Sunday, August 24, 2014

Texting - ugh.

There’s nerds, dorks, and geeks. I’m all of them in one; I’m a Nerdorgeek. Actually, I’m the Queen of Nerdorgeeks. While many think that implies being technically savvy, it doesn’t always. It also means those who have absolutely no prowess when it comes to any type of grasp on the technological pulse.

Still, that hasn’t stopped me from diving into the hi-tech pool head first without stopping to notice there’s no water. Some of my many faux pas have to do with learning the shorthand language of texting and emailing. And, like a lot my blunders, things usually start or have something to do with my minions; or, as others might refer to them, my children.

Texting and emailing proved to be no different.

The kids’ “phone” plan (I put phone in quotation marks because they don’t use them to talk to anyone) had minimal amounts of actual air time, and unlimited texting. They made me crazy because when I called them they’d be mad that I was using up their minutes. They had a point, as Matt and I make them pay for their own plans. Still, I couldn’t resist noting that they wasted at least 30 of their precious seconds every time I called to remind me that I’m wasting their seconds. This usually results in another wasted 30 seconds of them complaining that I pointed that out, which makes me giggle.

I’m hoping that other parents will think that’s funny. In order to survive our kids, we have to have a sense of humor, mixed with a tiny streak of evil and a heaping helping of being easily amused. Either that or I’m going straight to hell.

At first, I didn’t see what they saw in typing on tiny keyboards. Then, one night, we were watching a movie and the girls spent half the show texting. I asked who in the world they were texting. They were writing private messages back and forth to each other. Part of me thought they were being rude. But the other part knew that if my sister, Jill, and I had that ability growing up, we’d be texting each other every minute as well. And probably doing the same thing my kids were - laughing at our parents.

As for my cell, I’d always had a decent-sized clam shell flip top phone, and liked it very much. Then a few years ago, it died and I was introduced to the world of Blackberry. Sadly, we never became good friends. No matter how many emails they sent, crowing about all the things I could do with it, I wasn’t impressed. As far as I was concerned, I needed it for one thing. Phone calls.

The kids, on the other hand, were thrilled since now they had a reason to force me to text them. I looked at the miniature keyboard and (correctly) saw nothing but trouble ahead.

At first, I had no idea what they were saying when the first flurry of texts came through. They use abbreviations, or, texting shorthand. I told them that I didn’t understand much of what they were writing, but they insisted that I join the 21st century, and learn them. Once, Aubrie sent me a message with several abbreviations, but I had no earthly idea what she was talking about.

I knew that Elyse was in her room, so I called up the stairs, “What do “IDR, LYL, and TTYL” mean?” She yelled back, “I don’t remember, love you lots, talk to you later”. So I said, “Oh, OK, I’ll ask Aubrie when she gets home.”

I thought Elyse was going to hurt herself, she was laughing so hard.

Another time, I had to send some bad news to several members of the family. Matt saw the message and asked why I thought it was funny. I was confused. He pointed to the “LOL” I’d put at the end of the message, and said, “That means laughing out loud.” I had thought it meant lots of love.

I spent the rest of that afternoon on the phone calling everyone who received the email.

It’s been a few years, and I’m getting the hang of texting. Well, when I have my reading glasses handy; which isn’t all that often. Still, we homeschooled the kids, so we’re all pretty adept at deciphering odd messages – for the most part.

What the kids don’t know, however, is that since I hate texting, I figured out a way to get them to call me. I start punching random letters and spaces and hit “send.” The phone usually rings in less than a minute with a kid saying, “Mom, what the heck are you talking about?”

And every once in a while, my inner evil streak rears its head as I answer, “IDR.” It’s good to be Queen.


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