How would you feel if your wireless bill had nearly the same number of pages as a ream of paper? Needless to say when Greg Hardesty received a 440-page bill from AT&T, he was shocked. Upon examining the bill, Hardesty discovered that his 13-year-old teenage daughter, Reina, managed to send 14,528 text messages last month.
At first, Hardesty thought the bill was impossible, so he whipped out his calculator to see if it was even feasible to send that many messages in a month. Turns out, it is but barely. To reach this quantity of messages, Reina would have had to send 484 text messages per day, which amounts to about one message every two minutes of every waking hour.
Like many parents would do after receiving such a bill, Hardesty went to his daughter and asked, “Who are you texting anyway? Your entire school?” She replied that a lot of her friends have unlimited texting plans and that they pretty much text all of the time. More specifically, she frequently texts a core of “four obsessive texters,” who are all girls between the ages of 12 and 13.
Reina really does text what seems like all the time. She recently had a karaoke birthday party; while other people were singing, she was texting her best friend who was sitting right next to her.
After being told how many messages she logged, Reina had to tell her friends—by text, of course. Reina attributes part of her high texting use to the fact that she was on winter break last month and “was bored.”
Fortunately for Reina’s parents, she has an unlimited text messaging plan for $30 per month. Otherwise, at a rate of 20 cents per message, Mr. Hardesty would have owed AT&T $2,905.60. Since receiving the bill, Hardesty and his ex-wife have placed restrictions on Reina’s cell phone use, and have ruled that she cannot text after dinner.
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