At my last full time job, everyone used Skype to communicate as we all worked at home. My mornings usually began with a chat with my boss that went something like this:
Him: hi how ru?
Me: Fine, and you?
Me: What’s on tap for today?
Him: cn u cll ur client 2 find out what hppned?
Me: Of course, I’ll get on it first thing.
Him: tnx TTYL
Me: Bye. Have a nice day.
If you ever Skype with me or if we text chat on the phone, and even on Twitter (most of the time) I won’t use text speak. It hurts my eyes to read words that aren’t really words and while I believe brevity is a talent, there’s a difference between short and sweet and deliberately shortening words to send a message.
Actually, I don’t text much, but that’s a whole different story.
Every time I go out people are walking around texting. They’re doing it in line, they’re doing it while shopping, driving, dining out, and they’re doing it while attending classes and sessions at conferences. I don’t know about you, but I find it very rude to be in conversation with someone while that same person whips out a phone and starts typing. Even though he’s not opening his mouth to speak, his attention is now focused on another person, interrupting us. I once watched a teen hold up her finger to someone at the DMV in order to get him to stop talking so she could read and respond to a text message. I looked over to see if her mother had anything to say about this display but she was also texting. Maybe they were texting each other.
However, this is about text messaging shorthand and not rude people.
Lately every time I receive an email from someone under 30 or Skype or use a similar instant messaging service, the messages are riddled with “LOLs” and “b4s” and “how r us”. It makes me crazy. Can we not type complete words when communicating online?
The local Starbucks had a sign on their chalk board recently reading” 2 Day’s 2ings.” I asked a girl behind the counter what a “2ing” is and she looked at me as if I was from a different planet. “It’s a pairing,” she said. “Cute right?” No it’s not cute. A “2ing” doesn’t even come close to being a “pairing” it looks like “twoing” which makes absolutely no sense. How much harder can it be to write out the whole word? Shortened words are anything but cute.
Full disclosure: I’ve been known to use a “2” instead of a “to” or “two” on Twitter to make a sentence work, but that’s very rare. I feel the constant use of SMS (text chat speak) makes us lazy. Creative people can find the words to fit in a short space without eliminating too many letters. And Skype and emails? There’s no reason to BRB and LOL because there’s no character count there. Why do we do this? What happened to typing out real words. Better yet, why can’t we use our voices and talk like human beings and not robots?
Call me old-fashioned, but I miss the good old days. The days before text chatting, cell phones and instant messaging. The days when only the “rich” families had more than one phone and we had to get through the day without a constant barrage of messages. If the phone rang while we were with friends, we politely told the party on the other end we were busy and would call back. We went out to dinner and communicated with our family and friends and gave them our full attention. Phone calls during dinner time or after 9:00 were only in the case of a true emergency, and by true emergency I don’t mean to discuss BFFs and FWIWs. Whatever happened to waiting until the next day to find out the gossip? There’s nothing to anticipate anymore because we receive all of our information immediately as it happens.
I don’t want to know “2day’s specials” or have to wait while someone will “brb”. Talk to me, people. Talk to me using real words and not abbreviations. I don’t want to LOL, I want to laugh. I want to have discussions where I don’t have to whip out the SMS dictionary to find out what the other person is talking about. Is that too much to ask? Am I the only person turned off by this?
What are your thoughts? Has text chatting made us lazy and rude?