The joy of text


I resisted getting an iPhone. I clung to my ancient Blackberry because I liked having buttons to press. I hated the smeary iPhone screen and the way my fat fingertips always pressed the wrong keys.

But mainly I’m hopeless with change.

We were an Apple household, however, with a “cloud” containing an Apple TV, various iPhones and iPads. It didn’t make sense to keep the Blackberry (besides, finding new covers for the bloody thing was like searching for a leprechaun’s pot of gold).

So I asked for an iPhone for Christmas last year. And it made my Blackberry look like a typewriter with a walkie-talkie attachment.

But I maintained my love-hate relationship with it because I’m stubborn like that. My antipathy continued until around five weeks ago … when I discovered the joy of text.

Specifically, the joy of text, iPhone-style.

It started when I sent a 6.30am message to DD following our first RSVP “date,” pondering where we should go for our second rendezvous.

I’m an early riser, so 6.30am felt like lunchtime and perfectly acceptable.

DD, on the other hand, was quite startled to be woken at 6.30am by a text from a virtual stranger/mad redhead.

But he soon got with the program.

This is how he describes it:

Tuesday – Alana awake – RSVP newbie decides to text at 6.30am
6.31am: Optus notices spike on North Shore
9am: Optus has crisis meeting and borrows bandwidth from Telstra
Midday: Alana’s ex-husband gets automated warning from the “cloud” saying capacity has been exceeded and thinks “Thank God, she’ll be blogging about someone else now.”

That night, after texting maniacally all day, we had our first voice-to-voice phone chat.

A major storm hit Sydney as we spoke – I think it was probably caused by heat between phone towers from the “machine gun” rate of texting we’d done … made worse by texts overtaking each other, queries, counter queries, explanations …

And that brings me to the iPhone “joy of text” part.

I’ll start with the basics: when you chat to each other via iMessage the calls are free (well, when using wi-fi and maybe other times, I’m still a bit fuzzy on it) which is why all my angst over sending a  zillion texts to someone travelling  may have been a total fizzer. I’m really wishing I hadn’t sent a message to Husband saying: “Have done stupid thing. Texted someone overseas maybe 1000 times (not an exaggeration). Am scared about the bill because I think you are still the account holder. Feel sick.”

(Note to self: since it turns out Husband IS still the account holder, I should probably check my November bill with him before getting too cocky.)

The iPhone also tells you when it has “delivered” a text.

And, if your fellow iPhone user has switched on the correct function in “settings”, it tells you when the recipient has “read” your text. This feature is particularly awesome because otherwise you’re left hanging, not knowing if your message has been eagerly consumed.

The iPhone also has these flashing dots that let you know if someone is replying to your message. As you watch those dots you start to feel like an addict preparing the syringe.

And, like any addict, the high that follows makes you want to repeat the process over and over and over and over again.

DD and I did the dot thing for 12 frenetic days – with brief respites for sleep – before finally having our second date because he’d gone away for work.

And I found myself missing someone I’d only met for an hour in real life.

It was such a weird way to start a relationship.

I’d try and tell people about it and they’d give me this look that said are you mad? And then they’d tell me to be careful because DD sounded like a stalker. (I may have downplayed how much I was texting him.)

But the joy of text has been the most awesome discovery.

I just wish the iPhone battery life wasn’t so farking hopeless. Surely other people text 500 times a day, especially the young ‘uns. Do their batteries last longer than two hours? Mine invariably needs its first recharge pre-9am.

Are you a mad texter?

Song of the day: INXS “I send a message”



PS Vodaphone created a rather naughty viral ad called The Joy of Text. Watch it by clicking here.


14 thoughts on “The joy of text

  1. Yep…mad texter here too 🙂 And I love those little dots! I’ve been texting someone who doesn’t have an iphone and it’s driving me nuts not knowing whether the message has been read and if there’s a reply on its way (I think everyone else I know must have iphones because I never really noticed how addicted I was to them until they weren’t there!). You can actually get iphone cases that have an inbuilt battery- you just plug the whole case in to your recharger. Might help solve the battery problem.

    Anyway- happy Friday, happy texting and hope the party preparations go well. That shark looks scary (to make, that is!) 🙂

    • Agree re non-iphones – all those green text boxes and no lovely “read” messages. I got a handbag with an in-built battery for Xmas last year. Never used it. Must did it out.

  2. Oh no…I’m strange again. I text about 3 times a day…I don’t really email much either. I’m not great at communicating. I must change because I think I’ve let friendships wither just for simple non contact. I’ll add it to my long NY resolution list…now there’s a blog topic idea for you Alana.

  3. Here’s a thing,,,Siri is an even more exiting innovation! You SPEAK your text messages and she sends them for you! Fantastic to use with hands free in the car…”Hey Siri, message Al-an-ah mobile” Siri says “What is your message”, “Blah, blah, blah Al-an-ah”, Siri says “Would you like to send”, you say “Send” and that lovely Whoosh sound happens and it’s done…another 25c well spent! Get it on iPhone 5 and 6!

  4. I just found my old mobile in the back of a drawer this morning and it looked cluncky. I LOVE my iphone – so many apps, so little time… . Have you looked into Spotify? My daughters have me addicted, my music playlists go with me everywhere. And podcasts, enough from our ABC for a lifetime, but then there are overseas ones as well. So much more than a phone. Here’s a question, do you have a middle-aged, sensible cover – the type that will protect your phone if you drop it? 🙂

  5. Chris & i started out in a similar way… emails thru plenty of fish, then txt, then met & lots & lots of txt while we got to know each other…

    • I HATE talking on the phone. The phone should be for making dates to talk in person in my opinion. Haven’t even had a home phone for about 7 years. But texting and emailing are gorgeous things. I suppose its the journalist in me. All those written words!

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