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Texting, it's not just for kids

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By Becky Barnes

I’ve hit a milestone in my life. Although I turned 50 last spring, that’s not it. It’s not a landmark wedding anniversary or work anniversary.

I, “Techno No”, am a txtr.

I don’t text while I’m driving... I have a hard enough time doing it sitting still. But, in an effort to keep communications open with my children, I had to do something.

My eldest is beyond the texting. She’ll still send a message occasionally. One recent message admonished me for not wearing my glasses when I sent her a message.

“Put ur glasses on, ur msg mks no snts.”

OK.

The youngest is a keen texter and has developed his skills with thousands of text messages.

Seth is in college in Indiana. His school schedule and work schedule are not conducive to a lengthy conversation at a time that fits my work schedule.

Oh, I still get the urgent plea to deposit money in his account. I require that those calls be voice-to-voice. I figure that’s a small enough request. However, we mostly just text.

The most difficult part of texting for me, is keeping it brief.

After all, I make my living with words, so to edit myself to a one-inch square screen is a real test.

Last week, Seth sent a message that needed a response. I felt like it needed more than a one letter or even one word reply.

I set about making my reply. My fingers moved slowly over the keys until I had said everything needed saying.

Send.

Within seconds I received a reply from AT&T telling me that my text would be broken into two messages because of its length. I could cancel or continue.

Frustrated after putting so much thought into my abbreviated message, I pushed cancel, typed in “K” as my response to Seth and sent the abbreviated version of my abbreviated version.

I am worse than a hunt-and-peck typist when it comes to texting, but I still get the job done.

I know how much concentration it takes for me to send just a simple reply. How much more difficult can it be to text while driving, listening the radio and drinking a soft drink?

Coming home from a recent trip to Florida, I noticed numerous drivers texting.

That, my friends, it scary. There are too many things that need your attention when you are behind the wheel.

Kentucky’s legislators gave some thought to this issue during their recent short session. Young drivers be aware that a ban on cell phone use, which includes texting, was added to the intermediate driving criteria.

There are enough distractions on the roadways. Keep your cell phone in your pocket and let your vehicle be your island where you cannot be reached.

There are exceptions. Those are called emergencies.

And, if you send me a text message while I’m driving, I’ll not reply. I would have to find my reading glasses, which  more likely than not, are in the bottom of my purse, which is on the floor of the passenger side.

Leave a message. I’ll get back to you.