kottke.org posts about texting

Don't text while drivingAug 17 2009

This is why you shouldn't text while driving. While you're at it, knock it off with the phone conversations, lipstick application, and crossword puzzles. NSFW or for the faint-of-heart.

Teens texting at terrific rateMay 26 2009

Crazy statistic of the day:

American teenagers sent and received an average of 2,272 text messages per month in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the Nielsen Company -- almost 80 messages a day, more than double the average of a year earlier.

I went over on my 200 messages plan for the first time last month. In other news, I am fucking old and get off my lawn, you damn kids!

Jargon watch: "book" as a synonym for "Jan 17 2007

Jargon watch: "book" as a synonym for "cool". Sample usage: "That YouTube video is so book." As books are decidedly uncool, you might wonder how this usage came about. Book is a T9onym of cool...both words require pressing 2665 on the keypad of a mobile phone but book comes up before cool in the T9 dictionary, leading to inadvertent uses of the former for the latter. (thx, david)

Cl1ff N0t3s for theDec 05 2005

Cl1ff N0t3s for the millennials: mobile service will condense books into short text messages. "For example, Hamlet's famous line: 'To be or not to be, that is the question' becomes '2b? Nt2b? ???'".

Sweethearting, part 2Oct 05 2005

Got quite a few emails in response to my post on sweethearting/pinging. Several people mentioned pranking[1] as a current implementation of this idea, a trick I remember using as a kid. You call someone and hang up after one ring..."prank me when you're outside my apartment and I'll come down". Pranking is typically driven by economics...you don't pay for a phone call that doesn't connect.

Gen Kanai asks: "why can't SMS do this?" It certainly can; if I were implementing sweethearting, I would piggyback it on SMS. But what I'm really concerned with (as usual) is the user experience. To send a blank text message to a specific recipient with my phone takes at least 6-10 keystrokes. I want to do it in two keystrokes and (in time) without looking.

[1] I received reports of pranking being used all over the world. It's called one-belling (or pranking) in England, people send "toques" (roughly "touches") or "sting" each other in Spain, Italians "fare uno squillo" (which Google translates as "to make one blast"), and in Finland it's called "bombing".

Update: In South Africa, they call it a "Scotch call".

Tags related to texting:
telephony mobile phones books

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