David Thompson


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November 20, 2012



the average American sent 678 texts per month

That's the average? I need more friends.



“I need more friends.”

That, or you could just aggravate the friends you have with a stream of relentless inanity. So far as I can make out, it’s what my niece and nephew do.


"3.8 million British mobile phone users suffer from text-related injuries"



My brother and I are the only people I know who have managed so far to avoid the lure of the mobile phone. I've never owned one. If I'm out, I'm unavailable, you can leave a message - isn't that the point of being out?

It appears to be commonplace now for people, when paying friends a visit, to place their phone directly in front of themselves within grabbing distance in order to monitor it constantly, interrupting conversation when required. Far too many people seem to be so addicted to their little gadget that they have become slaves to the device, servicing its insatiable needs. I'm sure this adds to people's already stressful lives - they never 'disconnect'.



“Can’t talk. Playing with phone.”

Mike James

Looks like Greasy Teen saw you coming. I'm not mocking you. I got a smartphone last year which ended up being stolen. I still mourn its loss, like a sibling who died in childhood.



Oh, I did the upgrading elsewhere a few weeks later. So the shaming strategy didn’t work (for him). I should add that I’m a fan of said devices. The rate at which the technology has improved is impressive, and I do like toys. The day after I got The Latest Sleek And Shiny Thing™ I walked around the block watching a virtual me moving in real time around a zoomable, remarkably detailed map of the neighbourhood. As you do. It also means I can keep an eye on you lot when I should be doing something else.


I've got a very old Nokia that I can send and receive texts with, and make and receive phone calls on. And I can drop it and it won't break. This is all I need in a mobile.

the wolf

Nothing like getting together with friends and then watching them all sit around playing with their phones, oblivious to each other. I'm the only one in my crowd without a smart phone* and I observe this all the time. And I am one hell of conversationalist!

*Not stated with nose in the air. I am not a Luddite either. I will probably get an iPhone soon. I am just not an early adopter.

Spiny Norman

Am I revealing my age if I mention that I'm still using a 9-year-old "flip" phone? Or that I am, this week, finally replacing my 8-year-old desktop PC?

Not a Luddite, just not an early adopter. Works for me.


There’s now a, um, sport that’s even less telegenic than golf. The US National Texting Championship.

Peter Risdon

I read a report by a journalist who was profiling Rupert Murdoch. He'd got into a lift with him and the lift attendant was using a very flashy, state of the art phone but hastily put it away. Murdoch's phone rang, and he pulled out an old Nokia. I forget the model but had one myself. It made calls and handled texts, and the batteries lasted the best part of a week.

Now I have an Android smartphone. Best camera I ever had, because I always have it with me. The flashlight app is useful too.


My handheld has a "phone app." I use the keypad to dial in numbers, sort of like a code, and it "connects" to the phone whose code I dialed, via science.
From there, the two phones can exchange audio signals simply by having the user shout into the microphone, also included on most devices free of charge. This method does not allow for emoticons, but use of inflection can provide similar signals if the connected fleshsacks share a similar cultural background.


“via science”

I may have to borrow that one.


"The rate at which the technology has improved is impressive..."

It must, surely, reach a point beyond which there's no further improvement to be made? I don't think we're there yet, mind...



The battery technology needs an overhaul. Charging the thing every other day (or every day with heavy use) isn’t good enough.


I have a very minimal HTC android phone with tethering on, and a google nexus 7 that uses the internet.

Oh and my PC costs about 4K.

the wolf

Is it too early to announce that jkrank wins "Comment Of The Day?"


"Old school"?

Punk. Old School involves the use of mysterious objects called a "pencil" and "paper"...

the wolf

I'm waiting for an Obamaphone.

Jim Whyte

When people double-take at my old Nokia (possibly a linemate of Smudger's), I tell them I still have some text messages in memory written in New Testament Greek. I like text though -- it's quick and unambiguous, and the messages send even down in valleys where the signal is bad.

Anybody know if there's a smartphone app that mimics a 1940's film-noir payphone dial, complete with sound fx? Now that I'd upgrade for.


"Looks like Greasy Teen saw you coming." Made me think of:


I'm with Jim Whyte and Smudger. Old Nokia (6 years or so): texts, calls, no pics or fancy stuff, emergency uses mostly. And it's a clock/alarm. Tragedy is that on those rare occasions I get to go out these days I can't get tanked up until I can barely talk, take pictures of myself and post them on facebook for all my "friends" to see. But then, I am 45yo male.

@ mojo: surely Old School would involve a blanket and a fire?

Ebeneezer Flamsteed

Hee hee! I still have an old Motorola Startac, which is on the verge of becoming cool (or is it ironic now?) again. When I pulled it out at a party recently a young redhead looked at it and said "Cool! How retro!".

Rich Rostrom

David: The battery technology needs an overhaul. Charging the thing every other day (or every day with heavy use) isn’t good enough.

"This really is the future I wanted. Although I expected longer battery life." - James Lileks

JuliaM: It must, surely, reach a point beyond which there's no further improvement to be made? I don't think we're there yet, mind...

Maybe yes, maybe no.

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