July 22, 2008
Although you may call me biased because of my age, I find it both funny and frustrating that people who aren’t familiar to texting look at messages like they are written in Chinese. Even as a novice texter, people look over my shoulder whenever I am writing a message and gasp when I type something that’s not in English. There are even wikipedia articles and guide books written by middle aged men which attempt to explain the language, which are completely incorrect (I wonder why). The truth is (in my opinion), anyone over 23 should not even try to learn text, just because the only way to learn it is to talk to 13 year old gossip queens over 50 times a day, and unless you are a stalker, that’s pretty hard to do. But if you do try to learn it, I’m laying down some ground rules for anyone over 30. Number one: please don’t say any text lingo out loud in public (I’ve seen it done many times). It’s just really wrong and makes you look like you are either drunk or your very uneducated. And especially parents, if you say any text to your kids out loud, prepare to be ignored for a time ranging (by the number of text words you said, your tone of voice, and hand motions) from a week to a 5 months. I’m serious. Last rule: When your kid goes to the bathroom and you see his/her computer open, fight the urge to talk to your child’s online friends. I understand the parental need, but successfully executing this task is impossible when you try to imitate your child’s texting. Even if you are fluent in text, your child’s friend will at once know someone new is typing, because of the speed of your words, your language (there are words you don’t know and some you will use that your kid never uses), and last, there is usually a video chat window that is hidden behind other documents, so the friend can see you. This has happened many times to my friends, and trust me, they will always find sneaky ways to get back at the parents who are spying on them. My point here? Texting is a dog eat dog world, and if you aren’t accustomed to the tricks and trades, the hunter will become the hunted.