Spring is just weeks away, but snowstorms are still hitting the Midwest in full force, which means you'll probably be layering up in sweaters, gloves, and hats. The downside? The gloves that keep your digits nice and warm could put a damper on your texting addiction (I know how much you all love to text). Fear not; these gloves will keep the chill away, while still allowing you to send those important (or, maybe not so important) text messages.
On Dec. 3, 1992, Matti Makkonen sent "Merry Christmas" from a computer to a cellphone for the first time ever. We've been typing away since, sending over eight trillion short mobile messages a year.
With that many texts floating around in the ether, there's bound to be some ROFLs, fails, and BFFs named Jill. We've rounded up some of the silliest memes born from the now-ubiquitous SMS, in honor of its 20th birthday.
Clearly I have trust problems. I'm more than ready to admit this. I've been with this guy for eight years. We live together. Our story is really messed up — I feel like I have to warn you.
One time I broke my cell phone, and he lent me his old cell phone to use for the time being, until I bought a new one. I took some pictures on it, and while uploading my pictures onto my computer, I found older pictures on it of him and some other girl in a bar. He is standing straight and taking the picture, but she is leaning into him, with her face on his shoulder and her head pressed to his cheek. Since this was completely an accident and he was right there, I got very upset, and he said that he chatted up the girl just to prove to his guy friends that he could and showed them the picture to prove it. I've always been jealous and insecure and suspicious and I feel like this made it even worse.
Fast-forward, I snoop because I feel like he's hiding things and being dishonest, while he says he's hiding things because I would just freak out and not trust him about it. We've had a talk where I apologized for my lack of trust and asked him for help by always telling me everything regarding other women, and I'll try my best to not get jealous and freak out about it. He agreed but did not tell me anything, and we just fell back into the same thing.
I keep snooping and eventually find texts on his phone with a phone number he has saved but with no name. The girl talks to him about her life, says she wishes he would clean her apartment for her and that she loves to hear from him and it makes her smile. I confront him with it, and he gets furious, saying I have no respect for his privacy, and that there's nothing going on, and that I should call the girl to find out for myself.
I do call the girl, but from her end, it seems like they've been texting back and forth for years and that some things have happened in the past, but she is not clear on it. She says that talking about the memories brings back pain and that she "had been young — it was a mistake." However, she also lies to me and says they haven't talked since god knows when, when I just saw their texts that day. They met in a place we used to live, and he never introduced me to her or talked about her. I never even knew about her until now, two years later, after we've moved away for two years.
After our fight over these texts, he goes to the extreme and disconnects his phone, saying that is the only way he can give both he and I peace of mind. I guess I just want to hear random people on the Internet tell me that I'm really crazy and this all needs to stop.
My friends say different things. Some say that if I trusted him I wouldn't snoop, and some say that if he had nothing to hide he wouldn't mind my snooping. I don't know what I think now. It's all a jumble of hurt and confusion.
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People love the word "free," and cell phone addicts especially love the word "text." However, mobile phone services love to raise data service prices, and if you aren't careful about sticking to your service plan, you can find yourself outraged by the additional charges. Luckily, several companies have created ways to bypass the whole pay-for-texting situation. Here are six messaging services you must try.
- iMessage – All iOS 5 users can send unlimited text messages with Wi-Fi or 3G from the iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch to anyone else that also uses those devices. The service is already built into the messages app, and like iChat, you can even see when someone else is typing you back (if you are urgently awaiting their reply).
- BlackBerry Messenger – Send and receive messages using your BlackBerry; see when your messages are read; and know when your contacts are typing. Intended for BlackBerry-to-BlackBerry communication, you can still text your non-BB friends by adding the contacts to your BBM friends list.
- Viber – Text or call (also works internationally) to other Viber users over 3G or WiFi. Viber automatically shows which of your friends has the service; otherwise, simply notify your friends to download it, so you can communicate via Viber.
- Text Free – Download this app on the Android Market for free text and picture messaging as well as Facebook chat capability.
- Google Voice – Send and receive free text messages using the app, which is available for Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Nokia S60.
- ChatOn — This new Samsung-powered service allows you to send free messages, group messages, photos, videos, and audio messages to other ChatOn users. Currently, ChatOn is available on Android devices (2.2 and above), but will be rolling out to iOS and BlackBerry soon.
A new survey says that 75 percent of Americans use their smartphone while on the toilet. No wonder 16 percent of cell phones have poop on them. Gross. Not only is talking, texting, or web surfing on the John a disgusting habit that encourages the spreading of germs and bacteria, but it can also cause awkward moments for others around you. But the loo isn't the only place you should consider a tech-free zone. Check out the list below for five other locations you should keep your phone under wraps and on silent.
- At the movies — We all paid to get into the theater, so please keep your cell phone on silent and don't answer it if it rings; you'll be ruining the experience for the rest of us!
- At the gym — Talking on your cell at the gym is a no-no according to FitSugar, and I'd have to agree. Getting distracted and walking away from equipment slows the rest of the gym-goers down, and no one really needs to hear you go into detail about last night's date, your annoying coworker, or your mother-in-law's upcoming visit while we're trying to run.
- At the dinner table — If you've gone out of your way to meet with friends, family, or heck, even a date over dinner, the least you can do is keep your cell phone off the table. Placing your phone next to your plate just makes it seem like you're waiting for someone to call, or worse, looking for something better to do.
- Behind the wheel — This one seems obvious, but 56 percent of people have seen someone use their mobile phone behind the wheel. Even scarier? Almost 25 percent of Americans have seen someone using a laptop behind the wheel.
- In the bedroom — This is a no-brainer, right? Maybe not. A 2010 study showed that 10 percent of people would check texts during sex. Are we so preoccupied with staying connected that we can't even enjoy a little unplugged "business time"!?
OK, lions aren't manipulating their fuzzy paws to send text messages to the rest of their pride. Rather, scientists in Kenya have outfitted local lions with GPS tracking collars that send automated text message updates to the researchers on their locations.
Every hour, the GPS collars transmit a text message to a server, which eventually sends the data to a satellite map that shows the lions' movements so researchers know when lions come too close to farmers' livestock. In order to protect their own assets, some farmers have resorted to poisoning the lions to prevent their herds from becoming a meal. Conservationists hope by following the lion's movements on the savannah, they can turn dwindling population numbers around.
So far, 10 lions are wearing the collars, which cost $3,000 a piece and were partially funded through Kickstarter.
In the wild world of dating, the huge role texting has taken on in our lives is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that it's a quick and easy form of communication. You're going to be 10 minutes late? Send a text. You had a really great connection after a date, but you don't want to call immediately? Send a text.
But the curse part comes in the form of the anxiety we get from what he says, when he says it, why he doesn't respond immediately, why he uses stupid emoticons, etc. Contrary to popular belief, men and women speak very similar languages. There's no formal form of "guy speak" you have to translate. You've just got to get out of your own head!
Here's a quick list of reasons why this is a good idea.
- The time between texts doesn't account for anything. How long it takes your guy to respond after you send a text is not an accurate gauge of how much he likes you. He's busy. I know you're busy, too. But think about how much more proactive you could be during the day if you compartmentalized your dating life from your work life. Most of the guys I know that I'd actually be interested in dating are really good at doing this.
- If he doesn't text back, he probably doesn't want to talk to you. Plain and simple. I've fallen victim to building up the circumstances in my mind. I hope he didn't lose his phone. I hope he didn't lose my number. I hope he's OK. While of course there are exceptions to the rule, here are words for the wise. If he doesn't text you back and you feel awful about it, don't text him again. It's his loss.
- If he confesses his love for you via text at 2 a.m., take it with a grain of salt. From experience I can say that this is the best option. If his text is overflowing with typos and something feels a little out of character (like it includes a marriage proposal), check the time and figure out where this is coming from. If he's in Vegas or just at the bar with the boys, it may be a drunk text, and should therefore be disregarded.
- Men say what they mean. If he says he had fun, that means he had fun. If he says he doesn't want to see you again . . . well then that's exactly what that means.
- It's a waste of time. I know that giving up our reliance on texting is no easy task. You hate it when you're waiting, but you love it when he responds. And if you've been conditioned like me, you're attached to your phone and you grew up in the world of instant messaging. But here's the thing, it's time to remember that you're far too special to be wasting your time worrying about a problem that may not even exist.
The moral of the story? Here's what you should be deciphering from his texts: nothing.
Heads up, text addicts: you could be fined if you're caught walking and texting on the streets of Philadelphia! We all know that texting while driving is dangerous, but a new program launched in May called "Give Respect Get Respect" is encouraging motorists, bikers, and pedestrians alike to pay attention while in transit. Fines are being issued for drivers that veer into the bike lane, bikers who run through traffic signals and ride on sidewalks, and even pedestrians are being warned that texting while walking could cost you $120.
Philadelphia isn't the first city to consider fining text-walkers; back in 2008, Chicago introduced a bill that would ban texting while walking due to the high level of injuries caused from pedestrians walking into oncoming traffic, falling off curbs, and running into light posts and telephone poles. Though you can download an app that could help you text and walk with confidence, I'm not sure the city of brotherly love would consider that an acceptable alternative.
My work phone number must have had an illustrious history before being assigned to me, because I've gotten several calls from debt collectors and tons of texts from spam marketers since the day I got it. Recently, I realized that the frequency of "how to become a secret shopper" and "ways to get a car loan" texts meant that it was time to find a way to block spam texts.
Most of you have also received unwanted spam texts too, so I know you share my frustration! And even though almost 90 percent of all emails sent last year were spam, somehow the occasional junk email that gets through to my inbox is not as annoying as its SMS counterpart; after all, you don't have to pay for emails from a shady marketer like you may have to for your incoming texts.
So how do you stop spammers from texting you? While some recommend replying "STOP," I'm not convinced that doing this would work and not, say, alert the offender of your working cell phone number. So instead, I use a simple recommendation for reducing the amount of junk texts you get. Read about it after the break.
Text messaging may be efficient, but the beloved medium for chatter is ripe with social and communication dilemmas. If you're dating, we advise you to suck it up and call. If you're just keeping touch with pals and family, we say celebrate the LOLs and convenience. Here are some of our favorite text apps and sites for LOLs and useful text tips.
- Damn You, Auto Correct is a hilarious compilation of autocorrected messages sent by users who have experienced major autocorrect FAILS.
- Parents Shouldn't Text catalogs funny texts from (often well-intending) parents. One mother accidentally ruined her daughter's surprise proposal, and there are screenshots to prove it.