Texting with Carter
January 29. 2014 6:00AM
I’ve often giggled when a parent tells me they have to text their son or daughter just to “talk” to them. Seems this younger generation aren’t ones for chatting on the phone.
Instead of letting their fingers do the walking through the phone book (and yes, many of them aren’t even familiar with the print product), they scroll through their massive lists of contacts on their smartphones and let their thumbs do the talking for them.
While I don’t have any children of my own, I do have three nephews all with growing families of their own, which include great-nephew Carter. The 9-year-old – soon to be 10 – got his first cell phone this past Christmas. At our family gathering, Carter snapped all our photos and plunked in our phone numbers. We had some initial fun calling and texting and taking photos of one another that day.
Since I’ve not been a mother myself, I’m not exactly sure what age is too young to give a kid a cell phone. I know at that age, we still had the old dial-up phone at our home, and the only phone I was allowed to call “long distance” on was the yellow, plastic phone I played “office” with. As far as a mobile phone in the early to mid-1970s, the furthest we could go with a phone was as far as the cord would allow.
Carter’s mom and dad – nephew Tim and his wife, Ashley – are keeping their eldest son’s phone use in check. It’s one of those pay-as-you-go plans, so honestly, he’s restricted by the number of minutes that are plugged into it.
Because three hours separate Carter’s family and myself, I don’t get to see them on a regular basis. Holidays, birthdays and our annual family getaway to a Minnesota lake resort in the summertime are our typical times that we are all together. But now with access to a cell phone, my direct line of communication to Carter has opened wide.
And I’m enjoying it.
Take for instance last week. It was just about 4 o’clock on Friday afternoon when a text from Carter came in.
“What u doing?” he asked.
“I am working. What r u up to? Having an after-school snack, I suppose?” I answered back.
“Yes!!” he responded. (Take notice of the double exclamation points!)
“Puppy poop?” I asked. (“Puppy poop” deserves a bit of explaining … it’s a hot cheese dip made with Velveeta cheese, hamburger, canned chili and Rotel tomatoes … and is one of Carter’s favorites.)
A “No,” came back to me.
“An apple?” I quizzed.
Then came no response.
I came to the conclusion that Carter was done texting with me, and that it must’ve been time for some serious after-school snacking to tend to.
So, even though I don’t have any kids of my own, I get it now. Kids will communicate with you if you reach out through a simple text. And I’m excited to know that the lines of communication have opened further for this great-aunt and her 9-year-old great-nephew.
A new email address
Speaking of keeping the lines of communication open, I have a new email address here at the Brandon Valley Challenger. For those of you who have me listed among your email contacts, please change my email address to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. My firstname.lastname@example.org email address will soon be a thing of the past.
So, if you do send an email my way, and you’re not getting a response, that will likely be the reason why!
Stay in touch!
Community organization needs
Needs at the Brandon Area Food Pantry in January are instant oatmeal, Homestyle Bakes, pancake mix, syrup, Ramen noodles and pizza sauce.
While always appreciated, the Pantry has a large supply of canned goods in stock. Monetary donations are always appreciated. Before donating, please check the expiration date, as expired food items cannot be distributed.
The BAFP is located at 406 Main Ave., and is open from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. To donate to the food pantry or for more information, call 582-7001.
The Brandon Lions Club also wants your aluminum cans. Proceeds from the sale of aluminum funds requests to the Club for vision and hearing impairment needs.
The Lions Club collection shed is located in the Sunshine Foods parking lot.