wageoghe wrote:10. Texting. If you text (and if you don't you should)
anyone text without any context?
Texting is often poo pooed on this forum. People wonder "Why text when you can email?" "What is different about texting than emailing?" People would rather talk than text. People want mobile phone plans that have XXX minutes, but they don't "need" any texting because they don't text.
Texting is very immediate. Depending on your phone, when you receive a text message, you get a signal (audible and/or vibration) and the text is displayed on the screen. You can see it as soon as it arrives and you can decide to take action or not.
I text a lot (not thousands per month, but much of my communication with friends and family is via text). If I need to get some information to my wife or daughter that doesn't require action NOW, I text it.
"Don't forget to take your car to the oil change place today",
"Do you know there the thingamajig is that you had out last night? I couldn't find it this morning.",
"I forgot to put XXX and YYY on the grocery list. Can you pick them up while you are at the store."
"We just got to the party and don't know anybody. How long before you get here?"
These are all useful communications that don't really require disturbing someone with a phone call. Also, for stuff like this, I think texting is far superior to email.
My mother in law texts my daughter every morning when she gets up in the morning. Sort of a "proof of life" communication. No need for a phone call at 5:30 or 6:00 am every morning. They do still talk on the phone every day, but the text in the morning has become somewhat of a ritual. Of course, if she forgets to send the text, my wife can get a little wound up until she confirms that her mom is ok.
My brother (in another state) often watch the same sporting events on tv at the same time (especially Kentucky basketball). We text back and forth a lot during the game. It's not the same as watching it in the same room, but it does provide some level of cameraderie.
On holidays and birthdays, I almost always send a text to friends and family (in addition to regular cards and presents). Sure, I could email. Sure, I could call (and often do). But, texting is easier and has the potential of starting sort of a time shifted conversation.
out: "Happy Birthday"
in: "Thanks! I got your card, it was great."
out: "How's school going? How about those 'Cats? Tough loss last night."
out: "Did you take the thingamabob the last time you were here? We can't find it and so and so wants to borrow it."
in: "School's great. 'Cats stink. You gave me the thingamabob because I said I wanted it. It's still in my trunk. Oops."
out: "Don't worry about the thingamabob, I just didn't remember what happened to it."
out: "BTW, I put more money in your account"
My sister and father have both had surgeries recently. Texting is an easy way to give quick updates:
"Just got to hospital. Susie is in preop. Will be going into surgery soon".
"Surgery over. Doctor says everything went great. Susie will be in recovery for a couple of hours, then we can take her home"
"At home. Doctor said she will probably sleep a couple of hours"
It is easy for family members at the hospital to report status over the course of time. If I, or anyone else, has questions or thoughts, it is easy to send them via text. When everything calms down later on, I could call (or not, depending on how she feels).
Some conversations are pretty easy to do over text without having to break away from what you are doing. Arranging to meet your spouse after work for some kind of activity:
he: "How about we eat out tonight? XXX was good last time, why don't we go there"
she: "Don't forget, we have PTA. We can eat before"
he: "Ok, we should go to YYY or ZZZ then, they are closer and quicker"
she: "ZZZ. YYY was gross last time"
he: "Ha ha! I forgot about that"
he: "I can pick you up at home"
she: "I will be out already, so we can just meet there"
he: "Ok, see you around 6:00"
This could have taken place over a few minutes, or it could have taken place over an afternoon. He could have taken place while he or she was in the bathroom (although that is pretty gross). He or she could have been a meeting, telecon, whatever.
Texting PLUS phone conversation is a great combo. I work in an open bay and don't like to talk on the phone out in the open. My wife has a similar environment. If one of us needs to call the other, it is easy to text first to see if now is a good time. If so, I can just excuse myself, go to an office, and make (or take) the phone call. If we need to speak to our daughter while she is at work (in the food service industry), we can text and ask her to call when she is on her next break. No muss, no fuss.
With a smart phone, I can use texting for most of what I might used email for not too long ago. If I took a picture at an event, I can text it rather than email it. I can text links to articles/forum postings/etc. I have asked friends to text me photos of stuff at their house (name plate on appliances, tool, flower, etc).
When my neighbors go on vacation, they ask us to keep an eye on things and, sometimes, to feed their cat (if their usual cat feeder is unavailable). If I actually go in to feed the cat, I usually text that I went in, things look ok, the cat looks ok. A little peace of mind goes a long way.
So, this texting thing is all gravy right? Sounds like no negatives.
Well, obviously, communicating via text can be a little terse. First because it is generally not easy (even on a smart phone) to write a very long text (hundreds of characters). As with email, it can be hard to correctly discern the tone of a text communication. Sometimes the other person "doesn't see" the text (note, this usually happens if you ask your daughter a question she doesn't want to answer, like:
me: "Did you put away the dishes after school before you went out with your friends?"
her: "Oops! I didn't see your earlier text asking me to do that until we were already at so and so's house. Sorry!"