Archive for the ‘TEXT VS. CALLING CAUSES ANGST’ Category

Recently, an AT&T social media representative patiently explained to me that older generations use phone calls, boomers check emails and younger people text.

Texting IS the default of the younger generation. The only scenario in which I could squeeze into that distinction is if you were asking a 90 year-old to describe my age. So, for full disclosure, I do not fit into that group. Duh.

That would mean that I DON’T text. Wrong. I do. I understand that it’s considerate not to barge into others’ lives by ringing their phone when they could be in the middle of _____________. So, texting is like a polite knock at the door. A cultural thing. Social protocol.To be sure, if everyone that wanted to talk to me called me at their will, then my phone would be ringing off the hook. (TEXT: whatsetalkinbout,phone&hook?)

But I do want to at least make sure that younger people understand why older folks, especially their parents, get ticked off when communication is limited exclusively or primarily to texting. The first reason is that we feel like suckers. We don’t blow off phone calls from our kids. Never. Kids come out of our tummies and /or hearts, so we more than raised them. They are literally and figuratively part of us. (TEXT:wecantblowuoff.K?)

Secondly, it’s a control issue. I feel like I’m in K-9 101. I am both the student and the dog. Positive reinforcement. Negative reinforcement. Pick up the phone. Don’t pick up the phone.(TEXT:parentsrnotpavlovsdog. )

Oh, gee, son/daughter, now I get it: You want me to text. (TEXT:verysubtle )

Third, parents know that if a kid is calling, it’s important. But inversely, if a parent calls, it’s not important? (TEXT: canwesaydoublestandard?)

I recently group-texted all the kids on an issue that was very important TO THEM. My wife and I just laughed as all the kids got back to us within seconds. The ironic thing is that it was about getting their new IPHONES. The ultimate inadvertent sting operation.(TEXT:honeywhyrusosurprised?)

Fourth, if my kid is getting married, going vegetarian and moving to a remote Alaskan cabin in the same week, I’d like to actually hear a voice fill me in instead of receiving the incredulous text, “You mean you didn’t see it on Facebook?” That’s double-hurt, because now the entire universe knows about my young new Eskimo BEFORE me. (TEXT: socialmediaisnottheenemydad.)

This communication dance has probably been choreographed in every generation. I can just hear our parents complaining that we never called or visited enough. Even Jesus’ Mom got perturbed when her kid didn’t pick up his phone: “His mother said, “Young man, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been half out of our minds looking for you.” Luke 2:48 The Message (TEXT:whereinheavensnamewereu?)

Most reasonable parents know that their adult children need to spread their wings, so we don’t want to be intrusive and give our offspring the impression that we’re breathing down their necks. Notice I said “adult.” But adulthood also comes with responsibility which includes learning to prioritize time and contacts. (TEXT:parentsshouldrankHIGH.)

I’m sure it’s happening to Lech Walesa, but I’m really not calling for a text-strike by parents. But, stealing from the politicians’ TV ads, “I’m a parent and I approve this “MESSAGE.”Image

If you’re a parent and relate to this, text me, I mean call me, oh, heck, just comment for Pete’s sake.

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