I've never liked talking on the phone and, now, with the advent of text-messaging, I see little reason to. In fact, I get annoyed when people phone me when they could text me. It's different talking to friends or family far away, when you want to hear the sound of their voice and you're talking just to talk and catch up. But the simple exchange of information? I'm all about the texting.
My phone is full of text-messages from my baseball players, with messages like (I'm quoting) "Ima b at practice late 2day because I have a lot of work 2 make up" or "Making up work... sorry I miss practice but I'm tryna stay in tuned in class so I can continue 2 play." It's my new thing this year, and it's working well. I get really annoyed when players are late to practice, even for coach class. I'm certainly not annoyed that they're at coach class, but not knowing bugs me, because I like to plan detailed practices. So the new rule this year is, rather than trying to send a message with another player, they have to text me. I know by 3 o'clock who will be 20 minutes late, who will be 45 minutes late, or who will be absent, so I can plan out our practice.
[Obviously, above, it's clear that I allow students to send me text-messages written in text-message language. This is fine with me, as it's different from an email, which should be formal. The most unusual abbreviation I get is "ard," which I figured out means "okay" or (in my best midwest accent) "alrighty!" but I can't really figure out the correct pronunciation.]
It's the same with my friends and colleagues. I would much rather have a text message about where happy hour is than a phone call. When I get a needless phone call, I just feel like shouting, "What, are you 90? Text, text, text!" It's cheaper, quicker, and more efficient.
I guess one of the big things I hate about phone calls is their inherant insistence that you have to talk to me right now. I like to do things at my own pace. My sister bugs the crap out of me sometimes because her messages are always like, "... so, call me back when you get this" and I just want to say, "No, I'll call you back when it's convenient for me." And that time is usually while driving. I only like to talk on the phone while driving. Often, I'll save up all my return calls to folks for when I have to drive up to Towson or something. I can drive that route in my sleep, and feel like I can barely do it when I'm not talking on the phone. I'm going to have a hard time when the cell phone ban is passed. I know a lot of readers probably are anti-cell phone for drivers, and that's fine; I don't talk on the phone when it's busy or when I don't know where I'm going. So far, I've got a 14-year clean driving record, without an accident (except for the infamous hitting a curb covered by snow in a parking lot back in January of 2003) or a ticket (thought I admit I've sweet-talked my way out of a couple). So, just rest assured that it's all those other drivers that can't drive with a cell phone.
All of this hating on phone talking is strange for me, as my immediate family seems to have phones permanently attached to their ears. But, I'm happy to report that someone else in the family hates it; yes, Grandpa McHenry hates talking on the phone as much as I do. I think I've talked with him on the phone maybe five times - tops - in my life. This isn't because I never call G&G; rather, Grandma almost always picks up. Whenever Grandpa has picked up on rare occasions, he almost immediately passes the phone to Grandma, or figures out some reason to hang up, usually by saying, "Your grandma isn't here... Yup, I'm doing good... okay!" I do be that if he were of the generation of text-messaging, he would also be a supporter. I mean, seriously, just text me.
[It just struck me that one could do a psychological analysis about me based partially on this phenomenon. I've been reflecting on this a bit lately. I mean, I'm basically a private person, don't like to share too terribly much (well, I like to, but don't feel like I can trust people with the intimates, so I generally don't), yet I have a blog that I relate stories about my life nearly every day. I think it's because I want to communicate with people, but I want to control the communication. Same with phoning vs. texting. I like to text and to receive texts, because I'm more in control of the information exchange. With phoning, especially if I'm receiving a phone call, I have no control of the situation at all. Likewise, with the blog, I'm in total control of the information that I relate. Hmmmm... pretty interesting, I think.]
I can be a very picky and opinionated person about some things. This is clearly one of them. I also hate that people wuss up their coffee by putting cream and sugar in it.
PS: Gale, you can still call me. See, you fall in that "friends and family" thing described in the first paragraph.
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