Is refusing to answer the phone really the best telephobia remedy?

Thursday, 28 June, 2012

Are you in dread of who may be calling from an unknown, or private, phone number? Are you someone would sooner ignore most incoming calls and instead conduct your “telephone” communications via text messaging? If so it could be you are afflicted with “telephobia”.

“It’s just plain scary to talk to other people. We avoid it not because people don’t matter – but because they do. And each of us brings emotional baggage to to these interactions. when my phone rings, and I don’t recognise that number – forget it. I’m too scarred by the years I spent dodging credit card companies to take that kind of dare. I also don’t jump off cliffs, or do cartwheels on the highway. In fact, it’s amazing to me that there was a time when the phone rang, and someone just answered it. Who could it be? Could it be the guy who was currently making your heart pound? Oooh, let’s pick it up and find out! Now, when I see an unfamiliar number, I feel nothing but outrage.”

Related: Tags: , ,

Texting while walking is no real guarantee of walking into things

Friday, 22 June, 2012

This may come as a surprise but it seems people who text while walking, at least those who are inside, are less likely to bump into walls, doors, or people, as they tend to be a little more aware of their surroundings, says some recent research.

Of more concern though was the finding by the same study however that a fair number of people still walked into door frames, or other objects… even though they weren’t texting, or presumably, otherwise distracted.

Our results revealed that texters were more cautious than non-texters; they walked slower and rotated their body through doorways they could have safely walked straight through. There were no significant differences, however, in the number of bumps into the doorframes. If texters in the real world behave like those in our laboratory, then the number of texting-related accidents reported in other studies might suggest that being overcautious while texting does not actually decrease the likelihood of accidents.

What does this say? If we aren’t texting then we feel we aren’t posing any sort of risk so therefore there is less need to be mindful of the potential to harm ourselves or others?

Related: Tags: , ,

Could texting perserve languages and the sanctity of peer groups?

Friday, 15 July, 2011

Languages on the brink of extinction have won a reprieve after being adopted by teenagers and twenty-somethings in an effort, at least partially it would seem, to keep communications exclusive to their peer groups.

Samuel Herrera, who runs the linguistics laboratory at the Institute of Anthropological Research in Mexico City, found young people in southern Chile producing hip-hop videos and posting them on YouTube using Huilliche, a language on the brink of extinction. Herrera also discovered teens in the Phillippines and Mexico who think it’s “cool” to send text messages in regional endangered languages like Kapampangan and Huave. Almost as soon as text messaging exploded on the world stage as a means to reach anyone, anywhere, and anytime, young people began to find a way to scale it back, make it more exclusive and develop their own code or doublespeak to use on the widely-used devices.

Related: Tags: , , , ,

Perhaps running car engines should immobilise mobile phones?

Monday, 4 October, 2010

A (disputed) US study has found that bans on texting while driving are proving ineffective, and may even be causing an increase in car accidents, as texting drivers attempt to conceal their activity, which further distracts them while they are behind the wheel.

As for what might account for an increase in crashes, speculation centered on the possibility that drivers were even more distracted by their own efforts to conceal their texting from view lest it be exposed to possible law enforcement.

Related: Tags: , , , ,

The postcard was the forerunner of text messaging

Wednesday, 6 May, 2009

Interesting back story explaining the origin of the 160 character limit for text, or SMS, messaging. While calculating what might make for a sensible number of characters, researchers discovered many postcards conveyed messages in 150, or less, characters.

Initially, Hillebrand’s team could fit only 128 characters into that space, but that didn’t seem like nearly enough. With a little tweaking and a decision to cut down the set of possible letters, numbers and symbols that the system could represent, they squeezed out room for another 32 characters. Still, his committee wondered, would the 160-character maximum be enough space to prove a useful form of communication? Having zero market research, they based their initial assumptions on two “convincing arguments,” Hillebrand said. For one, they found that postcards often contained fewer than 150 characters. Second, they analyzed a set of messages sent through Telex, a then-prevalent telegraphy network for business professionals. Despite not having a technical limitation, Hillebrand said, Telex transmissions were usually about the same length as postcards.

Related: Tags: , , , , ,

So which social network was de rigueur in 1894?

Monday, 8 September, 2008

While I’m pretty sure there was no Facebook, no texting, and no MySpace, a couple of decades ago, television host James Kerley doesn’t seem as certain:

“There is a fairly strong career focus in our generation and a lot of people are not aiming to get married at 21,” said Kerley. “It is probably an evolutionary thing, as well. Go back a couple of hundred years, and I’m pretty sure you’ll find there’s no Facebook, no texting and no MySpace. “In the past, you could talk to people in your own town and in your city, and now, you can talk to people all over the world.”

I don’t think I could, or should I say, want to, argue with the logic of any of those words.

Related: Tags: , , ,

Text messaging speak: it’s deja vu, not new

Tuesday, 8 July, 2008

Many of the abbreviated words and expressions used in text messaging are far from new, with a number of commonly used terms appearing in an abbreviations dictionary that was published in 1942.

Similarly, the use of initial letters for whole words (n for “no”, gf for “girlfriend”, cmb “call me back”) is not at all new. People have been initialising common phrases for ages. IOU is known from 1618. There is no difference, apart from the medium of communication, between a modern kid’s “lol” (“laughing out loud”) and an earlier generation’s “Swalk” (“sealed with a loving kiss”). In texts we find such forms as msg (“message”) and xlnt (“excellent”). Almst any wrd cn be abbrvted in ths wy – though there is no consistency between texters. But this isn’t new either. Eric Partridge published his Dictionary of Abbreviations in 1942. It contained dozens of SMS-looking examples, such as agn “again”, mth “month”, and gd “good” – 50 years before texting was born.

Related: Tags: , , , ,