Friday, January 30, 2009

I'll Have My People Text Your People and We'll Do Lunch

So there I was, headed to a YW presidents’ luncheon at the home of a sister in another ward. I’d looked up directions to her house online and they looked pretty straightforward, plus I’d been there once before, so I foolishly figured I’d be okay without writing the directions down. Granted, I couldn’t exactly remember the name of the street where I supposed to turn, but I knew it was Oak-something, so I figured I’d know the sign when I saw it. As it turned out, Oak was a recurring theme in street names in this area, and I didn’t know which Oak was the right one. Whoops. So I drove around a bit and made myself thoroughly late, then stopped and did the logical thing—took out my cell phone, called my sister in Phoenix (750 miles away) and asked her to look up directions for me. She went online, found directions, told me which Oak I wanted, and I was good to go.

Remember the olden days when getting directions meant unfolding one of those flappy paper maps (the ones I always had trouble re-folding correctly)? Now it’s easier for me to outsource direction questions to Phoenix. Technology is awesome, if slightly weird. Once my daughter asked me to stop by the home of one of the early morning seminary carpool mothers. My daughter had left a textbook in the carpool car and needed it back. By now, though, it was a bit past genteel visiting hours, being 9:30 at night. I knocked on the door, but no one answered. Even though I was sure the family was still awake, it seemed like a violation of door etiquette to pound on the door so late in the evening. So, standing on the doorstep, I took out my phone, called my daughter at home and asked her to instant message the family’s teenage son, who was likely on the computer. She instant messaged him and told him to go answer the door. Naturally, he was a bit confused, but he answered the door and I got the textbook. With technology like that, who needs doorbells?

I find cell phones very handy (yes, they can be overused and abused, but so can just about any technology). Cell phones are great for parents. We can go on a date, knowing if there's a problem, our kids can get in touch with us. Cell phones are also useful in large places like amusement parks, zoos, and Costco where you might lose track of members of your party. It’s very handy to be able to punch some buttons and say, “Where are you?” rather than wandering through endless aisles trying to spot your husband or daughter.

I'm still behind the times, though, since I'm not adept at texting. I can do it . . . sort of . . . but very slowly, and I get stumped easily and no, I don't remember how to turn off the automatic-word-finishing feature. The other day I handed my daughter my phone and asked her to write a text message for me, since I knew she could whip it out effortlessly.

If I do ever get good at texting, it will probably be right before the technology revolution moves on to some completely different way of communicating and I'll be back at square one.


Jennie said...

Fun blog! I'm hopeless at texting. I have a tendency to write complete sentences and spell every word right. The only person I would dare text is Annette Lyon. She, at least, understands spelling and grammar compulsions. I'll admit that I've used that same ploy to get someone to answer the door and what's a few thousand miles when I need a bit of information quickly and I have a cell phone. I just talk faster than I can text.

Gale Sears said...

Yes indeed, Stephanie, Technology (especially cell phones) are a boon. I can remember, back-in-the-day before cell phones, that I'd be driving late to a meeting, and I'd have to stop at a store to ask if I could use their telephone.
Psst...I don't text either.

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

I love, love it all! Your stories sound so similar to stuff I've done. So funny! And I'm so glad to live now.

I love texting because sometimes you don't have time for a full-blown conversation. I do have to admit, though, I'm a texting nerd. I use all the punctuation and check my spelling.

Ready for some texting insanity? 13,000. That's the number of my daughter's texts last month. Yes, I said 13,000. Thankfully, we have a family texting plan. Otherwise I'd have to kill her.

Cheri J. Crane said...

My children mock my attempts at texting, but I'm improving. =)

Jeri Gilchrist said...

Such an awesome post, Stephanie! I'm so pathetic at modern day technology. Texting is way beyond me. My son can text faster than he types. (of course I can't do either...) If it makes you feel any better, I don't think it would be all that hard to get lost finding streets in your area. When we visited there, I was clueless the entire time I was there. But such a beautiful area!