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Sore Thumbs and Texting

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the my-wrists-are-killing-me dept.

170

Ant writes "ABC News reports that text messaging, once seen as a way to send a short message without running up the expense of a cellular telephone/cell phone call, has become so popular that it poses its own public health problem: sore thumbs. This comes from a survey and warning put out by Virgin Mobile, one of the largest cellular service providers in Great Britain. Virgin reports that 93 million text messages are sent every day in the United Kingdom (U.K.). One estimate for the United States (U.S.), whose population is five times as large, is 700 million text messages a year. "

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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14787934)

First post!

Re:FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14788094)

I would've had first post but due to sore thumbs..yada yada yada..

what else is new.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14787936)

virgins have been giving people sore digits for millenia...

-Sj53

Re:what else is new.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14788202)

correction, virgin mobile(tm)....rtfa

Incorrect multiplication? (-1)

CyberBill (526285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787948)

93million * 5 = 465 million text messages. Not 700. Is this their sly little way of calling text message whores?

"Oh, their americans, so they MUST text message twice as much as we do!"

Re:Incorrect multiplication? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14787964)

You may find this hard to believe, but in the UK there are more than 5 days in a year. Perhaps that's the source of the error?

Re:Incorrect multiplication? (1)

CyberBill (526285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787998)

In that case, shouldnt it be 93 million * 5 * 365 = ~170 billion text messages a year?

What, are they trying to say that Americans dont have the text messaging skills that they do??

Re:Incorrect multiplication? (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788044)

Wow. Whatever you've done in your life to make you come up with that, please let me know, so that I may never do it.

Re:Incorrect multiplication? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14788073)

No. Strange as it may seem, the fact that the US has a population five times the size of the UK does not mean that you have to multiply any number by five. The population comparison was put in to give context. The US has a far larger population but a far lower rate of text messaging. That's it. No need to multiply anything by five. Understand?

Re:Incorrect multiplication? (1)

greenegg77 (718749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788205)

We must act quickly to resolve this text-messaging deficit in America before some other country wins the SMS race!

Re:Incorrect multiplication? (1)

TheRealCoreyHaim (956515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787969)

I think it's supposed to be 700 billion, if not, only roughly 2 million text messages are being sent per day in america, which doesn't seem right.

Re:Incorrect multiplication? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788214)

In the US, it is common to be charged to receive SMS, and so it is somewhat less popular than the UK, where reception is free. Most consumer talk plans in the UK have a minimum of 30 text messages a month bundled, with most offering significantly more.

In contrast, SMS is almost unheard of in Japan, where all telephones sold in the last few years have supported email.

Actually.... (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787980)

Also got units wrong, UK does 93 millon a day, whereas they say the US does 700 million a year... that means its incredibly *unpopular* in the US (unless it is a typo... from context, it probably is)

Re:Incorrect multiplication? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14787991)

Duh, they said 700M a YEAR. Hmmm, seems either the article is fuzzy, or they do a LOT of text messaging over there!

Re:Incorrect multiplication? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14787994)

If anyone bothered to read TF post, it says that the UK sends 93 million texts PER DAY. We only send 700 million in a YEAR. So unfortunately, this is no conspiracy against America, it would seem that the UK would be the text whores.

Sometimes units are specified for a reason.

Re:Incorrect multiplication? (1)

Karma Farmer (595141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788001)

Read the slashdot editor's writeup again. He's comparing 93 million messages per day versus 700 million messages per year.

That's not twice as often. It's less than 1/100th as often.

Nintendo thumb (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14787957)

I used to have this problem all the time in the 80's after too much Nintendo.

Re:Nintendo thumb (1)

XenoRyet (824514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788074)

Exactly, no one even knew the word "ergonomic" back in those days. These texters have it easy...

Why I had to walk two miles, barefoot, through the snow to get to my controller, and it was uphill, both ways...

Oh come on now. (4, Insightful)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787961)

If my thumbs could survive Dr. Mario, Excite Bike, Punch Out and River City Ransom; I'm pretty sure that they can handle a few LOLs, BRBs and WTFs.

Re:Oh come on now. (1)

TheBogie (941620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788007)

These kids nowadays never played those games, they were before their time. Thus, the weak thumbs. Maybe all those hours of 'Tendo actually did some good for me!

Re:Oh come on now. (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788052)

Heh, first thing that jumped to my mind was Asteroids on the Atari. I remember beating it by wrapping the score... I think at 100,000 points. And those old atari joysticks didn't have thumb friendly buttons either.

Re:Oh come on now. (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788685)

Atari joysticks were a little different. You moved the stick with your whole hand and pressed the button with your left thumb. You could switch to a finger for the button if your thumb got tired. The NES gamepad was one of the first to use all thumbs, and it was very unergonomic, all square edges.

Re:Oh come on now. (1)

fantom2000 (700930) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788145)

It's not people like you complaining though. It's the millions of people who never played Nintendo or the like suddeny having to use their thumbs.

Re:Oh come on now. (0)

b00stA (839177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788201)

I don't have any thumbs, you insensitive clod!

First litigation? Someone else to blame? (3, Informative)

us7892 (655683) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787962)

Has anyone sued the phone maker, text message service, or anyone else they can think of getting money from? Seems like that's the next story we'll see following all thse people with sore thumbs who need someone other than themselves to blame.

It's just a poll, actually. So they have sore thumbs...big deal.

BRILLIANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14788149)

I'm gonna buy a phone right now so I will be able to sue. Screw this working-for-a-living bullcrap.

Litigation FTW! W00T!

Re:First litigation? Someone else to blame? (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788294)

Has anyone sued the phone maker, text message service, or anyone else they can think of getting money from?

If people could sue for sore thumbs, Nintendo would have gone out of business years ago.

Arghh bad use of statistics (4, Insightful)

ironwill96 (736883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787963)

I hate it when people place two statistics side by side as if they are comparable when they really aren't. It is misleading to say U.K. does "73 million messages per day" while U.S. estimate is "700 million per year". The mind tends to think, wow, the U.S. must text message a whole lot more! When, of course, this is not the case. Since, of course, one is a per year statistic and the other a per day statistic.

/rant off

Re:Arghh bad use of statistics (1)

boldtbanan (905468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787996)

Yeah, that means the UK averages ~ 93 million * 365 days = 33.945 BILLION text messages per year, which is almost 50 times the estimate for the US.

Re:Arghh bad use of statistics (1)

Karem Lore (649920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788072)

I hate it when people miss-quote another author's text. It says 93 Million a day in the UK NOT 73 million a day! The mind tends to think, wow, the author (probably US based), must not be able to remember a figure between reading the article and clicking reply :P

karem

Re:Arghh bad use of statistics (3, Informative)

wisdom_brewing (557753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788112)

well, 93 million a day. i apologise for being petty.

texting (sending an sms message) is much more popular in the UK and europe in general than it is in the states, mainly because initially the infrastructure was terrible, a very large proportion of messages were lost when sending abroad or to other networks, this has been resolved but people in general do not have the same sense of trust in the technology as they do in other countries.

imagine that in your first year of emailing more than half of your emails did not get through. this is looking through the eyes of a consumer, say you sent your first email in '98 and it didnt go through, what would you think of email? you might avoid it for a while, the same seems to have happened with sms in the states.

i agree entirely with your point as to the misleading figures, its appalling that someone would write that, especially considering the fact that it could be much more dramatic with the US population sending 700 million a year and the uk upwards of 30 BILLION.

and another point, virgin is nowhere near being a leading UK mobile phone company, the big four are 02, Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile, with 3 doing a very good job of catching up (3 is an exclusively 3g network, i am not sure who they are owned by).

Re:Arghh bad use of statistics (1)

Martz (861209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788374)

if I remember correctly "3" is the 3G brand for O2 (British Telecom)

What silly branding anyway!

I think O2 were trying to get the same minimalist style as Orange, and to chuck in a random fact about Orange... they have never depicted a mobile phone in any of their TV adverts, only a "sold a lifestyle".

Re:Arghh bad use of statistics (1)

TheOneTrueRhys (723530) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788599)

Nope, "3" is the 3G network of Hutchinson 3G UK Limited, which is 100% owned by Hutchinson Whampoa. Nothing to do with any of the UK big four (voda, orange, o2 and t-mobile).

Re:Arghh bad use of statistics (1)

2sheds (78194) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788601)

No, 3 is Hutchinson Telecom, who were also the original people behind Rabbit (remember them?) and Orange (which is now France Telecom). Though they use O2 as a fallback network outside of the range of their 3g coverage, it's nothing more than a business relationship with them.

Who's mind thinks that? (2, Informative)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788141)

I was able to read those two sentences and know what they meant. "per year" and "per day" are clearly different time period. If you really didn't understand on first read I think you need to slow down a bit, rather than just plowing through the summary and (apparently) reading only every other word. The article is very clear, it's your comprehension that's the problem here.

Re:Who's mind thinks that? OT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14788343)

Don't be such a dick. He read 73 million a day vs 700 million a year and was annoyed that he had to stop reading the summary and divide 700 million by 365.

Re:Who's mind thinks that? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788410)

It's not a matter of you, myself, and grandparent not being able to understand -- after all, we're all super-geniuses here on /., right?

No, the problem is the other 99.9% of the population who aren't, and who simply won't make that connection. Comparisons like the one in TFA are deliberately misleading for the poor sots.

Re:Who's mind thinks that? (2, Informative)

prodangle (552537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788530)

I'm grateful for the GP post pointing this out. I mis-read the article too. Most people don't read a single word at a time -- the important word year can be easily missed, Just as it's common to skip over over repeated words, such as the the. Whilst the summary is factually correct, it is written in a misleading way.

For more ways of bending the truth, check out Darrell Huff's How to Lie With Statistics [amazon.com] .

Re:Who's mind thinks that? (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788574)


Whilst the summary is factually correct, it is written in a misleading way.


Only because you're reading too fast and not paying enough attention. Stop skimming and start reading.

Re:Arghh bad use of statistics (1)

ironwill96 (736883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788465)

Whoops, bad typo there, sorry. I know typos aren't allowed on /. and have NEVER ever occurred here before :-). And yes, I did understand what they meant - but if they are trying to show the U.S. is doing way less text messaging, why not just say so instead of using a statistic right after another one when they aren't directly comparable. Its roughly as useful as me saying "50 oranges were sold last week in the U.S. while 50 apples were sold in the U.K. - the fruit market is indeed doing well!". Ok, so maybe not to that extent but it is still a mis-usage of statistics. At least do the multiplication for us to make the stats comparable.

Re:Arghh bad use of statistics (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788670)

I'll try to make these figures somewhat comparable.

Firstly, let's convert the US figure to 'per day':

      700 million / 365 = ~2million sent per day in the US.

If you then factor in the population difference:

      2 million / 5 = ~0.4million per day for a comparable population size.

Work out the ratio:

      93million / 0.4million = ~230

Hence, based on those estimated figures, texting in the UK is approximately 230 times as popular as in the US.

Re:Arghh bad use of statistics (2, Informative)

Brushfireb (635997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788716)

NOt only that, the statistics are WRONG.

4 billion text messages per month are sent in the US. This is according to the Mobile Messaging Alliance, a industry group of carriers. www.mma.com

Maybe they ment 700 Million per year for Virgin? Thats about right.

Doctor, doctor (1)

GoddessOfDeath (887416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787967)

from TFA: "If your forearms and hands start to hurt, stop." Seems to be similar to that old doctor, doctor joke "doctor, doctor, it hurts when I do this" "well stop doing it then". Common sense, really. Who doesn't know this?

What? (4, Informative)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787972)

"once seen as a way to send a short message without running up the expense of a cellular telephone/cell phone call"

My text messages cost 10 cents per message. I'd have to talk for over 2 minutes to cost more than a text message and I can sure relay more information in that two minutes than most can in a text message and even get feedback during that time. Text messages have their uses but being cheaper isn't one of them. Besides, I thought the point of text messages was to annoy others trying to watch a movie in a movie theater.

Re:What? (3, Informative)

GoddessOfDeath (887416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788025)

In New Zealand text messages cost 20 cents, and one minute of calling costs (off peak) 49 cents or (on peak) $1.29. You must live in one of the lucky countries where calling is cheaper than texting. Plus there are many plans which give huge numbers of "free" texts, and not many "free" minutes.

Re:What? (1)

m.e.l.l.e.n.t.i.n.e (305369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788234)

See... That - among other reasons - is why I don't live in New Zealand.

Re:What? (1)

mcho (878145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788083)

True that.

But with a generation growing up with quick, instant messages and text messaging is an extension of that. Sure it may be quicker to just call somone, but new habits are hard to break. Text messaging is the mobile instant messenger.

Double true that. (Heck, I made a business out of text messaging.)

Re:What? (2, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788104)

My text messages cost 10 cents per message. I'd have to talk for over 2 minutes to cost more than a text message and I can sure relay more information in that two minutes than most can in a text message and even get feedback during that time. Text messages have their uses but being cheaper isn't one of them. Besides, I thought the point of text messages was to annoy others trying to watch a movie in a movie theater.

That's you. T-mobile's Sidekick data plan includes unlimited SMS. Because I use SMS so frequently my wife, my father, and several friends have also picked up unlimited SMS plans to be able to contact me.

I wish that *more* people relied on SMS rather than making a phone call. It would keep the noise down in public places that people shouldn't be on the phone in, such as mass transit.

Re:What? (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788535)

you've never been in a train where someone was sending and recieving unlimited sms-messages all trip long, did you? A lot of people have "sms-recieved" beeps turned on, hearing a stupid "beep-beep" every 30 seconds is not a joy, I can tell you that.

On another note, I and most of my friends have simple prepaid phones (with high costs/minute), and sending text messages is also there often really a cheaper way to talk to others. Wouldn't mind getting a unlimited sms account as you have, though ;)

Public (1)

SchrodingersRoot (943800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788589)

I don't mind people being on the phone in public. I mind people being on the phone loudly in public. I don't mind people having conversations in public. I mind people having conversations loudly in public.

Personally, I don't think it's the cell phones that are the problem. I think people being rude is the problem. I don't see anything wrong with considerate use of a cellphone in public spaces. My cell phone is my only phone. I have it with me pretty much wherever I go, but I'm polite about its use. I don't leave the ringer on in movie theatres or the like, I don't talk on it loudly, and I generally try and be as unobtrusive about it as possible. I tend to think that if people wouldn't mind my talking to a friend, they shouldn't mind my talking to a friend on the phone.

You're getting screwed (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788192)

Many providers don't charge for text messages, or give you a set amount of free messages to send. 10 cents per message is simply an outrageous amount of money.

Re:You're getting screwed (1)

mattpointblank (936343) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788241)

Sounds like the US enjoys much better value (or is it certain plans?)

It's about 10 pence (£0.10) a message here if you're not on some kind of plan, that's 17 cents according to Google.

As for calls, I never make them because a 2 minute call is going to cost me much more than the price of a message. I guess that's why texting is much more popular here since it works out cheaper.

Re:You're getting screwed (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788373)

The 10-cent-per-msg rate is pretty common amongst US providers.

Standard US-vs-everyone-else cell phone rant: While the US doesn't have nifty handsets, or GSM (that literally everyone else uses), and traditional plans force you to pay for incoming calls, the US plans are ridiculously cheap. For $35 a month (after tax), my wife has a plan with Sprint that offers 300 anytime minutes, unlimited 9pm-7am, free weekends, free long distance to anywhere in the country, and no roaming anywhere on their nationwide network (and, incidentally, no roaming in Puerto Rico or the USVI). While their coverage is spotty outside major roads and cities, it's nice to know that when I travel 2000 miles from home (>3000km), I can still use the same phone and call home for free.

But SMS will cost, not just to send but to receive. Thus, Americans spend all their time talking, and rarely SMS.

Re:You're getting screwed (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788461)

My Cingular phone uses GSM, just not the same frequency bands as in Europe.

Re:You're getting screwed (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788529)

Still can't use your phone over there, which was more my point.

Re:GSM and the USA (1)

santiago (42242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788568)

Cingular (which includes the former AT&T Wireless) and T-Mobile are both GSM providers serving the United States. Verizon and Sprint are CDMA.

Re:GSM and the USA (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788627)

That'll teach me to hit "post" instead of "preview".

I'm aware Cingular uses GSM. But it doesn't use it on the same frequency as everyone else, and it appeared a lot later in the US than everywhere else.

Either way, you usually can't (excluding world-band) use the phones elsewhere in the world. My comment was directed at the Standard Critiques of American Cellular Service, which I have listened to one too many times.

Re:GSM and the USA (1)

tetromino (807969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788769)

T-Mobile does use the same frequencies as in Europe (makes sense, cause in Europe T-Mobile is known as good old Deutsche Telekom) and you can bring your T-Mobile phone across the Atlantic, it's just that you will be killed by roaming charges unless you get a European prepaid SIM card.

Re:What? (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788585)

Bear in mind that this is mainly talking about the UK (where SMS messaging is far more popular than in the US).

For example, on a 'Pay As You Go' UK phone, it might cost around 10p for a text message, and 40p per minute or more for a cross-network call. It's possible to certainly phone up and speak your message for the same price, but when you factor in added time for general greetings, phone calls can easily end up a lot longer and a lot more expensive than a SMS would have been.

once seen (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787973)

but now far from it. The ammount of money cellphone carriers make off of the service now is shamefull in relation to normal phonecalls.

Re:once seen (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788255)

I worked out a couple of years ago that the amount I was being charged for SMS worked out to about £500/MB. I now tend to use XMPP relayed via my 'phone, which costs a whole lot less even counting the huge overhead involved with XMPP (I can have several minutes of chatting for the cost of a single SMS).

but seriously... (1)

HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787974)

I Get way sorer thumbs playing Gran Tourismo...

Shall I look out for (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787976)

co.'s proposing a tiered text-messaging protocol on account of congestion in their pipes?

This just in... (2, Informative)

B00yah (213676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787982)

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

seriously. That's like complaining about your legs hurting after walking 200ft, because you usually just do laps from the fridge to the couch. You can avoid soreness in your thumbs the same way you avoid soreness everywhere else: stretch your muscles (try shadow thumb wrestling), repetition, and don't go till it hurts. You know when you're getting near that point, just stop there.

IANAPFE (I am not a physical fitness expert), but I do play a lot of video games, A LOT of video games, and between that and the literally hundreds of thousands of characters I type on a daily basis for work, I've learned how to deal with digit soreness.

There's HOPE!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14787984)

Sociologists and marketers say the messages also became an outlet for shy young people, a way, for instance, for a nervous teenage guy to strike up a conversation with a girl he admired.

Shy Slashdotters rejoce! No need to leave the basement!!!

Americans are wealthier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14787988)

I think Americans have more money, and so don't need to send "txts". They can make full voice calls.

This is a bit like asking "why don't americans get the bus" or "why don't americans watch so much black and white tv"?

Umm, did someone forget about... (2, Informative)

benjjj (949782) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787992)

video game controllers? Sorry, but there's no way texting is as rough on the thumbs as bingeing on Gran Turismo. maybe for a few 1337 texters who text a couple hundred wpm, but they need to stop with the "texting = public health crisis" line. there's no way it's true.

Other appendages? (1)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14787995)

so popular that it poses its own public health problem: sore thumbs

As opposed to other bodily appendages that have also grown sore because of the Internet?

Wussies. (1)

UseTheSource (66510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788011)

I type on my RIM 950 all day, sometimes even when driving, with no ill effects. It's all about conditioning.

Maybe it's just me, but... (2, Informative)

RodgerTheGreat (905510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788031)

I'm really trying to figure out how "sore thumbs" counts as a "public health problem".

By my definition, a health problem is something that you need medication or a doctor's appointment for. If your thumbs hurt you, taking a break from texting is all you really need. An alternative would be to try holding the phone in your hand a different way- after all, a repetitive strain injury is a repetitive strain injury.

Re:Maybe it's just me, but... (1)

404notfound (467950) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788270)

I'm really trying to figure out how "sore thumbs" counts as a "public health problem".

Seriously. Guitar players actually develop calluses because of having to press the strings, and none of the pain associated with learning to play guitar has been considered an issue. This Is Not News.

Re:Maybe it's just me, but... (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788444)

But you don't really get calluses (sp?) from just sitting there and pounding on the bare fretboard. You get them from smashing the strings and sliding on the strings...

Minor difference, but I never got a callous from playing NES, SNES, Genesis or the like... and I only ever got sore thumb syndrome from playing wayyyy too many hours of SF2 and SF2:Turbo....

Poor Filipinos (2, Interesting)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788034)

In the Philippines where the average user sent 2,300 messages in 2003, making it the world's most avid SMS nation.
SOURCE [wikipedia.org]

I personally don't like texting (2, Informative)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788045)

While it certainly has it's uses. It does seem over-used.

Pros for me:
-Have my computer send me alerts.
-Send a quick e-mail to someone from the road.
-Send a short message to someone discreetly in a location where talking on the phone would be rude/inappropriate.
-Get a message through to someone when the reception is there but not good enough to have a conversation.

Cons for me:
-Almost have driven off the road on various occasions while trying to punch in a message or read a message. Way more dangerous then just talking.
-Time consuming to communicate the simplist of concepts.
-Sore thumbs
-U.S. carrier pricing on text messages makes it not make much sense economically.
-Additional way of being in-personal in your communication with other human beings.
-Short messages can be easilly mis-interpreted. Have gotten several people mad at me for no reason just because they took a brief text message the wrong way.

Sore thumbs from the spam... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788057)

My thumb is sore from having to delete the spam messages from my cell phone inbox. The worst part? There's no option to diable text messages since don't I even use that feature. Makes want to suck my thumb.

cellphone dialpad as keyboard (1)

dotpavan (829804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788064)

I remember reading it on Gizmodo or somewhere, that a company launched a USB keyboard in Japan, which had its keys placed like a cell phone (its very small, and doesnt need a desk). It seems it was for the people (read teenagers) to chat faster.

Use Morse Code (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14788068)

Those who're using text messaging should look into the patches that let you enter messages in Morse code with one key and any finger you want to use. Tests have shown that Morsing works much faster than thumbing text and learning to send the code faster than you can thumb the characters is a trivial task.

Keep in mind that learning to send Morse code is far easier than learning to receive it since you can move at your own pace. In fact, when I took my amateur radio exam back in the distanct past when you were tested by the FCC at their office, the staffer didn't even bother with sending. She knew that if I could receive 13 wpm, sending that fast was trival.

Simply learning Morse code is the equivalent of sending 5 wpm, which is 25 characters or about one character every two seconds, probably better than a lot of text messagers can do with their tired thumbs. And you can do it without looking at a screen.

--Mike Perry, KE7NV, Seattle, Untangling Tolkien

Re:Use Morse Code (1)

ickoonite (639305) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788110)

One character every two seconds? Way too slow. I'll stick to T9 predictive input thank you. And I'm not one of the textaholic types that the article refers to.

iqu :|

Re:Use Morse Code (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788554)

One character every two seconds? Way too slow. I'll stick to T9 predictive input thank you. And I'm not one of the textaholic types that the article refers to.

You must not have seen the Tonight Show episode that pitted two hams (using Morse code) against two people using SMS. Morse code was faster. [engadget.com]

I suspect that email through a Treo or a BlackBerry would be faster than either of them, due to the availability of a keyboard that makes punching in text much less tedious than on the average cellphone. Given a choice between flat-rate email ($15/month for unlimited wireless Internet) and charge-by-the-message SMS, I know which one works better for me, anyway.

Nothing to worry about (1)

MyOtherUIDis3digits (926429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788098)

If our wrists survived the proliferation of web porn, I'm sure our thumbs can handle some text messaging.

Umm...I mean...because of moving the mouse so much. Yeah, that's it.

Not surprising at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14788113)

It's hard enough to understand a limey when they are in front of ya. Could you imagine how bad it is over a crappy cell connection?

Don't believe those estimates... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788163)

Virgin reports that 93 million text messages are sent every day in the United Kingdom (U.K.). One estimate for the United States (U.S.), whose population is five times as large, is 700 million text messages a year.

That's odd... Texting has been practical in the UK much longer than in the US, where for the longest time it simply wasn't possible to send text between networks. There's so much more support for text in the UK and one sees so much more online evidence of a text 'culture' there that it seems unlikely that its per-capita text message use would be higher.

Re:Don't believe those estimates... (1)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788307)

That's odd... Texting has been practical in the UK much longer than in the US, where for the longest time it simply wasn't possible to send text between networks. There's so much more support for text in the UK and one sees so much more online evidence of a text 'culture' there that it seems unlikely that its per-capita text message use would be higher

Yeah, that's why the (albeit confusing) statistics show that US users send far fewer texts than UK users.

As for your comment about the lack of carrier interoperability, I have had no problems sending texts to any network for some time now - even back in 1997 I recall sending texts from a GSM phone (Voicestream) to a D-AMPS phone (AT&T Wireless) and to CDMA2000 phones (Verizon and Sprint).

I never saw the point of SMS - most of my friends stay signed in to AIM all the time, and sending an IM is easier and costs less, particularly if you have a GPRS IM client like I do.

Re:Don't believe those estimates... (1)

argent (18001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788396)

Yeah, that's why the (albeit confusing) statistics show that US users send far fewer texts than UK users.

Hrm? Not the ones I quoted.

UK: 93 million
US: 700 million / 5 = 140 million, accounting for population.

The population figures wrong, or did the story misquote something?

Re:Don't believe those estimates... (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788436)

The US stat is per year, the UK stat is per day.

Re:Don't believe those estimates... (1)

aidfarh (573967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788462)

UK: 93 million per day
US: 700 million per year = 1.92 million per day

Virgin one of the largest...? (1)

ickoonite (639305) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788184)

Virgin Mobile, one of the largest cellular service providers

Erm, Virgin Mobile is probably one of the smallest networks. It's certainly not one of the largest, and it uses T-Mobile's transmitters rather than having its own.

iqu :|

misspelling in title... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14788267)

that should be "Sore Bums and Sexing"

Thank you.

~Sir Elton

fuck this dumb quasi-news (1)

illtron (722358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788278)

Fuck this dumb quasi-news. People have been playing video games at home for the past 25 years and there was no fucking epidemic of sore thumbs. Give me a god damn break. This isn't even news on a slow day.

Inexpensive? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788295)

At $0.10 a pop, it is hardly affordble. Figure a conversation takes 20 such messages, that's $2. That's several minutes of talk time, or dozens of minutes spent texting.

I just don't get it.

CmdrTaco's wrists are killing him... (3, Funny)

sweetnjguy29 (880256) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788309)

....why am I almost positive that this is not from Text Messaging?

get a phone that takes dictation... (1)

bbdd (733681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788325)

... no, seriously!

my new samsung a900 has a really functional speech-to-text function for dictating text messages right into the phone.

not useful for a location where you have to be quiet (the library, etc.), but much easier any other time.

http://www.samsung.com/Products/MobilePhones/Sprin t/SPH_A900ZKSXAR.asp [samsung.com]

User Interface (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788517)

While I like the idea of SMS, I hate the user interface on the cell phone. The text input methods are an ugly kludge and the buttons on the phone were designed for some other species.

This is why I always roll my eyes (2, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788556)

everytime I read a comment here bemoaning how many useless features mobile phones have "that nobody use".

Based on these statistics, people in the UK send roughly 50 times as many text messages each year as people in the US. Factoring in the relative population sizes, on average we send 250 times as many SMSs as you guys do.

You might not use those "useless features" on your phones, but we most certainly do. Entire message boards exist solely to compare the picture quality and associated features of the various camera phones, which is a serious deciding factor for some people when buying a new phone...

just stop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14788662)

Here's an idea. Stop acting like 12 year old girls and quit texting. After all it is a "phone" and talking would seem much quicker and easier anyway.

Something strange with the statistics (1)

Aggrajag (716041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788718)

According to this [itviikko.fi] link (in Finnish), there were 20.5 billion text messages sent in 2003 in UK and in Finland the figure is about a billion per year. The one billion limit was broken in 2001 and you have to remember that the population in Finland is less than six million.

Public health problem: (1)

Hydraulix (893404) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788737)

Public health problem: Avian bird flu. Not a public health problem: Typing text messages on your cellphone. Now get back to curing cancer and making my flying car.

US vs Europe (2, Informative)

Wellerite (935166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14788753)

As the statistics say (not very clearly), texting is far more popular in the UK (and I would assume Europe, too) than the US. Cue lots of americans saying it's expensive and crap and don't understand why it's so popular.

Reason is that texting is cheap and universal in Europe (inc. the UK) because of the GSM network prevalent there, plus all sorts of organisations jumping onto the texting bandwagon to encourage people to text more.

This Is News? SlashDot Hits New Low! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14788754)

Jeez! Thumbing?!!

Eeditors: time to send out an updated resume: you're headed for unemployment.

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