Like a lot of Boomers, I'm slowly warming to the idea of texting instead of calling.
Yeah I know, this makes me sound like that crazy old guy who yells Get Off My Lawn all day from his front porch. But hey, I'm catching up. I've already mastered the delete key, which saves me from using all that Liquid Paper on my computer screen.
One of my gripes about texting is that sometimes I'll have something I need to tell a lot of people about. Then, texting is just more work than email. You know what I mean. Send a text to Tony. Send a text to Mike. And Jay. And Jerry. And before you know it I've got thumb fatigue and it looks like I'm drunk
dialing texting everybody I know (all four of you).
That's why I was happy to find this new App called textPlus. It lets you create text groups so you can communicate with everyone at the same time. When they reply, they can reply to the entire group, too - just like a "reply all" email. Before you know it, everyone is in the loop and you don't have to send out multiple texts. Pretty cool, huh?
Here's the best part. TextPlus works with just about any smart phone and it's FREE. Just go to your phone's App store and download it.
Of course, having a cool App like textPlus doesn't make you a text genius any more than a new Nikon makes you Annie freakin' Leibovitz. And heaven help you if you're a Boomer texting your kids.
So, it'd be good to have someone cooler, smarter, more tech-savvy than you (which would be all four of you reading this post right now) show you the texting ropes. Right?
That's why I asked Text Guru Drew Olanoff to give Boomers some texting tips, so we don't come off like CRAZY OLD PORCH GUY when we text our kids. Here are Drew's Do's & Don'ts:
Texting Tips from Text Guru Drew
Ah texting. The kids love it, and the grandkids --well, they can't survive without it. With younger generations abandoning email for SMS (and don't even think about a real, live snail mail letter), today's world of communication can be baffling to Boomers.
It's not as bad as it seems. Contrary to Boomer belief, texting is actually highly social and bringing people together in ways they never were able to connect before. But let's start with the basics. If you plan on talking to your kids or grandkids, you better be planning to text them.
Here are a few simple "dos" and "don'ts" to help guide you once you know how to send and receive messages via SMS:
1. DO clarify: No idea what LYLAS, ROFL or MULU* means? Don't risk misusing one of these popular SMS acronyms. Google it. (We knew a dad who thought LOL, which stands for "laughing out loud," meant "lots of love." Very sweet - until he used it in a text to his son about a sick relative...!)
2. DON'T wait to respond. Kids and teens expect instant responses when texting, It's the beauty and the appeal of the format. In their world, nothing worse than waiting for an SMS response.
3. DO keep your phone on. To respond in real-time....you have to get the message when it comes in (see point #2!).
4. DON'T over-emoticon. This: ;-) J L ;) :>) ....can get really annoying when it's from a mom or granddad.
5. DO keep it snappy. The whole point of a text is to keep it short and to the point. Skip the pleasantries and flower-y prose.
Have fun impressing the kids!
*"Love you like a sister," "rolling on the floor laughing," and "Miss you love you"