I realized something was afoot when I switched my phone from my right to left pant pocket. I did this because I had spent a good part of the day reaching down to look at my phone, only to find I was the victim of yet another “ghost text”. A ghost text is when you feel your phone vibrate to alert you to a text, take out the phone, and find out that it was just all in your head. You never actually got a text, because your phone didn’t vibrate, it was as if the text became a ghost and flew away.
Even though I moved my phone to a different pocket, I still felt my right leg vibrating. This got me wondering about my cell phone usage, do I really use it that much? I reset all my text messages and phone call timer for the past week. I was shocked at this past week of phone stats: 262 incoming texts, 227 outgoing texts, and 22 hours of talk time. Jeezus! I didn’t have any clue I was such a phone fool. Granted my lady was out of town, so that definitely contributed to the high stats, but it still seemed excessive. I don't have any email sent to my phone like other phone junkies do, my stats were purely text messaging originating from my phone. I decided to look at the different types of phone usage in greater detail. Here’s what I found:
Phone usage - Work conference calls were about half of the talk time. Melissa took up 25% of the talk time. Friends were the other 25% of the talk time.
Texts - Texts coordinating evening contributed a large number to the text count. When you are in a loud bar, you can’t answer the phone, it’s futile. My friends and I furiously text until we have all met up at the evening’s watering hole. I find this to be one of texting’s biggest benefits – You generally are going to be able to hang out with your group if they are out enjoying Chicago’s fine establishments, which they always are, so I always do.
My lady had a pretty high share of the text count. That goes without saying, in the days of cell phones and texting, you are going to have some daily chatter with the better half. She was gone to Boston so texting came in very handy. You don’t want to have to step outside during the night to chit-chat while on a trip. Texting allows you to keep in touch without having to break away from whatever else you are up to. Although nothing beats hearing her voice over a text, but sometimes you have to take what you can get.
Text replies back to screened phone calls were another common source of texts. Lots of times I just don’t want to get into a 20 minute conversation due to a variety of factors. So I will not answer the call, but then text over “hey what’s up” or “eating dinner” or some sort of status. As I type this, I am not thrilled with this behavior, it has become a habit I need to try and kick.
One thing I try to avoid is mass-texting impersonal messages. A few of the guilty who will remain nameless like to send out mass texts to a large group of people, with a message of “Hey what’s going on” or “Out?” or “Drinks?” I don’t send or answer these. If you can’t take the time to personally text me about what I am up to, I can’t take the time to be your social director for the evening.
I am shocked at how much I rely on my phone for interaction. Texting has become one of my primary methods of communication. Thank God I don't own a Blackberry and get all my email sent to my phone. I just hope the ghost stops texting me.