Txtin no 4 me

Published 6:45 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2009

There are a lot of things I can do. I can write a column and feed a baby at the same time. I can make the house look somewhat presentable in between the time it takes someone to ring my doorbell and the time I answer the door. I can sniff out a sale within 100 paces.

There are some things I can’t do. I can’t, at least if you ask my husband, drive. I can’t do calculus. And I can’t, no matter how hard I try, text message.

For those of you who don’t know, text messaging is the process of using your phone to send written messages in someone. You use the numbers on your phone to type in the letters and some people, especially young people, are very good at this process.

For example, I read a story just this week about a California 13-year-old who managed to send 14,528 last month. Her father – who thankfully had a cell phone plan with unlimited text messaging – figured out she had managed to send a message out every two minutes for every waking hour.

If he had to pay for those texts, it would have cost him $2,905 for messaging alone. I can’t imagine what a 13-year old would have to say that would be so earth-shattering to rate that much money, but that’s a different column altogether.

What amazed me is how in the world someone could manage to type messages into their phone so quickly.

My text messaging is more like this process. I decide to send Greg a text message at his office, something along the lines of “can you pick up some milk on the way home?”

I start trying to type this in only to mess up about 10 times and, since I don’t know how to delete letters, I have to start all over each time. Eventually, I decide to shorten my message and just try for something like “Milk. Need. Pickup.”

Again, this seems to be too much for me. Tossing aside the texting idea, I opt for something much simplier, especially considering I’m using a phone.

I call Greg.

“Hey,” I said when he answered. “Can you pick up some milk on the way home?”

“Sure,” he replies quickly. “Why didn’t you just send me a text message?”

I didn’t answer him. In the time it takes me to send him a text message, I could have picked up the milk myself. And that would defeat the entire purpose of it all.