Girl's 22,795 text messages in a month nothing to celebrate

"All I could say was, 'Thank God I get free text messaging' "

This story about Breanne Fite of Upland, Indiana is quickly becoming a cliché ... and not a flattering one in terms of what it says about our society.

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Twelve-year-old Breanne, you see, is one of those texting prodigies -- a Mozart who's all thumbs -- that our always-on culture has not only come to produce but to celebrate.

From The (Muncie) Star Press:

Her father's last Verizon Wireless bill showed that her previous 30-day texting tabulation hit a whopping 22,795 messages.

"All I could say was, 'Thank God I get free text messaging,' " said Michael Fite, noting the bill broke down his daughter's communications as 301 picture texts, 743 text messages out, and 21,751 text messages in.

"It's one text message every 113 seconds," he noted.

As I said, you've read this story before.

I saw it on public display last week when I took my three 7-year-olds to see their first high-school basketball game. The stands of the small-town gym were packed, the action on the court non-stop, and every other teen-ager was busy texting someone something every other minute. (My kids were obsessed with the snacks, but that's another story.) I was already aware, of course, that teens and texting are inseparable, but I don't spend much time around them so this was a rare chance to observe the phenomenon up close and personal. ... They missed a great game.

Back to Indiana and young Breanne: What particularly struck me about the story was not the details of the girl's texting prowess, but rather the casual acceptance and encouragement of her habit.

From the story:

So what's the secret to her rapid-fire technique?

"I can text one-handed, but I usually use both because it's easier," she said, adding that she can also text when doing other things.

Homework while texting?


Eating while texting?

No problem.

Brushing her teeth while texting?

"Never tried that," Breanne admitted.

C'mon, girl, what's a cavity or two compared to breaking that pesky 23,000 messages per month barrier?

Asked if his daughter will eventually find herself in the Guinness Book of World Records, her Dad replied, "She probably will."

We all have dreams for our children.

It took a reader's comment posted at the bottom of the story to offer the perspective that neither Dad nor the reporter could muster:

What a pathetic story!! This is what is happening to our society -- why don't we all withdraw within the confines of our cell phones and spend all of our time texting, while fracturing our English language, and quit openly socializing with others. She also would make a great employee spending all her time texting instead of being a productive member of any team.

Harsh? Lighten up, you say?

I say try exercising a little parental control.

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