- December 3rd, 2008
- 2 Comments
Last Thursday I received the following text message: “Happy Thnxsgvng. I didnt hear yr call. call me when u can. luv, dad” Ohh Dad. Obviously, texting isn’t his first language. But, it’s the thought that counts. And seeing as just one year ago the thought to text wouldn’t have even crossed his mind, it counts for quite a bit. Apparently, he’s not the only one getting the idea. From a recent post on Iconoculture:
- 20 percent of 55 to 64 year-olds are tapping out messages in 2008, up from 13 percent just two years ago, according to a Sprint study. And three quarters of those texters are messaging their kids (MarketWatch 10.22.08).
- Staying in touch with offspring in college drives many Boomers to write with their thumbs. So does the rapid response time: kids under 30 [Editor’s Note:kids?] are four times more likely to reply to a text within minutes, compared with a voicemail message
If only my parents had been clued in to that second stat back when I first moved away. Like many college freshmen faced with an overbooked academic and social schedule, I found keeping in touch—not just with Mom and Dad, but in general—to be an uphill battle. Of course, when it came to the former the situation got a little stickier than it did with my high school friends. It wasn’t so much the actual phone sessions as the time between calls that caused problems. Whenever we didn’t connect, the parent in question would leave a message and then wait about a day or so before calling back. Rest assured, as I write that now I see it as a reasonable enough course of action. Nevertheless, at the time it seemed excessive and effectively just served to irritate me and frustrate them all before we’d even started talking.
Honestly, I wasn’t trying to ignore them. In fact, I would have preferred to keep them in the loop (less explaining to do when we eventually did get to talk.) I was just.. busy. And stressed out. And sometimes it seemed like talking to them at the particular moment when they called would only make matters worse. What I really wanted to do was reschedule for a time that worked best for me. I think you can see where I’m going with this.
Even now texting has proven a useful tool in parent-daughter communications. Reminiscent of freshman year, when I first moved to New York and started working full-time l found it a struggle to fit in calls to/from home. But, in the past year or so, since they started texting, it has become significantly easier. Messages like the one Dad sent on “Thnxivng” really do help alleviate the tension generated during a lengthy game of phone tag. Also, simple questions that don’t necessitate full-length calls (“What date are you flying home?”) come across a lot less like nagging when they appear on the screen. So, I guess what I’m really trying to say is “Thnx dad! luv, meredith.”
Great interview with David Crystal, author of “Txting: The Gr8 Db8” on NPR’s Talk of the Nation