Old 23rd June 2008, 14:56   #1
Razzinno
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14,590

You can call her the texting queen


BY JOSEPH GARTRELL
REPOSITORY STAFF WRITER

MASSILLON (Ohio) Teens like to text. No secret there.

But sending and receiving 14,590 text messages from a cell phone in a month?

That's roughly 500 texts per day, or one every two minutes — if you factor in eight hours a day for sleep.

Hard to fathom, but 15-year-old Paige Horn of Massillon, using her family's unlimited Verizon Wireless texting plan, did just that.

It's impossible to say whether this is a record. But this, essentially, was Verizon spokeswoman Laura Merritt's reaction to the total: Wow! She'd heard of 5,000, but three times that?

FAST FINGERS

One, two, three ... nine Mississippi, and Paige, seated on the porch steps alongside her mother, has dashed off a 10-word text message.

The messaging cycle, it seems, never stops. Every few moments, her phone quivers. A message has arrived. Horn — who plays volleyball and basketball at Washington High School and has a grade point average of 3.2 — responds, making a friend's phone tinkle or vibrate.

One would assume that the messages are jammed with abbreviations. Nope.

Abbreviations make the texts look ugly, says Paige. She is aided, however, by a "predictive text" program that guesses what she wants to say.

Sounds like a shortcut. But how about her master move: The no-look text. From her hoodie pouch, purse or pocket, she can fire off a text without looking — a move, no doubt, for the masters.

How can she possibly have so much to text about?

She's just kind of random, she said, as are her friends. That's how a lot of text conversations begin — a remixed stanza from a popular song, the teens' own lyrics inserted, an insider joke or phrase. The catalyst, a response to that, a response to that. Quickly, six, eight, 10 texts amass.

Merritt said the back and forth messaging between teens quickly can lead to a surprisingly high number of texts.

"It's almost like a short phone conversation," Merritt said. "The first message may be just the word, 'hey,' and then the response is, 'what's up?.'

"Twenty-five messages later, they're like, 'Let's meet up here.'"

TALK ABOUT MULTI-TASKING

Paige couldn't live without her phone, her mother, Milena Horn, says. "It's become a lifestyle, like getting up and getting ready for the day. If she doesn't have that phone, she feels like part of her is missing."

Can too, the daughter demurs: "It's not like I have to brush my teeth and text at the same time ... I've done it before, but I don't have to."

The mother-daughter relationship has a sister vibe — a jab here, a jab back, no hard feelings.

Mom is no slouch texter either, says the daughter.

It's true. Sometimes, Milena Horn will send/receive 1,000 or more texts in a month.

Many adults — those who may have never sent a text, or labor for several minutes keying in their occasional message — view the heavy texting/ Facebooking/ MySpacing genre as a sign of end times, of increased illiteracy, fragmentation, scatter-brained slouches.

But to kids, those alien texters, it's simply a way of life, as foreign and odd as a pack of cigarettes rolled up in a T-shirt and twist dancing.

"She can be on the computer, on MySpace, with her cell phone sitting next to her, she'll be texting on her cell phone, IM'ing on MySpace, and she can be talking on the house phone," the mother says.

Daughter interjects.

"I don't talk on the house phone."

"Not anymore you don't, but you used to," mom completes the list, "and watch a movie at the same time."

QUEEN OF TEXTING

Merritt, trying to make sense of Paige's text total, assumed she must be sending texts through a distribution list, meaning she could send one message to 10 or so people at a time. A single message, then, could count as 10 or more. But that's not the case, said Paige. She doesn't care for texts of that nature, nor does she like forwarded texts.

The Horns weren't surprised when the cell phone statement with the whopping text total arrived. They had taken the phone to the Verizon store on Dressler Road NW in Jackson Township because Paige was having trouble with it — likely because of the volume of texts, store employees surmised. The employees pulled up the family's records and were stunned. They'd never seen that many texts.

Other customers also were stunned. One woman wanted Paige Horn's name and number, perhaps thinking it would be comical to trade messages with the texting queen.

And the queen said she's not seen her most voluminous texting month. How many more could she possibly achieve?

"A lot," she said.

TEXTING GROWTH FOR VERIZON

Quarter/Year Messages per month (estimated)

1st 2003 200 million

1st 2004 700 million

1st 2005 1.2 billion

1st 2006 3.2 billion

1st 2007 7.4 billion

1st 2008 19.3 billion

source

******************

Apparently I'm not getting my money's worth. I send or receive less than 50 messages a month under a similar plan.
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Old 23rd June 2008, 16:15   #2
tuckerm
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I go through 5,000 messages a month. But, In my defense, I do have email notifications from the forums, facebook, and other things forwarded from my mail to my phone.
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Old 23rd June 2008, 18:06   #3
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I might use up to 20 in a month, but usually less. I don't need my phone to communicate with people when I am sitting in front of a computer.

present day present time
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Old 23rd June 2008, 20:12   #4
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I text more than I talk. like now...im on my phone at work surfing the web and replying to this. why call someone to ask a simple question and waste 5 minutes? I can just text them and get an answer faster?

"Well, got to love you and leave you, need to go get into the shower and rub my hard naked body all over with soapy bubbles, I'll be back later to carry on playing....

It'll take you some time to get over the image of me naked in the shower......mind you don't masturbate to hard thinking about it...."
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Old 23rd June 2008, 20:24   #5
tuckerm
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Quote:
Originally posted by pixiefied
I text more than I talk. like now...im on my phone at work surfing the web and replying to this. why call someone to ask a simple question and waste 5 minutes? I can just text them and get an answer faster?
Exactly, why waste the time saying hello and how are you and stuff like that when you can just text them.

Or sometimes you need to text them because you can't really call them.
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Old 23rd June 2008, 20:43   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by tuckerm
Exactly, why waste the time saying hello and how are you and stuff like that when you can just text them.
If I need info now, I just call and get to the point. My calls usually last less than a minute if it's just to relay info of some kind. If I'm talking to somebody just to talk, I usually get about 30 minutes average talk time.

I generally use less than 200 minutes a month and less than 25 actual text messages(not including notifications from facebook or myspace).

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Old 23rd June 2008, 22:23   #7
tuckerm
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I rarely use minutes, just for buisness calls and to people who don't text.

I don't use T9ine texting though.

I also can text without looking also, it's not that hard, it's the whole know your keys thing just like how I can write this message without looking at my keyboard.
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Old 23rd June 2008, 23:29   #8
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On my last cell bill I used a whopping total of 14 minuets.

Then again, I have a ppc with wifi and have purchased an unlimited calling plan from skype .... so I really only use my cell when I am in my car ... and I have issues talking on the cell while driving (I can handle it, but other people can't and I don't want to look hypocritical. If that comes up as a law, I am voting to make cells while driving illegal ... you don't know the number of times I have driven myself off the road in order to avoid being hit by some jackass on his/her cell --- yes, I know, the idiots ruin it for everyone cry me a river, I do not want to die by getting hit by a moron on their cell).

To my credit, I have sent 0 texts in my entire life. People send me them all the time; I never once have replied. Give me a qwerty keypad and we might have something, but I am not typing on 9 keys, word recognition or not, T9 or not.
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Old 23rd June 2008, 23:33   #9
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Eh, I was the same way but eventually I found the keys better than the qwerty. Looking back, qwerty keys are wayyy to small to even type out a decent message on.

I have the LG Glimmer and the touchscreen with the slideout keyboard is perfect. I love it.
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Old 24th June 2008, 02:16   #10
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lol "business calls".

I rarely text, I generally only do it to reply to somebody. This is mostly because I am way too cheap to pay for a texting plan.

I have a shitty-ass free-with-the-plan phone and it works well for me.

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Old 24th June 2008, 03:43   #11
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14,590 txts in a month? Unreal...

I admit that I love my Motorola Q 9h. I bought it because I txt more than I talk as well, but nowhere near fourteen thousand messages in a month. My totals vary anywhere between 200 and 1300 txts a month. I haven't used any significant amount of minutes in over three years.

Quote:
One would assume that the messages are jammed with abbreviations. Nope.

Abbreviations make the texts look ugly, says Paige.
I admire that. I hate messages cluttered with a bunch of abbreviations, too.
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Old 24th June 2008, 03:45   #12
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I've never sent or received a text. I told them to disable text messages when I got my phone, I don't want that shit. I don't use my phone that much as it is, but if you need or want to talk to me, call me. If I don't answer, leave a fucking message. That's what voicemail is for. If you're not into that sort of thing, I will see your number on my missed call list and I will call you back.

Spiral out, my friend. You will find your way back to yourself, we all will.
I'll be waiting, and shall see you on the other side...
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