A while ago, I may have written that I did not understand what the big deal was about text messaging.

What I meant was it's really cool.

When I got a new phone a few months back, I really wanted one that connected to the Internet so that I could check scores no matter where I was. The ability to know the score of the Detroit and Cleveland game is one of life's essentials for me.

But I discovered that texting is almost as great.

I went with texting thinking it would be an easier, less intrusive way to get a hold of my kids and my wife.

But it turns out I like it for a lot more than that.

I am not a fan of talking on the phone.

I like to get on the phone, say what I have to say and get off. I am not one for long, drawn out conversations complete with awkward pauses while each person tries to think of a way to end the call.

My wife, on the other hand, talks regularly to her mom and sisters, and they never run out of things to say.

They can talk once a week or a few times a week and always have new things to say. They must be leading a more exciting life than I am because I have nothing to say. My wife laughs and laughs, so I just assume it has something to do with me, but she never says.

I can talk sports and update people on the family, then I run out of topics. I need cards with talking points on them.

My discovery of texting has been my salvation.

I can say what I want to say and be done. I can respond when I want to. I don't have to respond although I usually do and I actually talk to more people than I used to.

I like the ability to say what I need to say and move on. No use going on when neither person has anything to say.

Talking to people and texting require two sets of etiquette.

If I'm talking to someone on the phone, I have to respond to everything the other person says or it's just rude. Besides, there would just be two people holding phones up to their ears for no reason if we did not keep talking even when we run out of things to say.

But if I am having a text conversation with someone, it does not always require a response.

I can tell my kids I am going some place or to do something, and I do not need an immediate response, or, in some cases a response at all.

But I have found myself really caught up in this "new" technology.

I have been able to trade comments with an old high school friend about our Iowa Hawkeyes, and trade barbs with friends and then stop whenever I want.

Texting means never having to drag on a conversation if you don't want to, never having to learn how to spell and forgetting about grammar.

Those failings of the language may make any English teacher cringe, but texting has its own language and rules.

I have to admit there have been times when my children have sent me a text and I have to look at it a while to understand their abbreviations. It's like breaking a code.

I never understood what I was missing until I started texting.

That is technology I can get into. But tweeting, no way I'd ever do that.

Patrick Murphy, of Columbus, Neb., is the former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.