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Running the household via text message

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The other day I was stood in the kitchen firing off numerous text messages. My wife wanted me to do something else but I had to politely ask her not to interrupt as I was busy “running the household.”

text message, SMS, mobile phone, cell phone
Note the cracked mobile phone in one hand, diary in the other and pile of paperwork in the background. This man is not sending tweets about Donald Trump, he is running a household via text message.

To the untrained eye, it may well have looked like I was simply firing off jokey text messages to my brothers or sending tweets to people I’ve never met. That couldn’t have been further from the truth: I really was managing the household’s affairs and I was doing it via SMS.

I got thinking about this and realised that staggering amounts of family business are organised this way. A quick check of my text messages reveals that, over the past few days, I have:

  • Organised a play date
  • Made numerous attempts to get a central heating engineer to visit the house
  • Organised for a childminder to look after the kids on two occasions
  • Made arrangements for my eldest daughter to do a show and tell at school
  • Helped arrange a collection for the PTA and
  • Organised a couple of social engagements around Christmas.

I think it’s amazing how we’ve slipped into this SMS-driven world. I am a massive advocate of face to face communication.

Yes, okay, that might sound a bit odd coming from a blogger who spends huge amounts of time on social media. Then again, I think that’s partly why I prefer dealing with people personally: I know I spend a lot of time online so actively want to speak to humans.

Then again, when I need to contact someone for something straightforward, I don’t necessarily need or want to have a lengthy conversation. A text message suits me just fine. If I am doing something like arranging dates for the kids to see a childminder, it’s useful if we all have the details written down for reference.

I find it amusing how quickly we’ve all become reliant on text messages. About 10 years ago, you could have counted the number of text messages I had sent on the fingers of one hand.

I then went through a relationship break up and found myself dating again after 10 years of coupledom. I entered a dating scene that had completely changed since the mid nineties. Through trial and error, I very quickly learned that you weren’t supposed to call someone the day after a date.

Oh no, this was too intrusive. You were meant to send a text.

From that point on I learned to love the text message. Several years later I am remarried and organising all manner of events using my phone to send text messages and I am staggered at exactly what I organise and the complexity of the tasks involved.

Before you say a word, yes I have tried WhatsApp. I fear the notifications drove me slightly crazy and so I prefer the humble SMS, although Facebook Groups has proved useful from time to time.

I may prefer face to face communication, but I am resigned to the fact the text message is a part of my life and it will become a bigger part of my life. After all, one day my daughters will have smart phones of their own.

How much time do you spend dealing with text messages? Is your household run via SMS? I know I’m alone in spending huge amounts of time staring at my mobile phone.

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6 thoughts on “Running the household via text message”

  1. When it comes to communicating with friends we don’t do much more than text, but I still call my parents and my home while I’m at work. Household stuff is usually handled either by e mail or a phone call. Nothing drives me nuts more than the teenager texting me from another room in the house, but I’ll admit that I’m an old man who didn’t even have a cell phone until into my 30s.

  2. You didn’t have a cell phone until you were into your thirties? Wow, that is impressive. When my girls hit the teenaged years, I fully expect them to text from the next room. That said, it will drive me mad!

  3. I don’t text often if I’m honest if one of my children text me I ring them back can’t be arsed writing what I can say in half the time or my ability with English language is crap one or other. What do you mean teenage years before your girls get mobile phones pressure will start long before that it’s how long you can hold out Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

    1. Ha ha, yes, I guess that’s true. They won’t be teenagers will they? I guess the aim is to get their age into double figures before they have a mobile.

  4. I haven’t heard the term SMS for years! I have to say I prefer WhatsApp! I’m not sure why as it’s basically the same as a group text! It is amazing how much of our lives and plans are run and organised from our mobile phones! Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

    1. Och, WhatsApp. Not a huge fan myself. Just another way to get loads of notifications bunging up your phone of random stuff. That said, it is a further way that the household gets run so I know what you mean. You think SMS is old, try Beta Max.

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