Texting is still new enough that the game "Words With Friends" doesn't count it as a real word if played. Also, most word processors still consider it a spelling error.
Four years ago, I sent my oldest son on a mission trip with our local church, with the high hopes that he would return with many new friends and astounding spiritual growth. He returned with one new ability: knowing how to text at a high rate of speed. I remember my disappointed and confused reaction.
Although we now take texting for granted as a daily reality, word processors and games are not the only things experiencing a cultural lag. Our laws are in the process of adjusting to the still relatively new craze. Several states have enacted laws prohibiting texting while driving. One city is even ticketing people for texting while walking. If caught and ticketed, a person must pay an $80.00 fine.
Apparently, texting can lead to trouble. Not only is the venue and the accompanying activity of the texter an issue, but the content of the text can lead to trouble as well. Take my recent experience for an example. I had the following recent exchange with a friend:
Me: Are you going to attend the event on Thursday night?
Her: Yep pets.
This puzzled me. I realized that she was going to attend, which was really all I wanted to know. But was she using the term of endearment of 'pet' for me, (which, incidentally, she had never done before), or was she calling me a pest and just transposed her letters? If it were the former, I would say "awwwww". But if the latter, I would show her who the pest was! (But first, I started to respond by calling her either a lint licker or a cootie queen.) I decided instead, not to text her again for about a year.
By the next afternoon, I had made it as long as I could without texting her. I texted again, and well, here is the exchange:
Me: Did you call me a pest?
Me: I texted you last night and you responded by saying "Yep pets". Were you just trying to call me a pest?
Her: Ha! Ha! Ha! No! I was trying to say 'Yeppers' and my phone autocorrected me. Ha! Ha!Ha!
Me: Ooohhh. Ok. I thought you were calling me names. (Glad I held on to the Cootie Queen remark afterall.) Boy, that could have caused worse problems!
I related this story to another friend. She related a story that her daughter had told her. A friend of her's and his mom had the following text conversation:
Son: I'll be home late
Mom: If u aren't home by miidnight, I will lick u out!
Several hours passed.
Son: Ooohhhh Mom, that is sooooo gross!!!
Mom: Son, I meant LOCK!!!
So be careful with your texting: what you text, whom you text, and what you are doing while you text. It could cost you money, a friendship, or a very awkward relationship with your son.
copyright 2012 by Kathy Robbins