Wednesday, January 21, 2009
41,600 Text Messages: "Three Line" Tony Vindicated
An item in the "news" today is about a teenager who text messaged 41,600 times in one month. The article said that this came out to almost one text message per minute. I have sort of put down "Three Line" Tony in this blog, even while admitting the justice of his assertion that this blog is too verbose. "Three Line", you will remember, asserts that modern, written communications (as on the internet, cell phone, or anywhere else) should not go beyond three lines. "Three Line" insists that no one reads emails or blog entries or other messages beyond 3 lines (when I used to comment on AOL "news" stories, I got emails to the same effect). Although I have accused "Three Line" of not being able to read, he has asserted to me that he reads at least at a fifth grade level. I am sure this teenager would say the same. But you will note how this story vindicates "Three Line" Tony. It is hard enough to believe than anyone sends thismany text messages (indicating no real life outside of text messageing). It is impossible to believe that hardly any of the text messages were more than three lines. Nope. The evidence is mounting. "Three Line" Tony is right. The modern brain is losing the ability to read beyond three lines. My only non-relative female with whom I regularly communicate, the infamous Sylvia, totally agrees. She says her brain shuts down after three lines. My daughters basically agree as well, even though they are in a field (lawyers) where verbosity is endemic. I can't really blame my own on being a lwayer (before I retired). I was that way before becoming a lawyer (whcih may explain why I left physics--undergraduate degree--for the law. Even recognizing that I am too verbose (really too lazy to cut and hone--especailly when I am not being paid for it), I have to face one question. Do I want to become "modern"? The answer is "NO". But it remains irksome that "Three Line", who is chronologically older than I am, can validly claim to have kept up with the times better than I have. Curse him. P.S. Yes, I am perfectly aware that "Three Line", and all of the modern young people, will miss most of this entry. It is way more than three ines, as are alomst all of my entries. I can only suggest the "soluton" Three Line" came up with, although indicating he would not have the patience to use it very often. That "solution" is to break each blog entry up into three line segments, and read only one segment at a time. Yes, this probably involves more effort than simply reading the whole darn entry at one time. However, think of how much effort it takes to text message 41,600 times a month. If you don't read these blog entries in full, you don't know what you are missing (thank God).