Monday 18 January 2010

The Joy of Text

Just before Christmas I lost my mobile phone, a random act of perimenopausaul madness? Probably. Of course with mobile -dependency at an all time high over the festive period, I was in a bit of a pickle because, obviously, I hadn't backed up those all important numbers one mindlessly sticks in the phone. However, having got over the initial shock and horror it was a strangely liberating experience, no paranoid rummaging through the handbag halfway through the movie wondering did I/didn't I turn it off (I once got a text, mercifully undetected, four rows from the front while Dames Judi and Maggie were giving it their all. The thought still brings me out in a cold sweat). No frantic checking, annoying interruptions, confusing texts or missed calls that randomly change plans but never actually reach you in time. My home phone began to ring again with the voices of family and friends as they learnt of my plight, instead of unknown well-wishers enquiring after my need for a new credit card. This is the way forward, I thought, I'm going to massively reduce my gratuitous use of the mobile phone. A resolution that went right out the window within the first 24 hours of firing up the replacement...........

But, with so many ways to keep in touch why, then, is it so hard to communicate? Is it just my age, or do things seem to be more complicated now we have phones, mobile phones, answer phones and computers? I tried to make an arrangement with a couple of friends last week. A series of communal emails were deployed followed up with changes by texts and then finally the whole thing was cancelled by email, and back up phone calls, because I don't sit in front of my laptop all weekend or own a pocket sized email receiver. Whatever happened to one conversation to decide time and place and to which the only reason you didn't show was you were either hospitalised or dead? Messages criss-crossed out of sequence and all in all it was confusing and exhausting.

As if that wasn't enough, now my mother has embraced silver-surfing. When she's not 'waiting in' for an email (I've tried explaining the fact that it's not a telegram and it's beauty is that you can go out and yet still receive) then she's writing missives followed by phone calls to ask if I've seen said email yet, and then she tells me what's in it. I've had to put a block on her sending me anymore links to random things or pictures of the dog or snow or the dog in the snow. It really is more information than I require.

And then there's the joy of texting and all it's hidden dangers. A friend of mine who otherwise appears to be sailing through her menopause with the greatest of ease, keeps accidentally sending texts to my home phone by mistake. So it is that I discover day-old messages from a nameless, electronic voice telling me it's: 'running late, make it at 8' or 'will meet you there instead'..... After a lovely evening with an old friend who'd recently moved, I sent him a text confirming my enjoyment, saying 'your home looks lovely well done'. However, I didn't check the predictive spelling and sent 'your good looks lovely well done' which he thought meant I was congratulating him on still being good looking and led to a rather confusing response, although it also earned me several compliments too. Then I received a random message from a woman I'd recently met, saying 'Big kiss'. Dazed and confused, and with imagination working overtime, I wondered long and hard what it might mean. Of course what it actually meant was her nephew had not received his birthday text.....

To tip: Let Nurse Jackie, BBC 2, Monday 10pm, get you through January.


  1. I must be one of the very small minority who never got into the whole mobile phone/texting thing. I have a mobile but it's kept more for emergencies rather than to allow people to contact me. I rather like the fact that if I'm out, I'm out - can't be contacted - so friends and family know to call me only on the land line. I can fully appreciate therefore how liberated you felt .... for the short time you were phoneless!

    Thanks for the heads up about Nurse Jackie. Telly has been so dire in recent weeks that a recommendation of something new like this is most welcome. :)

  2. Hello, Thanks for stopping by my blog. Im with you on the mobile/texting/email etc. Spookily today my husband gave me a spare mobile telephone because he is tired of me keeping him waiting when he comes to pick me up etc. Today he was dropping me off in the car so I could go shopping and collecting me when Id finished. I dont often wear a watch so I give estimates and Im always late, so he arrives at the destination at the time I say, and because I guess what the time is I get to where Im supposed to be and find my husband has been waiting half an hour...... he keeps grumbling if only you had a mobile. I did have one and I was sick of it so a year or more ago I removed the sim card and gave the phone away. Today he put my sim card in his old phone and straight away text 8 text bleeps arrived.....Grrrr! I wasnt grumbling though when I bought a mirror I wasnt expecting to buy and I was able to call him to be picked up right outside the shop (when it suits eh?) LOL (sorry thats text speak) X!

  3. Hello... and thanks for visiting my tales blog, always nice to see a new commentator, or commentor, whichever is the correct word. I love your blog...smiles a lot and shook head even more as I have never understood the predilection some folk have for not wanting to be separated from their mobile phone, for this need in them to be in constant touch with people, or to have the ability so to do.
    We never answer the home phone, let the answer service take the call, but thankfully, the only people who call are salespeople who must get mighty frustrated with our number. (Yes, I know they are only doing their job, but don't care). Nor do we have mobiles switched on, except my husband has his when he is away from the house in case I need to get in touch and we take it when we go out as our car is in its dotage and although it has only let us down once in all the years we've had it, you never know when it might suddenly stop.
    And I HATE all these abbreviations people use... LOL and so forth. What's wrong with speaking proper?