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We are fond of our texting in this country

Comreg’s latest publication tells us we, in Ireland, are very fond of texting. Here are the stats –

  • We sent 2.8bn text messages in the last quarter of 2008.
  • An average of 174 texts were sent from every phone in the country, every month, from October to December of 2008.
  • The overall number of text messages has gone up by 70% since 2006

Ah, the humble text message – where would we be without it?

No, I’m being serious here. Recently, I got hit with a particularly virulent bout of flu accompanied by laryngitis (a rarity for me). The only way to get over the later is to shut up – literally! Text messaging saved my sanity. I made a serious contribution to the texting volumes while avoiding becoming a total hermit and saving my voice in the process. The mobile screen doesn’t hurt flu-strained eyes either.

I managed to keep it in check and not text-spam anyone. I also avoided sleep-texting. The later is a relatively new phenomenon. Apparently, stories are emerging of people who text in their sleep. They wake up the next morning with no recollection of having sent the texts. Sounds bizarre! Apparently, it’s got a simple explanation. If we woken up for less than 3 minutes or so and then fall back asleep, we could very easily have no recollection of the period spent awake. Even it only takes a minute to send a text it still seems strange to me that I wouldn’t remember sending it.

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Celebrity endorsements….

… are usually cringe-inducing. Think Andie McDowell telling you about cream to make your skin look younger, a whole range of sports personalities telling you that Nike are the biz, James Bond sporting a designer wristwatch, perfect-skinned actresses and models telling you on behalf of L’oreal that you’re worth it, etc, etc.

A possible reason is the lack of authenticity. I’m not a hairdresser and I struggle to do the vanity thing. Result, all the L’oreal in the world isn’t going to turn my hair into that of a Desperate Housewife (or equivalent).

But every now and again, a celebrity endorsement comes along that the celebrity isn’t paid a penny for. They are barely aware of their endorsement. They are doing what comes naturally, using products because they want to  and because those products are useful to them in aome way.

A perfect example is Stephen Fry’s use of the more social of web 2.0 social technology. Read all about it here. The interview is informative and worth a read. Here are a few insights that struck me –

  • He tweets because he wants to. He has 103,000 followers. On the one hand this makes him one of the worlds more popular twits (have I got the lingo correct?). But on the other hand, the personal touch is lost. How can he keep in touch with everyone.  What depth of communication is taking place. Or have I got it all wrong? I should be taking it for what it is – a micro low level of conversation but yet allows much to be said between participants.
  • Journalists don’t have as powerful a role any more. Celebrities can get in more direct contact with their fans and cut out the intermediary as it were.
  • To be truly real, the internet needs its red light district or equivalent. It has to have the good and bad and everything in between. Without them it is a poorer experience.
  • The absurdity of snobbishness gets a look in. E.g. if your email address is hotmail as opposed to a customised domain then you might not be taken so seriously. Yet, the “on the internet, no-one knows you’re a dog” idea comes into being. On line no-one knows if you are black or white, young or old, tall or short, male or female, etc.
  • Very interesting take on the disemvowelment of texting. Its nothing new. Back in the olden times when paper and ink were precious, abbreviations were common. Every part of that expensive page had to be used, and so ‘yours’ became ‘yrs’.
  • No-one is chucking their books in the bin just because they’ve invested in a computer. The 2 can exist side-by-side. Ok, I’m not so sure of this one. What about that electronic book reader that I keep talking about? Of course, the fact that I don’t have one (as yet) speaks volumes.
  • I love his idea of half-expecting to see wavy red and green lines under words mis-spelt in printed text. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to take the head out of the computer for a little while.
  • Time is truly moving on. The average web surfer now has more information and power at their fingertips than legions of kings and queens in previous centuries. Of course, what we do with and how we use this easily obtained wealth of information is another questions altogether.
  • The web and its treasure-trove of information can be archived for the enjoyment of future generations.

Stephen Fry – what a guy. Much more than an actor and a quiz-show host.