News Column

Lindsey Poisson: New phone brings on texting fever

June 22, 2014

By Lindsey Poisson, Erie Times-News, Pa.



June 22--There's no way around it: Having a smart phone is an essential part of modern life.

Especially for my mom, who slowly realized how demanding it's become to keep in touch with her three grown children and two young grandchildren.

Technologically speaking, her previous phone was a dinosaur -- I'm talking about a non-touch-screen flip phone with a display that was practically the size of a postage stamp. But, being very momlike about the whole thing, she never complained. The ancient phone did its job, and she didn't wanted to spend the money to get something better.

So during a trip back home last month, I made it my mission to talk her into getting a better device. I went so far as to actually drive her to a cell phone dealer and ask an associate to walk her through her options.

She needed something easy to use. Something with navigation. Something with a better camera, because she loves taking pictures.

Basically, she needed a phone that wasn't 8 years old. (I wish that was just an exaggeration, but it's really not.)

Eventually, she picked one.

And while my brothers and I are happy that she has a new phone and a growing sense of independence, there's one tiny, unforeseen consequence:

My mom learned how to text.

Sounds harmless enough, right? Truthfully, I don't mind the occasional text. But I'm getting texts from her at 6:22 a.m. with "Good morning Lynn!" -- eight precious minutes before my alarm goes off -- and texts letting me know she's at the doctor's office or out and about.

Sometimes, these texts are a hundred words or so long. They're like little texted novels.

And all the texted smiley and winky faces throughout the day, too, are making me rethink my efforts to bring her into the 21st century.

Ignore the texts, you say? Impossible. People can't just ignore texts. We're conditioned to physically react to the buzz-buzz of our phones whenever a new text is received.

E-mails can be put off, but texts can't. And now she knows it.

Diabolical.

In the grand scheme of things, my mom's fascination with texting isn't a bad thing.

My brothers and I might complain about it, maybe even roll our eyes and think "Oh Mom," but it's a small price to pay.

A few random smiley and winky faces are better than no communication at all.

Besides, the texting will probably die down as soon as the excitement over the new phone subsides.

... Right?

LINDSEY POISSON can be reached at 870-1871 (no texts please!) or lindsey.poisson@timesnews.com. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNpoisson.

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Source: Erie Times-News (PA)


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