This I Believe

Mary - 07075, New Jersey
Entered on September 7, 2007

I believe in the power of text messaging. The messages are short enough to read in seconds but strong enough to last for days.

I’m pretty new to text messaging having preferred all these years to speak to people the old fashioned way – personally. But then I started receiving messages when friends and family knew I was facing a difficult task or to simply just say, “Hi” or “Thanks” and “I Love You.”

My first night parking in the college faculty parking lot was a defining moment for me. I no longer had to search for parking in the student lot – After years of studying and juggling jobs to make it through school, I had made it to professor status and the parking lot proved it. I sent a text to a friend along with a picture of the sign “Faculty Parking Lot” and she sent back, “I’m so proud of you.” Now if I had called her she would have said the same thing but then she would have launched into discussing her day, I would have shared mine, we’d complain about our husbands and then hang up. With texting, the moment was all mine but I was still able to share the moment with her and she, her pride in me.

This same friend sent me a text from the bathroom while I waited for her at our dinner table. We were finally able to get a reservation at a very exclusive, very expensive restaurant and she developed the runs soon after the first course. Her text: “Hvng trble n here!”

Driving and texting will soon be outlawed throughout the country but I get a lot done with my phone in one hand with my other hand on the wheel. I’ve texted an “I love you” to my husband, a “Dinner tonight?” to a cousin, a “Can’t babysit, sorry!” to my sister-in-law and “Call mom!!” to my brother on more than one occasion.

I recently reunited with a relative that I lost years ago to a nasty family feud. We now meet each other a few times a month and we work at putting our relationship back together again. But what moved us forward the most was her recent text: “Im so glad we r spking again – missd u all thse yrs.”

Texting also helps those of us who have a hard time with words. I’ve received an “I’m Sorry” text from someone not so generous in the doling out of apologies and while I would have liked it in person, I knew the text was hard enough and was thankful for the crumbs.

And on the occasion, and this should be used sparingly, when canceling on a friend is just too thorny to do in person, a simple, “Srry, can’t make it 2night” saves us the difficulty of letting down someone we care about.

So go ahead, reach out and text someone.