I live in a 27 story building. And elderly tenant went into the hospital. I joined forces with a younger tenant to help take care of the elderly woman’s dog. We coordinated by phone text because we both had that capability and it made sense. We were on different schedules, she might be asleep when I was awake. The text was ideal because it was unobtrusive. She was not a big email user. We checked messages when time permitted. I had never previously had a need for phone texting even though I had the ability on my blackberry. My stepson also has a blackberry but we both use blackberry messenger which is even more convenient than texting.
David… try to be more open minded in life and realize that what may seem useless to you might be very useful to other people. What you express is simply narrow minded. I used to see young people with walkie-talkie devices. I could not understand why they preferred them over a simply cell phone call. They would push a button, hear a large squelching noise and then a brief loud voice. But one day I actually ASKED a young person, WHY, what is so good about your walkie-talkie. He explained to me that his 10 friends are ALWAYS ON LINE, just like a computer chat program in AOL or yahoo. He does not have to dial and wait for an answer or bother with voice mail if no one answers… he just pushes a button, speaks, and the friends instantly hear. You may not understand WHY that type of communication is important to them and is not important to you but quite obviously if something gains in popularity then there must be some reason behind it.
Some people have plans which permit unlimited texting but charge for email or lack email entirely. Also bear in mind that texting with a full keyboard is far easier than with a simply phone pad.
I am an old man but I try NOT to think like an old man. I have a friend who is an old man a little younger than I am. He will not have a phone even or use a computer. He is terrified that if he uses the internet he will be attacked by terrorists and stalkers and serial killers. He laughs at me with my Blackberry and cannot see the reason for Google search. BUT, he comes up with questions, and I pull out my Blackberry and search and have answers for him in seconds. He was CONVINCED that every U.S. President must have a law degree. I instantly told him how many were lawyers and furthermore showed him that the majority of citizens object to the notion of a president have such silly educational qualifications because they would like to know that a Joe The Plumber might one day run the nation.
My friend continues to laugh and mock but he becomes more addicted to the answers I give him and he will ask me to check on this and that. I explain to him that 500 years ago a blacksmith or a farmer who was illiterate would laugh at someone who was always carrying around parchment and scratching on it with a quill pen and messy ink and staring at it. The illiterate man would say “why do you need these strange things? Can you not see that most of us get along just fine without them? What do these books of yours tell you? What do they say?”
“A simple encouraging text from someone when life’s too busy to stop and talk and the world is terrifying, the pain is terrifying, the lonliness is overwhelming, voices whispering in heads saying “this is too much. you can’t do this.”; a little “I love you,” or an inside joke like “mooki laki lai” or “passing the bunny” can save the day. When you’re first falling in love and you get a text from your lover, it can send a person into twidderpation. A heart can flutter. I wouldn’t want the President to deliver his address via text, but as a former Luddite, I have to say, texting is great. I can also avoid veeerrrrrry long and distracting conversations with Momma by doing a quick check-in this way.
Not all “chronic texters are passive. I don’t think that is a valid statement. Many may have a dent in her car from texting while driving, and that is not a good thing. Certainly. We live in a busy world and I still send hand-written letters. That’s important. I mean, where would Christianity be if Paul wasn’t a pen pal.
It was written “You shall be judged by every word which proceeds from your mouth.” I take that very seriously. When I DO make a joke in FB I append it with (j/k) which as you know means just kidding.
I have a policy that I enforce upon myself with regard to internet postings on FB or anywhere else. I do not post until I have some confidence that I have said what I intended to say. Then I leave it up and do not edit or delete it and I bear with any adverse criticism.
I feel that for me to do otherwise is less than honest and perhaps cowardly. I recently learned a new word from the inventor of Wikipedia who was on a television interview: “siloing”… I spent summers on a dairy farm and was very familiar with the tall silos which hold the corn for the winter feed. On the Internet, siloing can mean sequestering oneself only with like-minded people. Right wing Republicans stay with their own kind. Atheists stay with atheists, etc.
I think we harm ourselves when we silo ourselves.
My time is of some value to me as is yours. When I write or speak I try to make it COUNT. I do make jokes at times partly to humor people on FB and partly just to exercise my wit and entertain in the hopes of retaining who I have on my list and perhaps gaining more.
The Old Calendarists I knew would never stone a woman, BUT they would never pray with “heretics” or take communion from or give communion to heretics or schismatics. One of their main issues was Ecumenism. I was never able to respect those Rocor priests who would insist that the Roman Catholic Church has “the grace of the sacraments” but who insisted that they could never participate in intercommunion with Roman Catholics. The Russians also insisted that Augustine was “blessed” but not “saint” whereas the Greeks declare Augustine to be a heretic. The RC church never carefully examined Augustine until the counter-Reformation after Luther found so much ammunition in Augustine’s writings. In retrospect today people suggest that Augustine really laid down the foundation for the Reformation but that is a complex topic which I am not personally qualified to defend. Anything by Jaroslav Pelikan is very useful. His name is slavic. He was raised as a Methodist I think, but over the years of scholarship he became personally convinced of the correctness of the Eastern Orthodox position.
I actually saw the following happen in the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Barbara’s in New Haven around 1973. The church was packed. The priest opened the royal gates at the time for communion to be offered and made the following announcement: “Because we are all so sinful and unworthy, NO COMMUNION will be offered today” and he went back in the altar and closed the doors. I mention this irregularity because it is very palpable and easy to describe. I could tell you many more things about my years of experience around the Greek Archdiocese, but they are more subjective and less striking than what I describe above.