Thursday, 28 December 2006

I'm too texty for this ... um ... shirt

I have a brand spanking new mobile telephone. Not just brand spanking new, but my first. Ever. In announcing this (on the world wide web, no less), I'm declaring defeat.

I've been telling myself for years (hey, I've been telling most of you for years) that mobile phone rejection makes me one cool counter-cultural cat. Along with my rampant underarm hair and my organic vegan fairtrade choc-chip cookie recipe, yes, sister, my personal abstinence from mobile phone ownership has been dismantling the empire one foregone text message at a time. Of course, there've been eloquent tirades to accompany my mobile non-ownership. All you've had to do is ask me to text you on arrival and I've explained at length that the mobile phone is one of the most virulent manifestations of an economy predicated on creating a need for things we don't need, on selling us products that require ongoing expenditure, that I reject such an economy, and my carrier pigeons are totally free-range. I am OH SO EDGY, I've told you. No, I do not have a camera in my phone, I have a camera in my camera, I've said. How about (I know this is unorthodox) we decide where we're going to meet right now?

For quite a while you've put up with this. You've even indulged me. But it's become increasingly clear these last few months that you don't celebrate my exultant inner luddite. In short, every time I boast of my phonelessness, your fingers start phantom-texting the word "tosser".

So I have a phone (you'll all be pleased to read). I haven't inserted its batteries yet. I haven't actually signed up for a payment plan (although, after consulting everyone from William Blake scholars to government officials, I've decided it's going to be some kind of prepaid thingy). The truth is, having willfully ignored the whole mobile fandango for fifteen years, I need an adult education course in SMS-as-a-second-language.

9 comments:

TimT said...

Well, firstly you'll need very, very small fingers. The size of matchsticks, preferably - that way, it's actually possible to punch out an SMS message on the keys with some dexterity. Otherwise, the effect is rather like Fatty Vautin attempting to send an email message using his buttocks alone: IT STINKS!

This is why I never SMS.

blue_haired_jennifer said...

I personally held out until I graduated, which in my high school was the rough equivalent of carrying a club and going 'Oog.'

My particular prepaid-sponsored rebellion is to make every text (NOT txt) perfectly grammatically correct. No abbreviations. You cannot even imagine how that annoys people; their thumbs itch to change 'your' to 'ur' and pepper things with smily faces.

Speaking of thumbs- begin thumb press-ups immediately. You will shortly injure hand muscles you were not even aware you possessed.

alexis said...

Tim: thanks for the tip. I'll try not to text with my bottom.

Blue-Haired: you're really pushing the envelope, there, you grammar-preserver, you. I can't say yet whether I'll be joining you in the fight for "your" over "ur", but there'll certainly be no emoticons. No sirree.

St John Nottlesby said...

Having held the last rampart of Clarity of Expression, under constant attack from cretins who flagrantly mix both numbers and letters in the course of what they call "normal communication" (or, to use the language of the Beast "nrml cmc8tn"), I still revolt quietly when otherwise learned friends of mine send me 150-character or less missives with these heinous abbreviations therein contained.

I, for my part, try to reply to them as if I were cabling Mother from Antigua to announce the birth of my first-born son.

To wit:

smashing good news stop have birthed son stop meet a cinema 8ish stop tally ho stop

Not awfully effective. Hang it all.

alexis said...

St John, this warms me even to the cockles of my heart, to learn that a gent-about-town of your calibre is yet to learn to speak text like a native. The portable telephone is now in operation. I am now wondering why I haven't been inundated with calls.

St John Nottlesby said...

Pshaw! Don't wait for the damned thing to ring. Mine still scares the devil out of me when it does. The Nottlesby Bakelite Special has a certain clangour on it akin to the Bulgarian Cow Bell Orchestra playing the collected works of Igor Stravinsky (like the bit where the Firebird actually gets cremated &c), and it can be most inconvenient to give a great start when one's putting ships in bottles - for instance.

Maria said...

"I am now wondering why I haven't been inundated with calls."

When one acquires the nifty mobile, the next step is to notify others of mobile number ...

Of course, one can take the stance "I only use my phone to call out, not to let others bother me" - while this may lower nuisance, it's less cost effective. Let others pay the cost of the call. Give them your number.

alexis said...

Oh. Right. Yes. That's an excellent point you make, Maria. I suppose I could do that. On the other hand, if people really want to talk to me, they'll find out my number for themselves. And I do still have a whole swag of telephones (home, work, etc) that are not mobicular.

(Forgot to say: thanks so much for the biscuits. They went down a treat. Was very nice of you to visit.)

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