My sister (I may have mentioned her before) loves to communicate. As a teenager in the 1970s, she would talk on the phone for hours. Literally. She is a great communicator and has always been extremely social. She makes friends easily and is always the last one to leave the party.
So I was surprised at how difficult it was to get her to text. She just didn’t recognize the necessity. It wasn’t a cost issue. There are great apps, like Voxox, that let you text for free. Why would this extreme extrovert want to limit her communication options?
In an all-out effort to convert her, I listed some of the advantages of texting:
• It’s private. You have a tiny screen that’s difficult to be seen by anyone else.
• It’s non-intrusive. A ringing phone demands to be answered, whereas the ping of a message is easy to ignore. You can respond whenever you want — although the younger set tends to take it as an affront if their friends don’t respond immediately. Texting gives you time to collect your thoughts without having to listen to someone else breathing on the other end.
• It keeps a record of your conversations. For better or worse.
• It’s much faster to get your message out. With a phone call, you wait for the call to connect, wait for the person to answer or voicemail to pick up, and only then can you talk or leave a message. If you just have something to say that doesn’t require a response, like “On my way” or “I’ll be late,” texting makes much more sense.
• You can include multiple people in a conversation. Why go through the chaos of a six-way conference call when you can simply send one text?
In short, it’s really convenient.
She still didn’t see the point.
Operation Get Lisa Texting
It was a cruel plan of exclusion. Lisa can’t stand to be left out of anything. Under agreement to not let her know what was being said, my brother and I started texting her work friends. We sent funny stories, jokes, links to cool websites, and worst of all, party invitations. When she asked what was happening, the response was, “Oh, just a message from your brother.”
It drove her crazy.
It also drove her to finally get Voxox and start texting. Operation GLT was a success!
The culture of texting
Texting is so entrenched in our culture, it’s virtually changing our language. LOL and OMG are now entries in the Oxford English Dictionary, legitimizing text abbreviations for everyday speak.
There’s even a phenomenon called “Sleep Texting.” As millenials sleep with their phones under their pillows, it should come as no surprise that some are automatically responding to messages received in the night without being conscious of it.
According to Dr. William DePaso, sleep medicine specialist at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, it takes a minimum of 30 seconds after waking for a person to remember an incident.1 Bad news for you if you’re skilled enough to send 18 messages a minute.
Next for text
The coolest thing to hit texting since, well, texting, is Voxox’s Text Translation. With this feature turned on, you can receive a message in any of over 60 languages, and Voxox automatically translates it to the language of your choice. Your replies are also translated into the recipient’s language. And it all happens in real time. For more on Text Translation, see the post in this blog, NEGOTIATING THE LANGUAGE BARRIER WITH FREE TEXTING, posted on Jul 31, 2014.
As texting continues to permeate our lives it will be a social experiment worth watching — like Operation Get Lisa Texting.
1. Komonews.com, September 2013