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An abbreviated culture

Dec. 22, 2008

by Herald Journal & Enteprise Dispatch Editor Lynda Jensen

Our culture has become so crushed into time and space that it seems that everything is abbreviated into shorter versions of what used to be.

Is this a good thing? I don’t think so, but I don’t see an end to the momentum or a way to steal back the time we used to enjoy. So, we must adapt as parents and keep chasing along with our children as they grow up in the modern age.

When I was young, I enjoyed a leisure childhood playing outside with simple things that are not understandable to young people today.

An example of this is the texting craze, which mystifies me.

It should be noted that secretly typing messages that are probably inconsequential, while you are supposed to be paying attention to something else, can be considered rude.

However, as parents, we can’t afford to stay locked outside the door when it comes to this means of communication that our children use so frequently – and, in this age of meth use – we shouldn’t be completely in the dark about this subject.

Nevertheless, I asked our teenage daughter, Latrice, to explain simple steps of how to use it, thinking that other parents would appreciate a rudimentary lesson on how to figure texting out.

Each phone is different, but basically, a lot of the steps work like e-mail does – there is an inbox and outbox on the phone, and flip phones appear more user-friendly than the regular kind, since they appear to be geared for texting to a certain degree.

If you’re trying to snoop on a young person’s cell phone, then I say as a parent “go ahead and snoop” if you are concerned for their welfare and it’s worth the invasion of privacy (think carefully about this before you venture).

The “inbox” is where incoming messages are, and the “outbox” is where outgoing messages are.

Click around until you find these items. You should be able to click them open and peek undetected, unless you accidentally send something out.

Here are instructions on how to text (they vary by phone, but you can probably figure it out as you go):

1. First, pick the person to text by clicking on top of their name in your address book. Otherwise, you’ll end up memorizing all the phone numbers, which is a drag, if you try to write something straight up.

2. find “options” and click on it.

3. scroll down to find the send message

4. choose text message

5. jump over the name and get to the actual message area. In order to type a message, you need to use the dial pad like a typewriter keyboard, which means that you hit a key two times for the second letter and three times for the third letter. For example, if you want the letter “k”, you need to hit number five twice. Don’t worry about capital letters because it automatically corrects this as you go.

This is the weird part. Why in the world would anyone think this is preferable to calling a person? I took two minutes to send a three-word sentence.

Here are some commonly used text message abbreviations, stolen from a good article written by Kristen Miller earlier this year:

B4N - Bye for now
DM - Doesn’t matter
HRU - How are you?
IDK - I don’t know
LOL - Laughing out loud
NBD - No big deal
NM - Not much
OMW - On my way
WRUD - What are you doing?
WTG - Way to go

Ten people with $10 in Cokato

I understand that the Cokato Food Shelf is looking for assistance with its utility bill, since this subject popped up during the council meeting last Monday.

This vibrant entity is working small miracles with its efforts, and the timing couldn’t be better for their noble efforts. Would it be possible to find 10 people who would be willing to commit $10 per month toward the food shelf water bill?

Please contact Al Nagel (320-296-1521) if you wish to commit funds toward this entity.

Nothing more real

If you are concerned about the homeless, but feel helpless when it comes to making a difference, then roll up your sleeves and get ready to be a “sandwich artist.”

There’s nothing more real than making something that will literally go into the mouth of a homeless person.

In fact, sandwiches will be made today (Monday, Dec. 22) in Winsted for the interdenominational sandwich ministry dedicated to feeding the homeless in the Phillips neighborhood (Minneapolis).

Volunteers will meet Monday morning 9 a.m. at the fellowship hall, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Winsted to make sandwiches. The goal is make 2,000 sandwiches. The sandwiches are brought to the Marie Sandvik Center on Franklin Ave. in Minneapolis where they, in turn, feed the homeless everyday. Catholic Charities in Minneapolis is also involved.

If you miss this opportunity, but wish to help in future efforts, please call Carol Ann Gutzmann at (320) 485-2430 or Lue Lehner at (320) 485-2381 for more information. The next sandwich-making Thursday, Jan. 15 at 9 a.m., at the fellowship hall.

A second chance

Like me, did you have the best intentions last week to send money to Mary Jo Copeland’s inner-city ministry, Sharing and Caring Hands, Minneapolis (www.sharingandcaringhands.org) – and then forget?

The address is:

Sharing and Caring Hands
525 North 7th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Another suggestion is to make a donation to The Salvation Army. Send donations to:

The Salvation Army
P.O. Box 269
Alexandria, VA 22313

Quote to remember

“Never think that God’s delays are God’s denials. Hold on; hold fast; hold out! Patience is genius. - George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon (1707-1788)