her face was pretty priceless when I told her that I was texting her friend. "What did she say?"  I hand her the phone and she starts trying to text back. When I asked her what it said- she understood- and apparently kids speak in txt these days which may explain a lot of Kiera's academic shortcomings. As I relayed the story to Phil later that night, he theorized that maybe we could work on her writing and communication skills by getting her a text only phone. I explained from what I saw in her friend's text- that would not work.

Texting has it's upsides. A quick yes, no or data exchange. It is quite useful since I am unable to pick up the phone without WWIII breaking out in my living room.  My mother recently entered the text world and that has enabled us to have quick conversations, info and picture exchanges that would have otherwise not happened. Best of all my stress level doesn't skyrocket as children test the upper bounds of my sanity as soon as they see my trying to communicate telephonically.  I still make every attempt to call my mother weekly and she will testify that I generally fail. But between sports, school, homework and care and feeding of 4 animals- somethings just don't happen- like me getting to talk to anyone for more than a few minutes or going to the bathroom unsupervised. Apparently they think the toilet might suck me away if I go in there by myself and the natural remedy is to sit on me so such action does not occur.

I have heard from many a mom of teenagers that it is easier to text their child when dinner is ready and the response is way speedier than standing at the stairs and screaming. I have found this to be true of arranging babysitters. I do worry that it leads to a desensitization of adolescents. Nothing is real- it's just a text. Yet the written word is still powerful, even if it is phonetically spelled sans vowels.  As powerful  as those words are, still nothing is as powerful as hearing  the voice of a friend or relative when you really need to. 

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