My friends are texting freaks. They'll text all day long. My sister has just gotten into it as well, and now I have to keep my cell phone by me constantly, even at home, because instead of calling to tell me something, she'll automatically text me. We are not teenagers. We are all late thirties to mid-forties. Some of us have teenagers.
My sister's son is fourteen, and texts instead of speaking, even if the person is standing right next to him. My 11-year-old has a cell phone she shares with her 8 year old sister, for emergencies. They never use it for calls. They download music on it, watch t.v. shows and surf the net. Both of them are technologically advanced. The oldest blogs on a special site set up by the school system, and my youngest can figure out anything on the computer, from computer games to updating virus protection and downloading videos. But while my 8-year-old will text all day if I let her, mostly me, my 11-year-old doesn't like it. She complains her hands are too big. Granted, she does have what I lovingly refer to as "meat hooks." She also has big feet, two sizes bigger than mine, and is reed thin and a bit taller than me. She's going to be a tall, thin woman someday. But my nephew is 5'8", with size 11 feet and even bigger hands, and he texts just fine. So I decided to try to figure out if there is some other resaon my daughter doesn't enjoy texting like her peers do.
I am not a big texter. I like a complete sentence, with all the words spelled out, punctuation, the whole kit n'kaboodle. I also like the details. I don't want to read, "Just saw BH, wkng w/MR, got fat. LOL. BTW, R U goin 2 ct 2day TTYL." Which translated reads, "I just saw Brenda Heller, she's working with Martin Roman now. She got fat. Laugh out Loud. By the way, are you going to court today? Talk to you later."
I want to know more. How did Brenda ever get a job with Martin Roman's firm? (I made these names up, just for the record.) What happend to her husband's firm, where she had been working? Did it go under or are they splitting up? How fat is she? Are you sure she's not really pregnant? What would make you think I have to go to court today? Did I mention I had a case set today and I've forgotten about it? (Panic setting in.)
So my problem with texting is it's just a tease. If my friend had called me, I could have asked all those questions, and if she didn't know the answer, she could have asked. I like the story. I want to know everything. And my daughter is the same way. She loves to write. She asks questions when you tell a story, she wants the details. My sister on the other hand will start a story in the middle, leave out the most important details so the ending doesn't make sense, and then get annoyed when I quiz her. She always asks why I am cross-examining her.
Which leads me to two conclusions.
First, my daughter and I don't like texting because we truly enjoy hearing and writing the full story. We're writers, and people who enjoy telling the whole story should not enjoy the shortcuts of texting. We refuse to reduce our writing to initials, missing details, abbreviated words and lost punctuation.
Second, I did not become a lawyer because I am analytical like I always believed. I am not analytical, I just like stories. When I hear part of one, whether it's about a kid whose insurance company wouldn't pay for a surgery or a man convicted of murder who says he didn't do it, I want to hear the rest, the whole story, all the details, and tell it to someone else, whether it's a judge or a jury, who can do something about it.
Texting is fine for people who are satisfied with sound bites and Cliff's Notes. I want the full version, and if I'm not important enough to get it, or if it's not important enough for me to give, why bother in the first place? And I'm proud that my daughter feels the same way.
Holli Castillo Gumbo Justice www.gumbojustice.net
Causes Holli Castillo Supports
American Diabetes Association, American Breast Cancer Association, Lazarus House New Orleans