Death to Text

“Death to Text


Growing up, one of my best friends was Mavis.  We hung out for several hours at a time.  That’s right! The Mavis Beacon program taught me how to type. I was challenged sitting at the keyboard.  “sdfs, jklk, sssdd, jklll, asda, jjkl”.  I watched those skills increase over the years and have now become a speed demon when it comes to typing.

The key to typing was to use your eight fingers (and two thumbs for the spacebar) to be able to work an entire keyboard – 26 letters, 10 numbers and a bunch of extra symbols.  Even typing this, its amazing to watch my fingers do the work with what seems like very little thought from my brain waves.

But now life is different.  Texting is the new thing.  Although it’s similar to typing, the process is the exact opposite.  With texting, you primarily use your thumbs.  How goofy is that?  And, the more you can abbreviate a word, the more ‘hip’ you seem.  IDK- I don’t know, TTYL – talk to you later, ur – your.  While I admit it can be a quick and easy way to communicate, it can also lead to confusion.

Someone I know was in a horrible accident recently.  My friend had been keeping me updated on his progress. She wrote, ‘although he will be d/c’ed soon’!  Are you serious (I thought to myself)?!  Deceased?  I just saw the guy two weeks earlier at a party.  I couldn’t sleep the entire night thinking how this person’s life would be cut short.  I wondered about his son, I wondered about his pain.  How do you prepare to die?

I called my friend the next day to get an update.  After talking for awhile, she mentioned that he was going home.  She didn’t mention the ‘death’ word so I thought she was trying to avoid talking about it.  So I brought it up and reminded her about the email.   She said, “Michelle, I meant he was going to be d/c’ed, DISCHARGED, soon!”  We both started laughing hysterically.  It’s amazing how one little word can be misinterpreted to mean a completely different thing.

So, the next time you let your fingers do the walking or your thumbs do the talking, be careful with what you write – it can be the difference between life and death!

M.Y.  October 2008

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