Not that I’m a total Luddite. I do, for example, prefer to run the dishwasher over washing dishes by hand. And as chronicled previously, I have, on two occasions, reached the semifinals of the TV Remote Manipulation National Championships.
Despite my burgeoning technological capabilities, it took me a long time to get into this whole texting things that the kids, including my son, and the other young people, including my wife, are into these days.
Concerned about a current issue? Want to share your point of view? We want to hear from you. Send a letter to the Editor. Click here!
For years the only way I knew to respond to text messages was with a Y or an N, for “yep” and “nuh-uh.” Sadly, those options didn’t work for vital questions such as what my sizes are in order for friends, loved ones and random texters to buy me presents.
Not that I didn’t find texting a fun sensation. I loved that we had a whole new generation writing in a style created by the twirling purple dwarf of love, Prince. Still, I hadn’t learned how to manipulate my cell phone to send messages beyond one letter. It was not that I wasn’t interested. It was more that I didn’t have time to learn. I’m often busy collecting awards and such.
Over the holidays, during some rare down time, my son and wife taught me to text. What I found is it’s a slow, cumbersome way to communicate. I was told it would get faster with practice.
My issue, though, is I need to respond quickly to inquiries of others now. It is vital to our Valley and our society. One admirer once called me the Plato of our generation, although he misspelled it Play-Doh. I tried to correct him but my e-mail to him was blocked.
Delays in responses, of course, mean people have to wait to hear about my deep philosophical stances on issues of local, national and world significance. I can’t exactly do that if I am pecking away at my phone like a hen in a Foster Farms feed yard five hours after feeding.
Still, I haven’t given up. I’m not a quitter. OK, I am a quitter if it involves hard work, particularly physical labor in the heat, but not on something just irritating like trying to learn to text. And the truth is I have gotten better at it.
But just when I was getting to the point of being a full-blown texter — you know, one of those people who ignores his dying granny at family reunions to text and who looks away from the roadway while driving to respond via text to someone vaguely familiar miles and miles away — I heard on the radio that texting is on the way out and tweeting is on the way in, as it affords more privacy, immediacy and other technological advantages that I don’t understand. The report stated that hip young people and the glitterati, if you will and you just might, all tweet now.
I’m going to have to get a Twitter account, I guess. I’m anticipating I’ll be up and running with that by late 2019.
Bret Kofford teaches writing and communication at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus. His opinions don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of SDSU or its employees. Kofford can be reached at Kofford@roadrunner.com