Texting Trends & Human Contact [telecom]

Texting Trends & Human Contact

On Point with Tom Ashbrook WBUR and NPR October 19, 2010

Talking on the phone is quaint. Land lines being cut. We look at the high speed evolution of American communication.

Here's the news you may already have heard by text message: talking on the telephone is headed out. After a century of communication supremacy, the phone and yakking on it are now so yesterday.

Texting is taking over. Minutes on the phone, talking, is headed down. The number of text messages per day, per month, per minute, is exploding.

And it's not just a technology change. The rising generation isn't talking on the phone. It's texting. And those are very different human interactions.

Efficiency is up. But nuance is, maybe, down. And a lot is in play.

-Tom Ashbrook


Katherine Rosman, reporter for the Wall Street Journal and author of the article, "The Texting Revolution is Here." She's also author of "If You Knew Suzy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Reporter's Notebook."

Naomi Baron, professor of linguistics at American University. She's author of "Always on: Language in an Online and Mobile World."

Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

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Reply to
Monty Solomon
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........ If this yet another technology situation where we (eventually) learn that being "efficient" isn't necessarily being "effective"?

And a big hello to all those early Call Centre/IVR designers who's eyes lit up with the money they could save by being so "efficient" that most of their staff only lasted a few months and their customers got pissed-off with the lack of effectiveness.....

-- Regards, David.

David Clayton Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Knowledge is a measure of how many answers you have, intelligence is a measure of how many questions you have.

***** Moderator's Note *****

David, it doesn't work that way.

Companies that employ IVR and similar systems don't care about customer service in any real sense. They care about giving the appearance of caring, and there's a difference.

The reason the menus are complicated, convoluted, and confusing is that the system is designed to discourage Joe and Jane Average from ever talking to an (expensive) human. While having "customer service" numbers on the shrink-wrapped package Jane and Joe fondle in the store might move the product, actually providing that service is too pricey for any MBA worth his salt. The odds are that Jane and Joe will tuck their tails between their legs and wander off, and (so the MBA's hope) forget all about how they were cheated when they feal like fondling another package with the same brand on it.

This is why marketeers like young, impressionable, innocent, gullible consumers who have mommy's credit card in their purse: you can sell them trash all day long and they'll always come back for more. OTOH, those above 50 are a drag on the market: not only do we remember it when a company short-changes us, but we tell our friends.


Bill Horne Moderator

P.S. BTW, don't buy "BitDefender". It's a rip-off.

Reply to
David Clayton

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