Tuesday, December 2, 2008

OMG, R U 4 Real?

Sparkly, isn't it?

Like most people not born in the nineties, I have always been a little conflicted about the whole texting phenomenon. It always seemed like a pretty stupid way to communicate. Why write someone a note, when you can talk to them just as easily?

Now, it does have its uses. A mass text informing a group of friends when the movie starts, getting a note to someone in a meeting . . . . well, that's a bout it. I have never fully understood the advantage of slowly and awkwardly typing out abbreviated messages when I am in fact holding a phone in my hand whose defining function is to allow me speak with that same person as if we were face to face. Especially when the phone call is effectively free and I'm charged for every stupid, little text. Seems like a technological step backwards.

But what is really interesting to me is the way texting has become an intregal part of the dating scene. Now I am by no means any kind of an authority on this subject. My observations on wooing women are about as valuable as a deaf guy's take on the subtleties of Mozart or Lennie Small's insight at caring for rabbits. And my lack appreciation for the medium of texting is evidence to this. Just calling a girl is no longer an acceptable way to get their attention. Sure it's effective. You call them, they answer, you talk for a while. But it can feel like a job interview if you're not careful. It's too obvious, too direct, too hamfisted. It's not flirty enough. This is why texting has become the adult version of passing notes in school. It's covert and sneaky. As if you could get in trouble if someone found out but it's still playful and harmless.

Now the act of texting itself does not bother me in the least. I feel a little behind the curve on its intricacies but I'm behind most curves in most aspects of my life. It's actually something I take a bit of pride in. But one thing I have no hesitation in bitching about is text speak. LOL, OMG, WTF, ROFL. Drives me crazy.

The good news, however is that I think it's coming to a close within the next few years. With the IPhone, the Blackberry Storm and other qwerty keyboard phones, it is easier and easier to type out whole words while texting. I like to think that this will lead to the end of this obnoxious, cutesy poo abbreviated bullcrap. But I guess the places I see that sort of crap are usually message boards and IM's which are places where a full keyboard is present. So maybe that's a little optimistic.

But I do think that when we look back on this decade, texting abbreviations will be one of the quirky little technological punchlines we make fun of. Like Laserdiscs or Calecovisions. By the way, what the hell is this decade called anyway? We're almost nine years into it and I still don't know what to call it. The zeroes? The aughts? We need to come to a consesus on this.

1 comment:

Brooke said...

Good call on the abbreviations being a total "this decade" thing. We'll laugh about it someday. I vote for the "aughts". Brian you always crack me up.