Archive for September 23rd, 2008

The Captain Texts The Message

As mentioned in an Ach, Ja segment, I have finally purchased a new phone.  I’ve wanted a new phone for quite a while but I decided to stick with the old one primarily for monetary reasons.  I’m a big fan of free phones and I hate contract breakage fees.  The three cellular phones that I’ve previously owned all came free with a two year plan.  I decided back in April to wait until my Sprint contract expired in September so I could get a free phone and avoid any fees.

On Saturday Megs and I signed up with T Mobile and we both received new phones.  Samsung has done us both well in the past so I chose their flip-model, The Blast.

The features are pretty standard, but one thing really drew me to this model.  Well, two things actually.  I really love the black-and-red color scheme, but I would never pick a phone based solely on the colors.1

The main draw for me was the QWERTY keyboard.  In a bold reversal of a previous boycott, I have decided to start text messaging.  In the past I have openly complained about the unnecessary nature of texting.  Cell phones were made for talking, email for writing notes.  Case closed.

Recently I have seen the light and recognized that texting can be useful.  In case you were wondering, here’s what convinced me.

Top 5 reasons that I changed my mind about text messaging

1.  They now make phones with expanded keyboards.

My original complaint with texting was the extreme amount of keystrokes required to send a message.  Pushing the 7 button four times just to key an “S” seemed rather excessive.

While Blackberries always offered a keypad solution, I discovered that I hate Blackberries at my last job.2

Cell phone manufactures are finally producing affordable models with expanded keyboards.  Here’s the nifty one on my phone.

The QWERTY format is perfect for someone like me who only knows the computer version.  While I’m not a good texter yet, I think I will pick it up quickly.

2.  Some people actually respond faster to text messages.

I only recently realized this phenomenon.  Some of my friends will not answer a ringing phone but will text me back immediately.  For example, my sister is notorious for never answering her phone and never, ever checking her voicemail.  But the couple of times I texted her a question, I received an answer back within five minutes.  And I assume that when my two teenage brothers finally get phones they will only be reachable by text.  If this will make it easier to communicate with certian people in my life then so be it.

3.  This will eliminate the need to relay a phone number verbally.

While I usually prefer speaking to someone rather that receiving a text, the glaring exception is when giving or receiving a phone number.  Relaying a phone number over the phone is terrible.  I hate having to find a piece of paper and a pen and having someone repeat the number twice.  Even worse is trying to scroll through my phonebook to search for a number and making the other party listen silently.

The first time I asked for a phone number and the other person texted it to me instead, a little light went off in my head.  So much easier.

4.  No more screaming into my phone in a crowded or noisy place.

Bars, concerts, festivals, etc. all render a cell phone useless.  Not only do I hate having to yell into a cell phone in public, I hate it when other people next to me are forced to yell.  Plus, I hear alcohol and texting compliment each other quite well…

5.  Many conversations can be summed up in one sentence.

Even though I prefer talking on the phone, my conversations frequently involve one of two phrases:  “Are you on your way here?” or “I’m on my way there.”

Other times I only have one thought I am trying to express, so texting seems like the best way to communicate.  Especially when the thought is not really important.  To quote Chuck Klosterman, “Very often, I (apparently) want to tell people information that is so inane and trivial that it does not even justify making a phone call.” When faced with these situations I will now defer to the keypad.

So to all you texting fiends out there, send me a message.  If you text me then I’ll text you back.  And if anyone has any texting tips for a newbie, let me know.

Ciao,

The Captain

1  Unlike my wife.  I’m pretty sure she picked her model strictly because of the four interchangeable colored face-plates.

2.  Not only are they bulky and clunky, but I hate the idea of reading email when I’m not sitting at a computer.

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