Texted For the First Time

There’s no mistake. That’s not supposed to be ‘sexted for the first time.’ Yesterday, June 9th, 2019, at 38 years of age I sent my first text.

Feel free to be flabbergasted and make bad jokes about time travel and comas, but please don’t poke at the oddity with a stick, I’ll poke back.

It was just a matter of timing. Years ago, before smart phones became a household item, my husband and I needed to cut expenses, so we dropped the cell phones we had on his parents’ plan. Several years later we picked up little pay-per-minute phones from Walmart for the purpose of travel and emergencies.

Eventually my husband used his to call me during his breaks, or to text his employer if he needed to take a sick day. I generally stuck to having mine on me when I traveled to see family or later, if I would be out of the house and wanted the kids’ schools to be able to contact me in case of emergency.

By the time our finances had room to include a smart phone inertia had set in and I’d designated myself a tech troglodyte and flustered local moms by actually calling instead of texting to RSVP for my children when they were invited to birthday parties. I wasn’t likely to become friends with any of them anyway, so one more bit of weirdness wasn’t going to make a difference.

This year, though, with our upcoming relocation and our finances in decent shape, my husband and I are actually talking about smart phones, and in the meantime we canceled our internet phone service and will just use the ppm phones until then. I always used my laptop or desktop to access the internet and chat with friends via messenger.

When I sent the number she should use now to my sister J, via our group chat, she and my friend A were practically howling to learn I’d never sent a text in my life. A quickly sent me a text, beating J by a few seconds. A’s text asked for confirmation that the number was correct so I muddled through the prompts and responded with ‘yes,’ thus sending my first ever text.

A was so amused by my tech troglodyte ways that she ratted me out to a mutual friend, H, who then messaged me that he was impressed I’d gone without a cell phone for so long. I had to acknowledge there was nothing to be impressed about. I had the ppm cell phone for years, I just avoided using it as much as possible and had never used it to text. (It’s possible, being H, that he was impressed by my successful avoidance of social norms.)

I told the 3 of them they’d have been spared my lengthy, frequent chat messages if I had to use a phone to communicate. I suppose they don’t mind me as a friend too much if they’ve been putting up with my long-winded chatter for so long.

I’m not actually a tech troglodyte, which probably makes it funnier. I’m the one that would enthusiastically post videos about advances in robotics without wailing about the impending robot apocalypse, and that has expressed a great deal of enthusiasm for other aspects of modern technology.

Yet my 60 something mother-in-law and 60 something mother have been comfortably using smart phones and texting for years now while last night I was gnashing my teeth trying to figure out how to get back to my texts after I’d closed the phone. (Yes, it’s even a flip phone.) I did figure it out eventually and I expect I’ll like texting well enough once I get used to it.

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