I am so very lucky to have some amazing individuals guest post for me. Let me tell ya this one, you guys, are going to LOVE. He is a brilliant writer, a soccer coach and a dad. Go check out his blog at Coach Daddy. Without further ado, please welcome Coach Daddy himself, Eli Pacheco!
Why Parental Texting is a !@#%!
Kids and their smartphones … don’t get me started. Things were different, back in my day.
When I discussed topics for my guest post with Tammie, I suggested kids and the text phenomenon. Tammie has a few years to reach this milestone. Or should I say test of your holy fortitude.
I get to foster my kids’ journey through technology and communication. To trick them into thinking I will know if they Google something anything racy. Or Snap Chat with the wrong boys.
I get to do this on a mobile screen the size of half a graham cracker with keyboard letters no bigger than chocolate chips.
I get to do this with a possum’s eyesight and fingers not intended by God to tickle ivories, let alone type on smartphones. (I’ll confirm myself as a curmudgeon 17 times in this post. That’s 11 already, I’m sure.)
Forget degree of difficulty. The smartphone text concept (and any typing on smartphones) is flawed. It’s a menace to society. How? Let me count the ways.
1. Texting rewards kids for coming close
Seriously, try and type something AND GET NEARLY EVERY LETTER WRONG AND THE AUTO CORRECT WILL SAVE YOUR ASS. Unfortunately, it won’t even save one butt cheek during a school spelling test.
Or college application.
Or food stamp application.
This exploited weakness will perplex a kid if she gets on an archaic beast such as a computer keyboard.
My first typewriter was cold and metal and unforgiving. It smelled strongly of typewriter ribbon. It exclaimed every keystroke with a “wham!” It came in a horrifically immobile carrying case the size of an overstuffed raccoon. Roughly.
If I typed something wrong – it was wrong. And it was a job for correction tape. For every.single.letter.
I loved that typewriter. Did I mention that?
2. BAE, HBU, and POS (which doesn’t stand for what we thought it did)
As if auto correct and other butt-saving processes weren’t enough, kids have a generation of acronyms. Acronyms aren’t the kids’ invention, of course. Even my parents knew what TCOB meant. (Do you?)
Kids have dumb ones, though. Heard of BAE? My girls use it. It stands for “Before Anyone Else.” I think it’s a term of endearment, and I also think they use it on more than one kid. So everyone can tie for first.
Reminds me of the time I finished tied for second in a handsome contest.
Everyone else tied for first.
(Oh, and HBU means “how ’bout you?” POS is “parent over shoulder,” not “piece of …” well, you know.)
3. Parental naiveté can be used to your advantage
Parents – dads, especially – aren’t expected to be adept at all this smartphone jive. Or know anything about anything to do with technology or even basic intelligence.
You know how everyone in the courtroom dismisses Matlock as an old, clueless bumpkin? Then, what happens by the end of the episode?
Matlock cracks the case (and the witness) with down-home country charm. Aw, shucks.
With dads, there’s no down-home country charm. All we’re armed with is fatherly cluelessness. When I want the girls to do something other than play on their devices, I tell them, “Tell your friends BBYL.”
Cue the eye rolls and angry glares. Even I know BBYL means absolutely nothing, but ticks them off to satisfying levels for a dad like me.
It might sound cruel. It might feel petty. But it’s just one fight on the great technological battleground all parents must endure.
Dad might struggle to tap a screen to text, but he knows the power of annoyance.