(Don’t) Text me


So, just yesterday we briefly touched on relationships, or more specifically, my competence in relationships and I dropped a tease for today’s post about texting.  Writers do those types of tricks.  It’s supposed to get you to come back.  Raise your hand if it worked.

About two weeks ago, I put up a post about a friend of mine and our visit to the local fresh market.  What I kept out of that post was that same friend’s urging me to contact her friend’s friend on a potential social outing (more commonly referred to as a date).

These types of suggestions have been rarer since I left the daily grind, so I was a bit surprised at her attempt to “hook me up” with someone.  Especially on hearsay, since she had never actually met the woman herself.  Hmm.

Regardless of the potential doom that scenario implies, I took the phone number and called my friend’s friend’s friend.  After a couple of missed attempts, we managed to connect and gabbed for a bit before agreeing to meet for a lunch the following week.  Since my schedule is more flexible than just about anyone’s, she was going to call me on the evening before and confirm our time and place.

The evening passed without event.  A couple of times I considered calling her, but decided to stick with our “plan”.  I could always call her the next morning, somewhere around 9:30 I figured (early, but not too early).  Being that we start tennis around 8 am, I estimated somewhere after the first couple sets would be a perfect “break” in the action to make the call.

When I plucked the iPhone out of the tennis bag, somewhere around 9:30, I saw I had a text message.  In case you’ve never read the post before, I have a minimum cell phone plan and no text plan.  I don’t have a lot of phone conversations except for my sister and my last girlfriend (wait for it).

So there I am staring at the text message (which, by the way, was asking whether we were still on for lunch) and I had no idea how to reply.  I asked a couple of my tennis partners and one told me there should be a little reply button.  Nope.  Clicking on the message didn’t do anything either.  Finally, after opening the message again, I saw a little pencil icon which took me to a “compose message” screen where I could address the note and respond.

Then she replied.  Uh.  Rinse, repeat.  By the fourth response, I finally figured I could just type in the little white field at the bottom of the screen and press send to “reply”.  I joked with my buddies that without a text plan, this lunch had already cost me a buck and a half.

I began to consider why I was texted instead of called the night before.  My last girlfriend was often frustrated by my lack of a texting plan.  She liked texting, sending pictures and other things which she could do with everyone in her life but me.   For curious readers at home, no, that’s not why we’re no longer a couple.

I had enough time to squeeze in one more set before going home to clean up and as we played, it occurred to me that texting must be infinitely more convenient for people who work than even cell phone calls.  There’s no ringing in the middle of the office or meeting and you can carry on a “conversation” literally under the table.

It further dawned on me that when I was leaving my last job, a little over three years ago now, texting was just coming into its own.  Without kids or a job, I missed the whole evolution from phone calls to texts, which explains why I never saw the need or value in them.  I mean, if it wasn’t critical enough for a phone call, I could just email the person.

It’s stunning to realize how fast that technological advance swept through society.  I doubt texters even realize how short a time they’ve actually been doing texting.  It’s also fascinating to be a witness to how a few months in time can make a person totally excluded from an entire social change.  It’s likely had I stayed in the work force just a half-year longer, I too would have been texting like many of you.

Still, absent a pressing need, I don’t intend to add a text plan to my monthly bill.  I can at least see, now, the advantages of texting, especially for working people.  Should I get into another relationship, I think I would be more agreeable to adding texting than last time.

But for now, no text plan means each text costs me money, so don’t text me, please.

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