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Screw The Spelling Bee Compete In The Texting Bee

Updated on August 8, 2008

Forget The Spelling Bee Kids; Get With The Texting Bee! - Don't Get Me Started!

There are several indicators everyday that I'm getting old. It could be the gray hair (both above and below), it could be the several times a day I say, "What?" or it could be the fact that while I consider myself pretty technologically savvy, I see no need for a national texting competition. Forget the spelling bee kids; get with the texting bee - Don't Get Me Started!

That's right, a thirteen year old girl from Pennsylvania won the championship and $25,000 that she says she'll use to go shopping and buy lots of clothes. She estimates that she sends about 8,000 text messages a month and won by properly texting the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious in fifteen seconds, beating other champs from across the USA. Well my, now there's something to be proud of, no? I can see the bumper stickers now, "My ten year old can out-text your ten year old LMAO!"

While I'm impressed that she was able to spell the word above correctly (or had even seen Mary Poppins at all) and not LOL or LMAO her way through the competition you have to wonder if this is the right message to send? If they're sending 8,000 text messages a month then aren't some of those text messages happening when they should be reading, writing or doing arithmetic? But that's so old school, isn't it? Forget learning and go straight to Idol, Texting and MySpace to get to the head of the class! Sell your old text books on Ebay and get carpal tunnel syndrome before your eighteenth birthday as a rite of passage!

Perhaps this whole thing makes me sick because I absolutely detest texting. I don't get it frankly. I would much rather have my friends call me (and have me send it directly to voicemail to listen to later) than to have to read a message and then figure out what they're trying to say with all their abbreviations and how in the hell to reply to it. I have friends who love it and have tried (unsuccessfully) to explain the whole use of the "pre-emptive text" option that tries to read your mind. You're trying to write the word "done" and it tells you that you want to write "demon." Wow, that's a great tool, huh? So I'm forced to hit buttons three to twenty times just to get a letter "c" and God forbid you want it capitalized, then you'll need to invest another twenty minutes.

I don't want to have to figure out abbreviations or codes obviously written so that only the Taliban and teenagers can understand! My mother was using LOL for the longest time in her emails in a way that made no sense until I informed her that it meant, "Laughing Out Loud" and not the eye rolling, sarcastic, "Lots Of Luck" that she thought it meant. My niece has a book (apparently there's a series of them) where the entire book is written in instant message format complete with Js and LYMI. Well I don't Love it and I Mean It!

Swell for us that we now have so many ways to communicate but can anyone explain to me why with all these tools at our disposal we've actually become worse communicators? I remember watching Star Trek thinking, "If only I could have a communicator like Kirk, I would be communicating my ass off!" Even if all I could get my hands on was that earpiece of Uhura's I knew that I could not only be the coolest kid in the world but I could communicate with the world and boldly go where no man has gone before. Well, I have the cell phone (Kirk's communicator) and the Bluetooth headset (Uhura's earpiece) and yet somehow my guy and I both managed to buy dishwasher detergent not knowing the other one was buying it. What does that tell you?

Technology has made us faster, not necessarily smarter or better at communicating. No, we're too busy using technology to keep LaKisha (obviously another mother who spells as well as Anfernee Hardaway's) on Idol or hopefully texting the right suitcase into Deal Or No Deal's home version of the game. Well there's no way we old folk can even hope to compete with a thirteen year old texting a thirty-four letter word in fifteen seconds. So someone else will have to keep my favorite Idol on the show and win the $10,000 from Howie Mandel while I confine my voting for the politician who has spent enough money on their campaign to convince me that they'll actually make a change for good in the world. (Or has the nicest hair!)

As I said at the start of this, I gladly admit that I'm getting older and that my tolerance for things is getting less and less every day. All the while I'm starting to wonder if being able to heat up a leftover to the temperature of molten lava in half a minute is worth the radiation I've been receiving from my microwave. I'm wondering if I'm not losing some of my hearing from my headsets (Ipod and Bluetooth) or is it just that I'm in a place getting bad reception? Can you hear me now? If not, give me six hours and I'll text it to you. Forget the spelling bee kids; get with the texting bee - Don't Get Me Started!

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      Mom 10 years ago

      Thanks for reminding me.. I still was thinking LOL was Lots of Luck and using it that way every day!!!!