Thursday, February 19, 2009

On Instant Messaging with a PreTeen...

I just checked my facebook profile and my one of my little brothers, Jesse, started to talk to me using the instant message function that the website has. A few lines in, we went from talking in sentences to something a little more like this:

Me: How is school going?
Jesse: Awsom, gr8! I M coming 2 visit u dat wil b so gr8. I no I spelt dat wrong.
Me: Oh my god, why are you writing like that? My brain is bleeding.
Jesse: U shouldn't say God like dat, U should say Gosh.
Me: You shouldn't spell that way or I will have an aneurysm.

This exchange went on for much longer, but I don't know how to look up past Chat logs and I really don't care that much so I can't quote us verbatim. And I'm not picking on Jesse, because I know my other brothers on Facebook, Ben and Zack, also instant message and text this way. And the fact that they even have profiles on Facebook is an entirely other issue, because I was on Facebook when you had to have a COLLEGE EMAIL ADDRESS to join. The message you should catch is that apparently I have grown grossly out of touch with TeenSpeak, and have instead become a fourth grade grammar and spelling Nazi.

This made me think about an exchange I had with Tammy when I was a little bit older than Jesse is, and how she could not stand how many times the word "like" crept into my phone conversations with my best friend, Tiffany. It was something like this:

Me: So she was like, ohmigosh (for you Jesse), I can't believe she like, did that, and I was like, well, It's like, when you like someone, you like, do dumb stuff.
Tammy: Do you know how many times you just said like?
Me: I don't know. Like, a lot?
Tammy: Too many to count. Stop saying like. Just try it and see if you can.
Me: Like, I want to, but like, Like (Ugh) I mean, Like when you can't help it. It just, like
Me: Sorry. It's just, like, habit.

Eventually I grew out of it, and miraculously Tammy's brain did not melt and ooze out of her ears, but I'm sure there were some close calls and many jokes made at my expense. It's also funny to see how I am suddenly "old" and these young 'uns and their text speak and newfangled cellular phone devices drive me crazy. Because if I wanted to use "text typing" I would have to reprogram my phone to let me intentionally misspell things, and change modes in order to mix letters and numbers so many times that I might as well send my message via carrier pigeon.

But as a warning, Jesse- If you write a paper with that kind of spelling, I would fully expect to be demoted a grade or two.

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