Overcoming a Technology Gap: Texting


I’ve overcome a technology gap: I’ve learned how to text. Were I about five or ten years younger no doubt I’d have mastered this long ago or been ostracized for not knowing how. But when bought my first cell phone back in 2001, they were mainly used for – get this – phone calls. Now they’ve morphed into amazing communication devices. And though I like some of the extra gadgets on my cell phone like the camera and occasionally use them, texting has been one of those things that eluded me until last week.

It started when my brother (10 years younger) sent me a text from New York telling me that he and his buddies were going be in the audience for an episode of The Late Show. I wanted to text him back and tell him I wasn’t going to watch unless he or one of his friends did something stupid to get on camera.

Of course writing my thoughts out in a text one letter at time (the only way I knew how to do it) would take forever. And I didn’t have the time because I was at work and in the middle of project. So I handed the cell phone to the company’s receptionist and asked to type the response to my brother. Her hands flew in a furry over the keys and in about 15 seconds had typed out the response I requested.

“It’s amazing how fast you can type that out,” I said.

It’s easy when you have predictive text,” she said.

“Predictive text?” I said feeling like an idiot.

The receptionist them explained how it worked and then showed me how to do it. I went back to my office and quickly composed a text to Marathon Girl telling her I was going to be a little late coming home. Since I never text, Marathon Girl immediately called after reading the message and asked if I was mad at her.

“Why do you think I’m mad at you?” I said.

“You sent me a text message instead of calling,” she said.

“I’m not mad,” I said excitedly, “I just learned how to text.” And spent the next five minutes explaining to her how easy it was to send text messages using predictive text. To prove the point I sent her some loving text messages after our call ended.

I have no plans to text on a regular basis or become one of those people where it’s the preferred method of communication. But should that be the best way to send someone a message, it’s nice to know I can do it.

No doubt this will come in handy when I need to get hold of my kids once they have their own cell phones – if it’s still the preferred method of communication.