Dear Levenson: What's the correct texting etiquette?  – Mason, Ottawa

Dear Mason,

It's hard to believe there was a time before text messaging. Especially for me, because I'm pretty damn skeptical about stuff. People are always trying to convince me with newspapers and history books and their cousin, Martin Cooper, the inventor of the cellphone. Personally, I'm suspicious. You can't believe everything you read, and that guy's probably just trying to seem cool and new. I'll say it right to his face.

Tell you right now, nobody's duping this guy. I've screened historical footage from Vietnam, and just because Robert Duvall didn't text crazy shit in the helicopter doesn't mean he couldn't have if he wanted to. Seen photographs from World War II, same deal. Two words: Pockets. Like to see you tie your brain around that one. And don't even try to tell me that's one word, because I see right through the bullshit. 

I asked my grandma what life was like in the old days, and she told me to get a job. Since that's the past, I figured it happened already. That was a close one. I think that's probably the last time I ask my grandma anything, and not only because she locked me in the backyard. But it is kind of most of it. Not sure how to open the gate. Been here for a couple weeks.

Previously, in 2004, cell phones were pretty much what they say they are. Except for “cell,” which doesn't mean anything to anybody. Can't really help you with that. An engineering professor explained it to me once, but I missed a bunch cause this dude texted me a nuts pic of a dog on a dirt bike. Was pretty sick. 

Nowadays, lots of things have changed. Cell phones have gotten smaller, and then big again. Right now, I can't tell what they're doing.  I don't compare the size of my cellphone to anybody else's, because that seems gay. But it might be cool for everyone to settle on “medium” and just be done for a while. There are more important things in life than worrying what's the cool cellphone size, though I haven't thought about it much since I got this app that lets me draw mustaches on cats and babies and stuff.

Everybody knows that phones are just for texting now. This way, instead of having a long conversation over the course of half an hour, you can have a long conversation over the course of two years. It's all about efficiency. Have to type it, too. On a piece of glass. With two fingers, tops. Major timesaver.

It's good to save the calling for important situations, like if you just inhaled helium. That one kind of doesn't make the most sense via text. And if your little niece starts crying because you ruined her birthday, just send her an emoji of a bomb or whatever. She'll be good.

Another important reason to place a call is if you have an internationally renowned sexy voice. Not sure what it's like to be famous, but I'm sort of guessing Stevie Wonder is not the fastest typist. Also, y'know, the blindness. Guess he's got a couple things going on. That's why he didn't just text to say “I love you.” Seems unfair that he had to explain himself.


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