Texting like an old man

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 20, 2024

A great blessing I enjoy when I am not on traveling the highways and byways of America is to be the designated Uber driver for my sweet grandbabies Spencer and Kairi, providing transportation to school early in the morning.
On one such occurrence recently, my phone began to announce a text had arrived and since Ubering and texting do not mix my darling Kairi, from her front seat perch, asked if she could provide assistance.
The text was from a colleague in ministry and thus several texts were received and answered accordingly, setting up a meeting later in the week.
When the exchange finally came to an end and my new assistant in the seat next to me placed my phone back its respective holder, she then remarked with a side of pre-teen laughter, “Papaw, you text like an old man!”
“Why, whatever do you mean young lady?” I responded with a curious smile.
“I mean, you text just like you speak,” came the quick response.
“How else could I text?,” came my puzzled reply.
It seems that there is a great chasm between the way those in my generation communicate via text and that of a younger sort!
Social Links for Ben Cost in the New York Post recently provided much needed insight.
In an article titled, “The way you text reveals if you’re a boomer, millennial or Gen Z; fashion, vernacular and musical preferences aren’t the only cultural indicators of age. A digital wizard claims he can tell whether someone’s a boomer, millennial or Generation Z solely based on how they text.
Tech influencer Tyler Morgan proceeds to rattle off the telltale signs of each like the digital equivalent of a wine vintner determining a tipple’s vintage.
Texting with one hand is the hallmark of Zoomer phone… typing accurately with both thumbs is a habit that straddles both millennial and Zoomer generations, per the digital detective.
In fact, Morgan declares that people stay at this “thumb tapping” age until their 50s — the threshold for most Gen Xers, born from 1965 to 1980 — after which they start typing with a thumb and index finger.
Meanwhile, the elder baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — tend to do away with the thumb and just poke the buttons with their pointer digit.
“You’re getting up there when you’re doing that,” declared Morgan of the “one finger tap” method.
He continues, it’s not just typing techniques that potentially indicate a person’s age — users can reportedly glean one’s generation from the style of their digital correspondence, as well.
For instance, Zoomers claim that using proper punctuation and capital letters while texting is the telltale sign that someone’s older.”
Who me?
Words matter. In fact, God used words to create.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Over and over in this first chapter of the Bible we are told that “God said”, and boy, when God said, things happened! But did you notice it was all good?
Located in the book of John, the last gospel penned for us in the New Testament, we find these words, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” God wonderfully inserts in his book, for all of us to hear, the intentions that lay behind all that is written. That we might have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.
Words are important, aren’t they? Our words hold great significance, what we do with them, how we use them, what we say and how we say it.
But perhaps more important are the words of God…what we do with them, how we use them and how we respond to what God says.
A businessman well known for his ruthlessness once announced to writer Mark Twain, “Before I die, I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the 10 Commandments aloud at the top.”
“I have a better idea,” replied Twain. “You could stay in here in America and just keep them.”
Kairi in her mode of conversing with her friends employs several short and fast acronyms to effectively spell out her thoughts and engage in conversation, I, like many reading this column, prefer a more detailed and punctuated approach.
However you type it, truth is still the truth, and the bottom line is, young or old, what we do with the word of God is all that matters when the last chapter is written.

Tim Throckmorton is the national director of Family Resource Council’s Community Impact Teams.

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