What are all you people texting about all the time ?!

The other day I saw a woman crossing a busy grocery store parking lot holding an infant in one hand and texting with the other. To me, the risk vs. reward of this action means you should not do it. I am prepared to be persuaded by evidence for either category. Maybe the risk of injury and probability of dropping a baby held one handed while texting are less than I think. Also, maybe the reward for texting is greater: it is much more important to text right then… and so for all of you’all ??

Maybe it is medical emergencies? Many people texting in to tell others to start scrubbing for surgery, I’m on my way? Let’s say a million doctors, all of whom are texters , divided by 10 E 8 (one hundred million ) phone users. Ok, 1%. It is more than I would have guessed.

People trading options on interest rate futures? I can understand why you are glued to your Samsung Galaxy. Let’s be generous and say another 1%.

Prostitutes and Johns ? I could understand the urgency, but I just can’t see this breaking 10%.

People using Tinder and doing Tinder-like things, Antony Weiner things? I don’t use Tinder, don’t know anyone who does, and have trouble understanding articles about it: Could this be as common as the article implies?

Amateur Field Entomologists ?
Ann: OMG a Coccinellidae just me
Betty: LOL u or ur window ?
Ann: win.
Betty: gr8 time lkn for Xestobium with u .
So what are you people texting about?

My husband texts me office gossip that he doesn’t want to send through official email or overheard.


Bint next to me is telling the someone the same story she has told three times already. KMN

There’s lots they are probably doing rather than texting. Facebook would be at the top of that list.


I’d say the risk of dropping the baby is the same as if the woman was talking on the phone. Less risk of dropping than if she’d been holding another child’s hand (but that has to weighed by the risk of that child getting away and getting hurt). More risk than if she was just carrying some other item in her other hand that didn’t require attention. Still, seems like a low-risk action to me (as long as it’s someone used to holding babies, unlike myself).

When at my desk or on my couch, I could be texting about anything. When walking, it’s usually a “on my way home” message (three or four times a year, when not on regular schedule). When in car, it’s typically (not always) at a light or stop sign and only if there’s an accident or a detour or something, but I usually call then, since it takes less time with my eyes off the road. That’s happened three or four times, maybe, in several years. Other, non-texting, things on my phone - slightly more often when driving (half dozen times a year). Might check on game when walking once a month or so.

It’s a mystery to me, but then I prefer to know what’s going on around me, rather than what mindless thought just passed through someone’s empty head.

What puzzles this old fogey is why people carry on long, multiple-reply text conversations when really they’d do better just to dial the other person and talk to them.

I, for one, am shocked that there are people on the Dope who don’t understand smartphones, apps and texting.


You are on. Imagine you are carrying your infant, presumably the most precious thing in life to you. Tell us what you imagine yourself texting at that time.

She was probably telling her friend about the creepy old fart ogling her in the grocery store parking lot.

Don’t forget the Candy Crush, man. Crush crush crush!

But yeah it’s not just texting when you’re looking at a smartphone. Could be typing in instructions in Google Maps to get to the nearest emergency pediatrician or women’s shelter. Or checking the hours on the place you are heading to. Or whatever else they need to be doing at that moment.

Whatever percent you ascribe to prostitution, triple it and that is the drug dealing traffic.

I just read a text from my wife that she had arrived at her destination and while coincidentally holding my 5 month old daughter responded that I was glad she got there safely. Of course I was walking around boiling booze not a parking lot.

They’re texting about you. Haven’t you noticed the surreptitious glances and whispers?

Texting is asynchronous and can be done in short increments when it’s convenient for you. A phone call requires you to focus most of your attention on it for as long as the call lasts. Calling someone is an imposition: “Hey, you need to pay attention to me NOW, for as long as this call lasts.”

Yeah, when you need to exchange a lot of information back and forth and make decisions based on it with some possible negotiation (i.e. arranging a meeting, or whatever) a call can be more convenient. But text is much more convenient as a de facto standard unless/until both parties deem a call to be necessary and/or an improvement on the communication medium.

[forwarding attached picture of baby] Isn’t she CUTE!!!

Checking my history. Each is from/to a different person.

Can you turn it down plz? [from the other room]

Are you interested in Mongolian for lunch?


Squeee. Saved. [re cute baby picture]

People have vote of pan vs bake for chicken?

I’ll be home in about 20 minutes and have to stop at the grocery store. Need anything?

Looking at my history, most of the messages were to groups of from 2 to 4 and take the place of a conference call.

The other day I saw a girl riding a bicycle, and she was leaning forward with her elbows resting on the turned-down handlebars, texting with both hands. On the upside, she was wearing a helmet. Something tells me she’ll be glad.

Amazingly, even people with precious infants still need to coordinate with other family members regarding groceries, like, say…if they’re walking into the store and need to to know “do we need toothpaste?” or texting their mom who’s looking after the other kids “just stopped at the store, be home in 20” or answering a question from work about where the file is on their desk or texting their sister “baby has a cold, what thermometer do you use?” or any of twenty billion other things that come up. Do you think people with infants sit around all day staring at them reverently? Life goes on.

If I’m texting while walking through a grocery store parking lot, it’s probably something along the lines of “are we out of milk?”.

More likely, I’m not actually texting, but pulling up the grocery list that I keep on my phone, where it’s much less likely that I’ll forget to bring it with me to the store.

This is why I don’t want to learn to text. I swear it’s more addictive than heroin. I mean, how many people have to die before anyone is able to forgo texting while driving?

As a machinist, texting bothers me for an additional reason. It is a spectacularly bad idea to text while operating machinery that can take a limb off in a split-second. Yet the young guys do it constantly. They hide their phones under rags, in their toolboxes, wherever. So far I’ve seen three of them get fired for it. Yet the others keep on doing it. And I can guess what they’re texting to each other: “what r u doin” “nothin u” “nothin”.

Although, in an ironic twist, this makes us oldies attractive to prospective employers. They know we’re not into it (if we even know how), and are therefore safer than our younger counterparts.

That’s my billion-dollar idea, in fact: texting rehab centers.