The more I think I know about texting, apparently the less. I have no idea who decided that tiny little buttons that I can barely see would be used to “text” and send messages digitally. Nor did I know, realize or appreciate that the teenager of the species is able to use their opposable thumbs at the same rate as we use our tongue to talk. There is no adult (non-teenager) that I have ever met that can keep up with these kids using phones to keep their peeps enthralled with the heartbeat to heartbeat minutia of their everyday life.
At first I thought I had given birth to a child that was uniquely gifted in this department…but alas, after spending many moments with other teenagers I realized that my child was barely average when it came to texting. Part of the speed at which these texts are sent apparently has to do with the language shortcuts that seem not only to have been developed but are recognized by just about everyone…that is everyone except me. I knew I was cool as I was one of the first of my friends to be able to help and counsel other parents when the term “rents” came up…short for “parents”- OK this seems easy. Then came the misunderstood LOL. Now there is confusion. I was told that LOL means “Lots of Love” but then other places it means “Laughing out Loud.” Really does not make a difference until someone texts that their aunt just passed away and I answer “LOL”….did not matter what I said later… I could not recoup that one.
The usual abbreviations I can handle “u” for “you” and “r” for “are” but sometimes it can get complicated. With a few of my friends now seniors, there is a large variety in what some of these abbreviations can mean.
The lists have the same letters but the meanings are hugely different:
Teenager Text Senior Text
BTW: by the way BTW: bring the wheelchair
BYOB: bring your own booze BYOT: bring your own teeth
TTYL: talk to you later TTYL: talk to you louder
NP: no problem NP: no pants
PRW: parents are watching PRW: physical rehabilitation worker
CSL = can’t stop laughing CSL =can’t stand laxative
TMI: too much information TMI: too much intravenous
IDC: I don’t care IDC: I don’t concentrate
TLC: tender loving care TLC: totally lost continence
SUP – What’s Up SUPS – supper soon?
WDYMBTWhat Do You Mean By That? WDYMMBT Where did you move my bathrobe to?And so to keep up with texting my kids back, I try to dream up cool responses while getting all the acronyms correct. The worst of all is me. I regularly forget where I put the cell phone so most days texting back is not even an option. When I am older I doubt that I will even be able to respond by text unless someone develops an app (application) for locating the essentials in life, like my keys, my purse, my bankcard and of course my cell phone. However at the rate I forget things I may not remember I need any of these as I have now forgotten what the cool text was I was planning on sending.
It may not matter in the end as many of the texts I do send the teenage crowd are often ignored or answered in one and two letter abbreviations that regardless of my building texting dictionary I cannot decipher. . Sometimes the best way to hear back from these kids is to say “I forgot… I wanted to tell u that… (blank space)…love mom” –instant response.
Sadly they don’t realize that all too often I mean exactly that….I forgot what I was going to say…FOR REAL! And I am still too young to legitimately receive any acknowledgement (i.e. discount) at any store for my advancing age in spite of my symptoms!
TTYL (later not yet louder)
The Garden Goat