Commentary

My take on txtn

sumtimes i luv 2 txt. sumtimes i hate it.

Because we live in a world where everyday interaction has been somewhat reduced to typing on a screen, I think it’s important to think about one’s own opinions on texting.

I am a college student on an unlimited texting plan – who isn’t, anymore? I just got my first keyboard phone a couple weeks ago, after dropping my old flip phone in a football stadium toilet (that was a pleasant experience).

On my old phone, my quick thumb calisthenics could rap out a T9 text in seconds. T9 worked for me, though it often annoyed me. I wanted my phone to know from context clues whether I wanted the word “me” or “go.” And although I used it on learning mode, it never did seem to learn the quirks of my own texting lingo.

I’ve now switched to keyboard texting, and my thumbs get more of workout as I adjust to the even tinier buttons. But I’ve decided I like the keyboard method better than my old T9 strategy. There’s no mistaking the exact lettering of my language with the keyboard, whether I’m addressing my little brother as “brudda” or compiling my own acronyms.

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As I transferred to the keyboard club, I had to wonder how my mother would fare if she too made the switch. T9 texting confuses my mom. If the phone doesn’t guess her word the first time, she keeps pushing buttons and soon switches to normal Abc mode out of frustration. For her sake, I hope the T9 learning on phones continues to improve. In the meantime, I think the keyboard phone will draw more and more to its side of the force.

I like texting, in general. It’s quick. It’s convenient. But I think it should be used primarily for quick, convenient messages. Don’t ask me how I’m doing in a text. Call me and let me tell you, if you want to know. That conversation should require some focused interaction. There’s no way I can condense my life into a text without weakening that interaction. Ask how my day is via text, and I will say “Good, urs?” because it’s not worth the effort to tell you much more.

If a conversation in texts gets too long, I start getting annoyed. Another of my pet peeves is when someone tries to get to know me through texting. Call me, or better yet, talk to me in person. The chances of misinterpretation are slim, and the channels of effective communication are open in a phone call or in face-to-face interaction.

Texting should be used to make quick plans or give a short update; i.e., “Meet me in the library in 10.” It should also be used to brighten someone’s day: “Just thinkin of u, good luck!” Short. Quick. To the point.

but thats JMHO.

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