It's called a mobile phone, but we all know why we really love our handheld devices: they give us freedom from actual conversation. Texting is the new talking, and not just for teens, twenty and thirty-somethings. Even boomers are getting in the game.
Admit it: it's convenient, it's fast and it's mostly reliable. Sure, you can wring your hands and declare the end of human discourse, the crumbling of quality communication, but the truth is, many of us may be communicating more by talking less.
A look at some of the most ridiculous, handy and awesome things we do with text messaging:
1. Avoid talking, period. As many know, this is most convenient in dating. Don't feel like having a real conversation? Simply text a quick hello to satisfy the need to "touch base," without really putting in much effort. This writer calls that "maintenance texting." Likewise, when a flirtation (or for some people, relationship) has run its course, simply bid your goodbye with a few simple words, such as "not working out. ttyl." No conversation is way less stressful. Cowardly? Psshaw. That is simply smart time management.
2. Replace the greeting card. Who needs a card to feel special on a birthday, anniversary or important holiday? A text that takes 2 seconds to type is just as good as a thoughtful, handwritten note picked out just for you and lovingly stamped and mailed to your home address, right?
3. Get instant sports news. Jason Daffner, 34, loves this feature. From his phone he gets instant sports updates and scores, all through Twitter. This is key during Falcons games when this season ticket holder keeps tally on other events while watching his favorite team.
4. Vote for your favorite reality TV star. Texting your vote about TV stars or poll questions is an easy way to believe you have real stake in (mostly) fictional outcomes.
5. Donate to your favorite charity. This method of texting is a simple way to have real stake in real outcomes.
6. Keep tabs on money. As 31-year-old Buckhead resident Cristian Suarez joked, simply rely on text messages from your bank to let you know when you're one vodka tonic away from blowing your paycheck on a Friday night.
7. Raise kids. OK, this may be a stretch, but how many of the parents reading this article have texted their child to make sure he/she is alive and well? Now how many have texted baby-sitters or their kid's soccer coach about practice? Mary Kay Woodworth, mother of four, even admits to texting her teen daughter in the morning to get her out of bed.
8. Too shy to raise your hand in class? No problem. Some classrooms, like those at Georgia State University, use technology that allows students to text questions during class, which are then broadcast on a screen for the professor to answer. This spares them the embarrassment of actually speaking or being noticed.
9. Google anything from directions to weather by texting your query to GOOGLE, or 466453. You can even find your closest Starbucks by texting your zip code to MYSBUX, or 697289. In other words, the world is your text-tastic oyster, no speech required.
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