Why I am not a Texter

Yesterday, my friend, Sandy referenced an article on text messaging monsters and I admit, I am not a texter. I am somewhat of an unresponder, though when I do respond I apologise for the delay. I will send a text now and then, if I am in a meeting or especially if I am abroad because roaming is not cheap. But I am not one of those people who set their phone in their sights, waiting to hear that tell-tale alert, or to see it vibrate, so they can...POUNCE on it - knowing it's a reply from a friend or colleague. In the same vein, I am not much of a BBMer. Sure, it's free but I cannot lock down my life to a mobile phone and some people really do it. You check their status updates and they change it everyday and their photos change everyday. It is their form of expression and self representation, sure, but my God!

So my friends don't send me texts because I am not a good responder to them, nor to BBMs. I am often on the road when I do have that valuable "phone/bonding time", so this is another reason I am not married to my phone's keypad. While talking on the phone while driving is dangerous as it is, what can be more hazardous than keypad punching and driving? I have tweeted while driving but it's usually in slow moving traffic (which is like every afternoon...hello?)

Don't get me wrong though. I am not a text hater. I do understand that the text or BBM may be urgent or maybe you have no credit or you're in a meeting and cannot call so you can only send a text or IM. So I will respond. But when you want to sit wherever you are, bored or obsessed, and want to hold an entire conversation about the state of your love life or the state of the world, via this channel, well...I am not interested. I have, on many occasions, once recognising that this is the road I am  being dragged down, just ended the text-a-thon and called the person. It's easier, it's more convenient for me and less annoying.

And I am guessing that there are other people who feel the same way. The above was just my personal take on text messaging as communication, but there are some very real issues around the keypad obsession.

For instance, a local union is now debating the resignation of one of its executive members. While the contents of the correspondence have not been divulged and I am not sure what was sent, at the centre of the argument is a text message.

The text message has made information readily accessible to persons, especially by way of B2C marketing. I regularly get updates from my mobile provider about new promotions and events, which I appreciate, once they don't start creeping across the thin line between useful information and spam. We have started using SMS to communicate with staff internally, sending updates on important issues and leading them back to the intranet or to an email, which as you know, tends to get lost in the daily maelstrom.

However, some people also believe that texting and now BBMing are ruining the way we communicate with others. We prefer to text rather than call. Our lingo and language have been impacted by the abbreviations which come with short messaging. Common courtesies seem to have flown the coop with previously face-to-face "transactions" such as job terminations and  Dear John/Jill "letters" being completed via mobile phones. The same is being said of social media, but is it really impacting our relationships negatively? I will admit, I do prefer a phone call over a text message for casual conversation and I don't text birthday greetings to friends either, preferring to call close friends. But I believe it is how you use it and how much of it you allow to pervade your life. The technology can be used to sustain relationships and make relationships more accessible, regardless of geography for example. But it does not have to be all consuming and that is just my overarching statement when it comes to any type of technology or new media. The control still resides with us as individuals.

So don't hate me cause I am not a keypad ninja! Are you though? Are you one of those text messaging monsters?


Khadein said...

I definitely think texting is impacting relationships. I've actually dated a "text monster" who will have entire convos via text and when we're on the phone or face-to-face it's like pulling teeth to talk!
But on the other hand, it does make awkward conversations a little less so.."hi, sry but this wont wrk. ur gr8, but i need more. OMG, dnt hate me, k? :) bye!"

trinidarlin said...

lol. You do indeed have a point!

Anonymous said...

im like you.. actualy im a bit more, none text; i dont even have a cell phone. ive seen ppl turn into a "text monester".. living on the beach, when i take walks on a friday afternoon i see girls.boys.men.women texting while walking.. soo silly to me. Its also scary that beeing cell-less has impacted my social life. but i am who i am, an individual

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