Peeve Week - A woman who looks annoyed is looking at her cellphone

There’s a common phrase among somebody that’s clumsy: “I’m all thumbs today.” In modern times, being “all thumbs” means that person is either a crack-Berry addict (a play on BlackBerrys), or loves to text message on a cellphone.

There’s nothing wrong with those that like to text message. I don’t mind when one of my friends can talk to me and text message at the same time. I don’t mind when people open up their ultra-bright cellphones in a dark movie theater. I don’t mind when I hear a loud jingle and a chuckle in the stall next to me in the restroom. I also don’t mind when people text message me.

I do mind, however, when my cellphone company (co*Verizon*ugh) decides to charge me ten cents for every message. Sure, I can sign up for three hundred messages for five dollars extra on my plan, but I’d be wasting about four dollars of that. I don’t receive a lot of text messages and I never send them out.

But when I do receive that lone text message, the thought of ten cents draining out of my pocket is unnerving. I quickly scan the message to see if it’s worth the ten cents I had to pay for it.

“Busy. At work.”

I pace in protest and delete the message. What a waste! Ten cents down the tube just like that.

And then someone sends me a picture. That’s another twenty-five cents down the drain. I don’t want to go to a Verizon store and pay another thirty dollars just so I can download the twenty-five cent picture onto my computer. Why can’t people just e-mail me the stinkin’ pictures? I can then slap the picture on Flickr and everyone can see the picture for free.

As one-sided as my views on text messaging are, I did add the text messaging plan onto my wife’s phone. However, those plans only work if you don’t go over the monthly limit. Why text messaging doesn’t roll over is beyond me. I once got charged forty-five dollars extra on my phone bill because somebody had a text messaging fetish with my wife. The bill said I had 750 text messages on my wife’s account. Our plan only covered 300 of them. Ten cents a message adds up fast.

One fine day I received two pictorial messages. I had it. I called Verizon and told them to turn off my text messaging.

“But sir, you won’t be able to receive or send any text messages.”

“Really? That’s exactly what I want.”

After that, I was curious if I would regret my decision. Several people approached me and said, “Hey, I sent you a text message. You never replied.” I told them I had turned text messaging off. I wish I could have captured the surprised look.

As long as wireless companies charge for text messaging, I will despise it. The only time I want to be “text messaged” is if I’m on the Internet at home. When I’m using my cellphone, I expect to be called. If I’m unavailable, voice mail is your friend. Please don’t text message me. I’ll never see it.