(post copyright 2016, Dawn Weber)
Recently, I bought my son a cell phone so that I could communicate with him.
Ha ha ha! I know. I crack myself up sometimes.
I can all hear you parents laughing along with me, because as many of you know, giving your son a cell phone practically guarantees that you will hear from him even less than before, and possibly never again. Oh, sure, your son's friends will hear from him, but the only time your boy will actually communicate with you is to walk into the room and let you know he's lost or broken his cell phone.
His $400 cell phone.
Still, it was his 13th birthday, and as he grows older and participates in more sports, it's become ever harder to get messages to and from him at various practices and games. I figured he should have a phone of his own so I could get a hold of him.
Like I said, I crack myself up sometimes.
Take, for instance, this series of recent texts, each sent several hours apart, in which I ask him whether he had his basketball warm-up jersey for that evening's game.
It looks like I was talking to myself up there. That's because I was talking to myself up there. Yes, those of you familiar with the sweaty adolescent male of the species can predict when I got a response from him, which was namely, never. You are no doubt on the edge of your seat, wondering if the Hobo had his shirt, and the answer is yes, which I finally discovered when I saw him wearing it during the pre-game warm-up.
Later that evening on the car ride home, I asked him why he didn't respond to my texts earlier that day.
"We're not supposed to have our phones out during school," he said.
"I understand that," I replied, "but I sent two of those after school. Anyway, why aren't you checking your phone before the game? The whole point of you having a phone is so I can tell you important things before practices and games and stuff. Why don't you text me back? Can't you at least give me a 'K'?"
"I don't like to write 'K' - that's just rude," he said. "Anyway my battery was dead."
I looked at him in the passenger seat, where he was -- you guessed it -- texting his friends on his phone. With a battery that was clearly not dead.
Choosing to pick my battles, I continued driving home and thought about the verbal differences between males and females. I know exactly where my son gets his (lack of) communication skills - his dad. I could spend two hours composing the guy a 150 word text sharing emotions, recalling old memories, and detailing all the reasons I love him. His response?
That's just rude.
But getting back to my son's and daughter's texting habits. They are different. Very, very different.
Although there is an occasional non-response from the Princess, she generally replies to my texts. Several times. Several dozen times.
Sometimes I think she has psychic powers, because often I'm not even done typing my message to her before I see the ". . ." telling me she's responding. In fact, if you want to text my daughter, you better be sure that you're fully hydrated, your phone's 100 percent charged, and that you have a few hours -- perhaps an entire evening -- to converse. Because that girl will write you back.
All night long.
Yes, males and females have different communications styles. Consider the following examples of boy vs. girl responses.
You know, studies show that females communicate more often than males. Girls' verbal skills develop at a young age, they speak their first words earlier than boys . . .
. . . and have larger vocabularies and use a wider variety of sentences and . . .
Hey, would you look at that. I think my battery is dead.
Ha ha ha! I crack myself up sometimes.