Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Can One Communicate Through Texting? I can't!

Anyone with children over the age of 13 know that having a cell phone
and using it for phone calling is passe. If you want to get your kids attention
you need to text. Getting their attention and getting information are two 
different things. Just because you can connect doesn’t mean you can 
communicate. Is it me or is it just too hard to get a concise and clear answer? 
Perhaps I’m just too old?

Take a recent event in my household.

I received a call from my oldest upset and angry that his car had broken down
on the way to practice in San Francisco (45 minutes away/50+ miles).
After a long discussion I had with him concerning his options.
He told me he would make a decision and then call me back. 
(And if you are a parent you can predict that no phone call followed in a timely manner.)

After a couple of cell phone calls and leaving messages I resorted to texting.

4:34 pm                
Mom – What’s the plan?
(The initial plan involved him having the car towed prior to practice and me
driving up and picking him up at 9pm. If that was to happen I had to
cancel my plans and juggle some things.)

Son - I’m going to tow it and come back in the morning
(Ok. But tow it when? When I pick you up? Now? When? 
You text “come back in the morning. Does that mean you are staying with 
a friend in the city tonight?)

Mom -  I’m still planning on leaving at 8pm to get you. Am I still picking you up? 
From your message I’m assuming that you are staying with a friend in the city
and the car and you are in a safe place? Talk to me!

Son – I’m safe. Coming home tonight
(Coming home tonight? With me? With car in tow?)

Mom – Who is bringing you home? Me? Or someone else?
(Why am I so confused about my role here?)

Son -  I’m in the tow truck, on my way to the repair shop
(Oh, finally and answer I can understand!)

Mom – Ok. Call me when you are close and I’ll come pick you up.
 Son – OK. Will do
(Finally we are communicating.)

Son – I’ll be at repair shop in 5
Mom – Ok I’m leaving now.
A couple of other noteworthy moments concerning this exchange:

I’m  exhausted after being in a high state of alert for over 5 hours.
And after copying our texting exchange into this blog I notice several things:
I text a lot of words, and my son does not.
I use punctuation and he does not.

(Obviously I am a poor texter. I guess I am too old for this sort of thing.)

I miss talking on the phone.

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