Wednesday, January 07, 2009

ZOMG TXT = ++ !!!

ZOMG TXT = ++ !!!

File this under "so obvious it kills me" but I feel compelled to write about it anyway...

Yesterday reminded my why text messaging is awesome. Sure, it's often abused, and I'm not exactly innocent of that. I've tried to amend my ways though! I no longer send out those anonymous "What's going on tonight?" or "What are you up to?" or "You still up?" text messages to a number of people at the same time. I do admit to sending out the "I'm DJing tonight at ..." texts from time to time, but that's to a fixed list and only goes out very rarely. Now when I ask someone what they're up to any particular evening I try to personalize it somehow so they know I am actually interested in what they are doing and not just fishing for parties and such.

So yeah, as a basic mode of communication I think text messaging is pretty nifty, but yesterday proved how useful it can be in the dissemination of information. Two instances in particular underscored this point for me.

  • As I was leaving the gym I realized GalPal had sent me a text warning me not to take the Blue Line train into work. Someone had jumped on the tracks and everything was backed up. Because of her warning I was able to hop on a different bus that was just passing by, take an alternate train downtown, and ended up getting to work on time. (Though it should be noticed that texting technology allowed me to contact my boss and let him know I might be late due to the re-route.)

  • Around lunchtime I got a text from my brother asking where to grab a quick bite near where he was serving jury duty. Knowing his tastes I was able to just shoot him back a text with a locale and directions on how to get there. An hour later he sent another text letting me know how great the place was.
I know the two examples above may seem silly, and one could argue that phone calls could have taken the place of texts ... but in both instances they really couldn't. If GalPal had left a voice message I might not have noticed it until it was too late, and I suspect my brother texted me from where he was waiting to be called in for duty, so he couldn't exactly whip out his phone and start yapping. Plus, I was able to send him directions in writing he could refer back to instead of trying to remember them or scribble them down furtively on a scrap of paper. So see, not only is texting helpful, it saves trees!

P.S. Notice how I did not even get into the way texting made its way into last year's Presidential campaign?

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