Commentary

All thumbs? Not when she’s texting

April 21, 2013 

I was sitting at the kitchen table texting someone the other day when I heard the muffled sounds of snickering coming from the direction of The Princess and her friend.

I looked at them. “What? What’s so funny?“

“Nothing,” said the Princess. Her friend agreed. “It’s nothing.”

I went back to my texting and they were suddenly quiet, perhaps because they remembered that it’s not smart to mock the one person in the house who controls basically 95 percent of the acquisition and distribution of high-quality junk food. Mess with me and see how fast those “ranch” flavored ripple chips disappear. Go ahead. Enjoy a tiny box of raisins.

But they couldn’t contain themselves for long. I looked up and they were both staring at me, their faces wearing an expression somewhere between hilarity and horror.

“OK, that does it. What am I doing that’s so funny?”

The Princess finally spoke up.

“It’s nothing really. It’s just that the way you text … it’s just so … weird.”

There’s a weird way to text? Who knew?

“What are you talking about? How do YOU text?“

Both girls immediately grabbed their phones. No, who am I kidding?

Their phones are always in their hands, as if Gorilla-glued to their palms.

“Like this,” said the Princess. Ohhhh. She uses her THUMBS and all of her fingers to text.

And, what’s this? She doesn’t hold the phone 1 foot away at eye level, pecking away at each letter like a chicken pecking at kernels of corn in a barnyard. Hmmm.

So now we can add “texting style” to other ways that advertisers can define demographics. That highly coveted 18-34 demo would never text with index finger only. They’d sooner buy a Buick or admit to a fondness for cafeteria aspic or talk about their colonoscopies.

Not to generalize.

I told the girls it wasn’t polite to make fun of their elders. Also not to sit too close to the TV or they’ll go blind.

While I scoffed at the girls’ notion that there is only one way to text correctly, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to practice their newfangled way.

I spent an hour or so experimenting with the young, hip method of texting. After all, I didn’t want to be the only person sitting in a public place, index finger poised to respond to a text. No, no. I am nothing if not open to new things.

So I practiced as hard as I could, even sending texts to friends that said things like: “Trying new texting style using thumbs!” which baffled them greatly since the text they received read “Tr78g nuw tx89g stiiiie usg th98bs?”

In the end, I decided that the kids’ texting style, frankly, blows. I’ll continue to peck away, one letter at a time.

“But it’s so slow,” said the Princess, looking disapproving.

“Be quiet,” I said. “And enjoy your raisins.”

celiarivenbark.com

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