Technology has made it possible to never have to use the telephone to communicate. But during a phone call both parties know that the conversation occurred. Then there is a clear ‘goodbye’.

The problem with texting is that it is ambiguous sometimes, not to mention that we have once again turned a noun into a verb.

I often find that my humor doesn’t translate well through text – even in an e-mail. So it is usually best to try to disengage my penchant for joking.

Then there is the time line. How soon after sending a message should you expect to hear back from the person who you sent it to – especially if it is the first time you sent one to them? I start thinking after a day or two that the recipient failed to receive the message. But if I send another it might appear pushy. Hmmm! Yet if they didn’t get the text, it could look like I was the problem.

And when do you stop responding with someone who is quick to respond? Two texts? Five? Witty banter sent back and forth is fun, but time consuming.

Can you still spell correctly? That’s another talent we seem to be losing. R u up 4 it? I would normally present it this way – are you up for it. But each character has value, so we shorten everything. Sometimes I have to toy with a text to figure out what it means as the words are so poorly spelled.

Do you text and drive? North Carolina has joined several states that have passed safe driving laws about this problem. But the ping of an incoming message is hard to resist. It helps to keep the phone away from the driver’s seat.

There are some people who are great texters. I have friends who can text short invitations and with a quick response, we’ve managed to shorten planning an event into a mere few seconds. Or we’ll text when we’re going to be free to take phone calls and meet for lunch. It is very civilized and right to the point.

A friend who’s a flight attendant will often text when she is flying out of the country. I know where she is and when to expect her back.

My son can carry on a conversation with someone in the same room, while texting back and forth to another person – or people – without missing anything that was said. I can’t even write a check and talk simultaneously or the words in the conversation wind up on the check itself. This worked great in college when taking notes during class was tantamount to passing the course, but it hinders my ability to talk about one thing and text about another.

How are you with texting? Does it seem to save time or waste it? Are you a natural? Do you have time lines you follow for a response? Do you text and drive?

Post your texting pros and cons here.

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