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Texter or talker?

     There are those who text and those who talk. On the phone, that is. Forget about Instagram where the picture says it all and there's no need for words. Forget about e-mail where the long-winded go to give forth. No one checks their e-mails every ten minutes. Unless you do? So it's mostly text or talk when you want to communicate with that friend or lover or family member or relative. Yes, there's Facebook—but it's not very direct and everyone and their brother gets in on the message.

     Oops! I forgot Twitter. For good reason—I haven't mastered that one yet. I signed up and I don't mind being limited to 280 characters but I haven't figured out that hashtag thing so I'll leave that for another time—maybe you can enlighten me in the next few days.

     I've never been one to chat for hours on the phone. I get restless after a few minutes because I can't sit still and I can't see you. I'd rather meet you and have a coffee while we chat person to person. I do use the phone, mostly to make appointments, set a date, complain to the service provider, reschedule, and sometimes—for someone I haven't seen for weeks and I'm not going to see for more weeks—to catch up on our exciting or boring lives, as the case may be.

     So it comes down to text or talk when I have a message to deliver or a question to ask or a greeting to make—like a quick "Love you!" or "I'm here!" If I'm in a hurry and the message is short, texting is the obvious choice. If I want a quick response, texting usually does it better than calling. Calling always goes to voicemail these days and the trouble with that is that your message—if you leave one—most likely won't be checked 'til tomorrow.

     What I like about texting is you can talk all you like without being interrupted and then, when your friend replies, you don't get to interrupt him, either. Equality! Plus there are all those fun emoticons or emojis or whatever they're calling them now. I love inserting a smiley face or a heart after my succinct message. Softens it up a bit. Kind of frustrating though when I want to insert a birthday cake or a golf club and for the life of me, I can't find it among the hundreds of emojis on my phone. That always happens when my son has just texted me with five of the cutest, most appropriate emojis that I've never seen before. But that's okay.

     Talking's good for real conversations—you know, when you want someone's opinion or an update on their health or their dating life. They're almost a necessity if you're breaking bad news and you're not within flying distance to do it in person. For this you tap your phone and wait for an answer while you remind yourself to listen. No interrupting. But it always happens. You can't see that the other person's opening her mouth to say something and she can't see your mouth moving with no intention of stopping, so when you take a breath she butts in. . . Oh! ‘Scuse me. She tries to get a sentence of her own in. And then you stop talking and she stops talking and neither of you knows whose turn it is next. Awkward.

     You know what happens next. You both start talking at once. And then you both stop. "Go ahead," you say. "No, you go," she says. After a few of these exchanges you've both forgotten what you were going to say.

     I sort of like texting. Less complicated than a real conversation. Short and to the point. I say this; you say that and we're good. With a few emojis thrown in for clarification.

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