Text messaging: the world is at your fingertips.

March 2, 2009

Well, you know I’m a college student… one thing after another piled up at school, and then midterms rolled around… but everything’s starting to even out and I’m happy to be back to work at Textually Speaking!

I just finished reading a really great article from PC World available here. It’s a list of 10 cool things you can get delivered to your phone simply by text messaging. The interesting thing to me would be to know whether or not they are free services (I mean to say “free” in terms of  “standard text message rates apply according to your plan”), because the article does not clarify on all of them.  I hope they are, because I have unlimited, and I would love to get my Google calendar sent to my phone. In addition, there are calory counters, file uploaders, driving directions, and a slew of other services available in their list. I already use Twitter, which I will be profiling in its own post later this week. I highly recommend checking this article out out!


Addicted to txting

January 12, 2009

A while back I posted about how texting can save your life—now let’s look at the other side of the issue: how irresponsible texting can endanger lives.

Dr. Phil did a show on addiction where he interviewed a young girl so addicted to texting that she had caused several car accidents because of it. Click here to view some short clips of the program.

I think that, just like anything else, texting is great as long as we use it in moderation. Driving while staring at a tiny screen in your lap is probably not the best idea, but some people probably feel that they don’t have a choice in whether or not they can stop texting. I think it’s possible that some people can be addicted to texting, much as you can be addicted to many other activities.

What’s your opinion? Is texting an addiction for some people? Or do you think everyone can refrain from texting whenever they want to? Should there be new laws now regarding texting while driving?

We’re baaaack!

January 7, 2009

Happy 2009 everybody!

I know we’re a week into the new year, and it’s been… some unconscionable amount of time since I posted, but let’s kick things back into high gear! 2009 is an exciting time; we’re about to get a new president, Lost is coming back for its penultimate season, and Lady GaGa’s album “The Fame” is already my soundtrack of the year. So many great things are happening it might seem silly to force another item onto your to-do list, but that’s exactly what I’m going to ask you to do today. You see, 2009 is also the year of looooove!

“Uh, you just made that up,” you may be saying to yourselves, and you would be correct. However, why not? The economy has gotten so screwed up it can’t go anywhere but up, and there are no Olympics this year, so why not celebrate being alive in 2009 with a little romance. And anyway, the Mayan calendar says we only have three more years until the Apocalypse, so let’s live it up!

I’m here to tell you that cell phones were made for kindling the sparks of love in your quivering hearts. Just think: when was it ever so easy to send a little “I love you” to your paramour? Why should we think that technology distances us when we all carry our phones close to our bodies, ever awaiting contact with another person?

So to start things off right this year, here are a few ideas for furthering the romance between you and your special person, all via text message:

1. How romantic can you get in 160 words or less? Challenge yourself or your sweetie to finding the most creative and succinct language of love you can tap out by thumb. Try out your favorite romantic quotes or lines from movies.

2. … And when you get through all that poetry and flowery language, just sending an “I love you” will always, always do the trick. Try it, and turn someone’s day around.

3. When you’re separated by time and space, a message a day can keep the loneliness away. Just write about what you’ve been up to, or tell them about something that reminded you of them that day. Heck, do this one for your friends. Isn’t it great to know that other people are thinking of you?

4. Standby texting abbreviations are as follows:

“I love you” becomes “I luv u” or the more contemporary “I ❤ u” (which has led to the inexplicably popular “I less than three you,” but that’s best in another post).

“I miss you” becomes “I miss u,” and so on.

5. Does your significant other have less-than-stellar capabilities when it comes to texting? Bring them into the 21st century and buy them a new texting platform or an unlimited texting plan so that your communication is no holds barred. Because, when in doubt, buy ‘em something!

Texting in medicine?

December 14, 2008

The things you can find on WordPress…

So as I read in this post on another blog recently, two doctors were able to successfully perform surgery by text messaging directions to one another to save the life of a man who had been shot in the Congo.

It’s an inspiring story about what technology can do these days, but it got me thinking: what else could one person text to another so that they could perform a duty they otherwise could not do?

  • Stealing. In the millionth Ocean’s Eleven movie, they’ll text directions to one another instead of radioing.
  • Fixing cars, computer programs, etc. I have actually learned how to download certain programs by receiving the directions via text message, so I can attest to this!
  • Politics. Someone just has to send the politician the right message, at the right time, and they can win over a constituency following their advice. And bam! That’s how we keep a week-long thread about texting in the White House going at Textually Speaking!

The most charming texter alive!

December 11, 2008

So this is a weird addendum to my last post…

Apparently George Clooney has been “accused” of sending texts and emails to President-elect Barack Obama with personal suggestions on clothing, self-presentation, and relations with the Middle East. And apparently, Clooney denies it.

I don’t really know how this is a news item, but I still find it hilarious, and I love the picture accompanying the article here. I mean, if you’re going to create a cabinet of matinee idols, then I guess Clooney may be your guy. It’s kind of fun picturing who else could fit into a Hollywood cabinet, but are we supposed to take this seriously as news? Is there any sort of evidence that anything like this happened? And even if Clooney had been texting Obama, does anyone really believe Obama himself would take that seriously? Why does this matter?

Although if anyone can think of hilarious hypothetical text messages sent between the two of them, please comment with them on this post, because that I WOULD like to read!

No texting during the State of the Union allowed!

December 9, 2008

We’ve all been in a class or a meeting where someone got in trouble for texting. Maybe their phone made a loud noise that disturbed the rest of the audience, or the speaker was distracted by the sight of someone furiously tapping away at their phone. And as a result the texter is usually only asked to put their phone away.

Well, for some people, texting could practically be a federal offense…

According to this and other articles, President-elect Barack Obama has been advised not to email or use his Blackberry during his presidency, following the idea that his messages could easily be hacked or else required as records of his time in office. Of course, every word a president even utters, let alone commits to paper, is highly scrutinized, so refraining from texting and emailing would save him a lot of hassle later on.

Obama utilized email, Twitter, texting, and other common tech tools to further his campaign this year, and is frequently seen with his Blackberry close at hand.

If someone told me I had to give up my Ace I would be devastated. Man, talk about pressure… I could not imagine thinking every little message I texted, even to friends and family, being collected and scrutinized by the public-at-large.

Text Confessions

December 5, 2008

I will say it here: I love texting. I was just sitting with one of the people in my house, who commented that it was weird to actually see me sit for a half-hour television show without my cell phone attached to my hand. I laughed, but she was right, and I immediately felt weird having noticed I did not have it beside me.

I get email on my phone as well as messages, so I think that’s part of my attachment to the little device. But probably the main draw to the phone is the idea that I can instantly be in contact with anyone, no matter where they are, and share a thought as it comes to me, or else be available for any sort of request or emergency, or someone else’s random thought.

On occasion, I do also turn my phone off. And when I say off, I mean literally power it down. There’s a greater disconnection powering the machine down than there is when you just put it on silent. It will take you a minute or two to power it back up. You’ll have to actually feel a need to have it on again. Strange how big and constant a role that certain technologies have in our lives.

This past summer I lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and cell phones were, if possible, a bigger role in my life there than they are back here in the United States. Texting is more common than actual phone conversations because it is often significantly cheaper than using minutes. From what I saw, cell phones themselves seemed even more common than landlines, and there was no stigma to a child walking around talking on a cell phone like there sometimes is here in the United States.

On top of all that social value of the phone, I came to the city knowing no one, so having my phone on all the time seemed like a lifeline. I gained a deeper reliance on the cell phone that has apparently not left my habits.

It seems that everyone has a unique opinion on texting, and cell phones in general. I think it varies as well from country to country, neighborhood to neighborhood, culture to culture.

So this time my question is: what do you think of texting, and your phone, in general? Can it be summed up just by saying, “Yes, please!” Or must you wax poetic, as I apparently must, on your relationship with it? Or do you not think much about it at all?