Text speak for pensioners

OAP using a mobile phone to text
OAP using a mobile phone to text

WHEN you were ATD because your BFF did you need to BTW?

If you understood that sentence you are probably part of Wigan’s generation of text savvy pensioners ... If not it roughly translates as – When you were at the doctors because your best friend fell, did you need to bring the wheelchair?

The above acronyms are part of an all new list of old age texting abbreviations launched recently by Wigan’s branch of AGE UK, in a bid to show that it is not just the younger generations that are up to date with the latest technologies.

The list includes some alternatives to the text talk used by today’s youth, such as BFF, which is largely accepted as meaning best friends forever, but in elderly texting the abbreviation instead means best friend fell.

Other text alternatives are TTYL, which ordinarily means talk to you later, but for the older generations this would translate as talk to you louder.

Others in the list of the alternative text talk includes LMDO – laughing my dentures out, GHA – got heartburn again and FWIW – forgot where I was.

The light hearted take on the older generations’ relationship with technology does, however, have a serious message behind it.

John McArdle, from the charity, said: “We wanted the message to be funny so that it made people sit up and listen, but there is a serious message behind it that we wanted the list of text talk to deliver.

“IT in general is largely considered to be a young person’s preserve, but we wanted people to know that older generations can keep up with them and let them know that there is a group of older people out there who use all kinds of technology every day.

“The text abbreviations are quite humorous which we thought would engage people on a human level.”

He added: “We want the older generations to realise that technology should not be scary and is something that everyone can get involved with and more importantly it can actually have massive benefits.

“If you can use a mobile phone you can keep in touch with family wherever you are, if you struggle to get out and about a basic grasp of the internet would mean you could do your grocery shopping online.

“An important line of enquiry for the emergency services these days is look in your mobile in an emergency to find an ICE contact which is someone to contact ‘in case of emergency,’ so getting to grips with technology could actually have huge benefits.”

The charity will be launching a number of informal IT sessions called Cup of Tea and IT.

If anybody is interested in finding out more about the workshops call 01942 241 972.