Monday, June 17, 2013

Emoticons as punctuation

Because you seem interested...

It's 2003- I was about to graduate from High School. I had a job working as a cashier at Maceys grocery store. I had just gotten a cell phone and I was 17 (!). Can you believe that?! 17?! AND I had to buy it with my own money. What kind of a dark age did I grow up in?! I bought the little beauty pictured above. Don't be jealous of my snake-playing days... and check out that background. Pretty sure I had a heart. Menu + * to unlock... those were the days...

Over the next year and a half I could count on one hand how many text messages I had recieved- mostly they were from Cricket telling me about a new promotion they were offering. I had unlimited minutes for $30 a month. Crazy!

I traded that phone in later for a free Motorola flip phone from TMobile. (I can still hear that ringtone "Hello, Moto!") I picked that phone out based on the quality photos it was rumored to take... nothing compared to now.

2005 and I started in the interpreting program at SLCC (one semester and I decided I didn't want to be an interpreter... someone upstairs laughed at that decision and said "Watch THIS" as He made me an interpreter anyway... Good thing I love it now. Story on that later.) Anyway... back to the point: I started getting more texts. That is how the Deaf community communicates long distances and oh how I wanted a Sidekick. It's little black and white, flipped out screen was the phone I wanted to lug around (not kidding pretty sure it weighed like 17 lbs- okay not really but it was big. I had one for about 3 days that I bought off of eBay. Bad news. It didn't get service after that 3 days and it was back to my flip phone.

I was with that flip phone until it died, right before I left on my mission and it died. I went to a cheap Nokia until I left- At that time I literally paid for 400 text messages that I didn't use all of. Not kidding.

I remember going on my mission and not even thinking that texting would be that big... right.

On my mission I not only learned spiritual stuff, but I learned the rules of texting. There were 4 missionaries and we were put in groups of 2. Because we were working in a Deaf Branch of the church, we were connected to each other and the members of the branch by texting and email. We had a few Sidekicks that kept us "in the know". I learned a few things:

1. Always finish your conversations and respond ASAP. If not- people think you died.

2. Sidekicks are not as cool as I thought they were.

3. Emoticons may be used as puncutation. For example: The text "Sure" can be taken as "I guess I can do that, if I have to" or "I'd love to"... by adding a :) It means "I would love to with a smile on my face!"

Returning home, I had already gotten in the habit... I was a texter. I ended up with unlimited texting- but held off on getting email on my phone until I had to for work. I never thought I would rely so much on texting... but I'm really glad it's around. :)


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