Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In the wrong hands

As of this past weekend I have text messaging enabled on my phone.  Joel thought it would be a good idea, so I've now officially moved into the society of annoying people who walk with their heads down bumping into things in stores while staring at their phones.  Yep, I'm one of 'em.

There I am, laboriously picking out the letters on the cellphone keypad.   I can type, with varying degrees of accuracy, roughly 70 words per minute on a normal keyboard, but phones are something else again.  Just to say 'hello' is the #4 twice, wait for the letter to stop flashing, ok, #3 twice, wait, wait, ok, #5 three times and #6 three times, and voila! in about three minutes I have said 'Hello' and nothing more.  Back to the keypad for 'how r u?'  Then I forget to hit the send button.

When the boys first acquired their cellphones, Dave was the first one to have texting enabled.  About a year later, Joel joined in.  Often I felt as if we were miles apart as we sat at the same table with two boys texting away 'BRB and POS and WTF' etc.
 (1. If over age 50, see footnote for explanation of acronyms)

Wait a minute; shortening the word 'etcetera' to 'etc.' might well be the first of the acronyms in the history of communications, or was it SOS?  And I wonder if fans of proper English detested the shortcut way back in the day?  I doubt they were ROFLMAO, though some may have been.   (see footnote 2)

The thought of texting while driving and the recent news of how many accidents have been caused because of it has really hit home with me in this past week.  It takes all of my middle-aged concentration and then some, not to mention raising my eyeglasses complete with bifocals so I can look out the bottom of them (looks like I will need trifocals soon) to see the tiny letters on the keypad.  Teenagers' fingers fly effortlessly over the keys as they zing off texts without a hitch; did you ever watch them do it?  Truly amazing,  and should keep another generation of hand surgeons in business treating CTTS (Carpal Tunnel Texting Syndrome) in the future.  Don't worry, I will not be trying to text anything while engaged in piloting a motor vehicle.  You're all safe from me.

Anyway, just learning how to text is a big accomplishment for me.  I'm still having trouble setting the ringtone on my cellphone--why does it insist on changing the volume every time I touch it?  Carl and I are getting as bad as the younger generation; we were in the public library Monday night and instead of walking over to get me, Carl texted me to come to the back of the library.

The only problem was my cellphone which I thought I had switched to Silent Mode was somehow on Five Alarm Fire Bell With Siren mode.  Of course it was zipped into my jacket pocket with the sticky zipper that I cannot get open in under ten rings.  Sorry, library patrons, sorry, 52 year old woman with too much technology, take away my cell.

A few years ago, I attended a funeral for a distant relative.  The church was full and the acoustics were truly cathedral-like, just perfect for the clear-throated soprano soloist hitting her high notes right on key and her accompanying choir.   Made a person feel as if they were listening to the Angels of Heaven.  Breathtaking.

The eulogy was given, a daughter and son both gave their sad and tear-filled goodbye speeches to their father and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. 

The priest called for a moment of silence to remember our dearly departed brother.  We all bowed our heads.

Then, out of nowhere,  a sudden burst of  un-heavenly music filled the church---it was Steven Tyler of the band Aerosmith belting out:

"That Dude looks like a lady......Dude, dude, dude, dude looks like a lady................." 

Every head in the church whipped around to find the culprit.  It was easy to figure out who it was, another furiously blushing middle-aged woman frantically clawing through her purse looking for the offending cellphone.  She was trying to shut it off, but not before the clear refrain rising to the rafters of the acoustically blessed church:

"Ooh what a funky lady...............................
She like it, like it, like it, like that,
Ooh............... he was a lady"

I swear I tried not to laugh, and camouflaged behind my Kleenex, maybe it did appear I was in deep mourning.  I meant no disrespect to the deceased, truly, and I felt for the poor red-faced woman who tried to make a discreet exit out the back door.

I bet she thought she had her phone on Silent Mode too.   Modern technology in the wrong hands.....see what it leads to? 

1. BRB= Be Right Back
    POS= Parent Over Shoulder
    WTF= Ok, not for polite company and not 'Why The Face'?

2. ROFLMAO=Rolling On Floor Laughing My A.. Off


Anonymous said...

Karen, this happened before cell phones. We were all in church and during the services mom must have bumped her purse. The laughing machine was launched and she couldn`t stop it. Dad was not too pleased. Sis and I had a devil of a time to hide our laughter. B

The Dutch Baker's Daughter said...

Texting while driving---I don't know how they do it either. My daughter was giving power point presentations in the third grade. It must be like learning have to start young.