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Monday, November 07, 2016

Texting and Parenting

I've discovered that I'm getting less and less enamored of texting as a communications medium whenever I have to spend time with my kids. A lot of it is because I usually need both hands to deal with Bowen and/or Boen, and texting is never hands free. In fact, it's a major distraction as I'd need to look at the phone, and of course with modern touch screen phones you can't even type "ok" without using your hands and looking at the screen.

In theory, text-to-speech and voice recognition should make texting as easy as a phone call, but the reality is that voice recognition is pretty awful on today's phones. I think I've narrowed it down to the microphone on phones not being in the right place whenever you need to be hands free, as the Amazon Echo, for instance, with its multiple microphones had zero issues with speech recognition.

As a result of using a bluetooth headset, I no longer fear long hold times on phone queues, nor do I fear phone calls from friends and family, but text messages (whether from hangouts, facebook, or even SMS) now elicit annoyance. With my Vivoactive, it's no big deal to at least read some of those messages, but of course, responding is still pretty much a "both hands and eyes on screen" affair.

As such, if you discover that I no longer respond to text messages with the speed, and it's convenient for you, ask me if I'd rather take a phone call. You might discover that the answer is "yes," surprisingly often.

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