First there was the telephone, possibly the greatest boon to communication ever. For a small monthly fee you could talk to just about anyone, anywhere, instantly. Wonderful.
Then someone invented the answering machine, which let us leave messages and keep the conversation going when we couldn’t talk directly. More wonderful.
Then someone invented the pager, and suddenly we could leave short typed alerts without committing the recipient to stopping what they were doing and picking up the phone. Awesomely wonderful for people stuck at work, kids who wanted to slip a note past Teacher, couriers, baby sitters, drug dealers.
Then someone invented texting. OMG best idea yet. Now we could leave longer messages. Kids with cellphones adopted it first: those who couldn’t afford call minutes could now text each other on the cheap; passing notes became much easier; and you could text unobtrusively while, say, at dinner with the BBB borrring family. Plus it was more secretive: with a call, people can figure out who you’re talking to; with messages, not so much. Texting was totally GR8
Then adults caught on. Messaging was a godsend for busy people at work, in conferences, at the movies, at a loud rock concert, or anyone who just didn’t want to commit to a phone call at that moment.
Pretty soon most of us were texting instead of calling. It’s so convenient! Heck, you can text a whole group of people at once instead of dialing them one at a time. With text, you don’t have to interrupt what you’re doing and pick up; you can carry on an entire conversation intermittently while doing other things. And you can think about your replies instead of blurting out something stupid. It’s a back-and-forth instant answering machine that awaits your convenience. WAWI
Most of my phone use has shifted from calls to texting. Lately I’d rather receive a text message than a call. It’s gotten so I’m almost offended if the phone rings unsolicited, like when someone drops by for a visit without advance notice. Hey, buddy, text first!
When I was a kid and loved chatting on the phone, I would never have dreamed that the day would come when I’d rather type than talk. Who knew? What a world.
So, hey, text me! I miss you. But don’t call. That’s annoying.