Dear Crabby, Why Do Kids Text Instead of Calling?

Dear Crabby,

My teenager won’t talk to me on the phone; he is always texting me instead.  Even if I call him, he lets it go to voicemail and then will text me back to ask what I wanted.  What is going on with these kids? Did they all lose their ability to talk on the phone or what?

Sincerely, Ma Bell

Dear Ma Bell,

Yes, I have seen this phenomena myself with my own grand kids and I have heard my daughter complain in the same way.  I actually think it is kind of backwards. About 40 years ago I was really into the Ham Radio stuff. In the Army, one of my jobs was to operate the telegraph in order to send messages to our Navy buddies out at sea. I learned the Q codes and later the CQ codes required to send basic messages back and forth over the airwaves.  When I got out of the military, I bought my first Ham Radio and began to find others that I could transmit these codes with. I knew one guy that even had a portable telegraph in his truck and would get messages and then tap them out as he drove around town.  As the years went by, I watched as civilization advanced and people began to simply talk on the telephone.  Then we even got portable phones and cellular phones.  Now, years later, these teenagers are no longer talking, but are tapping out codes with their fingers- called texts!  This is quite funny to me! I am just waiting to see these kids start riding around in horses and buggies! Mrs. Crabby likes to use her hands to express things as she is talking. I used to joke with her and say that if I held her hands down, she wouldn’t be able to talk anymore. Today, I think we could actually prevent teenagers from communicating by simply holding their hands down.  I watched my grandson get a phone call twice, and he just hung up without even answering it. When I asked him why he didn’t answer, he said, “If it’s important, then they’ll just text me!”  The best one I’ve heard yet was when my daughter told me that she received all these wonderful texts from her teenage daughter about how she loved her and was proud of her and all this mushy stuff.  My daughter said she was delighted and figured her daughter must have finally realized just how wonderful her mom really was.  When my daughter asked her about it, she told her mom that her ex-boyfriend had her phone all day and was sending out dumb pranks!  I guess that’s what you get if you only communicate by text and other people can grab your phone.  So, good luck and join the revolution – or do what I do and just sit by the rotary phone waiting for someone to ring you!

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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