Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Welcome to the Texting World
“Give me your cell number so I can text you the information,” the coach said over the (home land line) telephone last week.
“We don’t have texting,” I replied.
He laughed at me. “Well, texting is how we get information to the parents during our away tournaments,” he explained, “so it really is necessary.”
The next day I was on the phone with my cell phone company adding texting to our family plan.
My husband and I have resisted this for several years now, seeing no “up” side to the ability to text information to people, when email and phone calls can do the same job. Everywhere I look I see people looking down at their phones, their thumbs going crazy. Up to this point, I have been happy to be relatively immune to the outside world when I am out with my children. The cell phone only rings if one of my children needs to get in touch with me. I can enjoy the here and now.
I started to have second thoughts while at Pony Nationals in North Carolina two weeks ago. I was at a park in the middle of nowhere at 7 a.m., my 12- and 5- year olds in tow. I was carting a medium-sized cooler full of ice and water bottles. I was on foot when I realized I was at the wrong field, and there were six other fields in the park. Then I was told there were copperhead snakes in the woods.
I called one of the other mothers on the team, who picked us up, brought us back to our car, and had us follow her to the correct field. When I got there, the other parents said that the manager had texted them the correct field number.
So I thought maybe, just maybe, I would add it on to my plan before the next school year started. My older daughter has been missing team texts for cross country, and my son’s baseball team now uses texting as its primary form of communication. I also get bad reception on the phone and can hardly hear the person on the other end.
I tried to send my husband my first text. “I” I wrote and hit send by accident.
He called me back. “Did you try to call me?” he asked.
“No. I tried to write I love you.”
“Why don’t you just call me?” he stated, annoyed.
“I’m sure the office will appreciate you have texting now,” I offered.
“The beeper works fine,” he insisted.
Friday found us on the way to Massachusetts for the tournament with this new team. My 12- and 14- year olds were pretty quiet in the back seat, giggling once in a while about something someone had texted them. They were communicating with every girl they knew who had a cell phone, even the ones they don’t usually talk to.
We got to their cousins’ house and found there was no cell phone reception in the house. I was slightly relieved. Until that evening when I was still waiting for a text from the coach about what time to meet for breakfast. I had to go out in the middle of the street, being eaten by bugs, to find a signal.
They locked up the house, not knowing I was out there. I rang the doorbell. My brother-in-law opened the door, surprised. “I was trying to get a text,” I answered, embarrassed.
“Welcome to the texting world,” my friend texted me.
“Thanks,” I replied.
“Yeah,” she wrote.