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New Year's Text Message Mayhem

Kim Hart

Text messages, it seems, have become the new holiday greetings. I used to get a couple dozen holiday cards and phone calls around the holidays. But last year, and even more this year, I got more Christmas greetings via text messages than actual phone calls.

So I expected to receive most of my "Happy New Year" wishes via text message as well. I even got an email from Verizon Wireless, boasting that the cellphone carrier expected customers to exchange more than 300 million texts on New Year's Eve--compared to 284 million texts (and about 5 million voice and multimedia messages) sent that night in 2006. AT&T also expected a surge of text message action.

Text messages take up only a fraction of the bandwidth needed to make a voice call. But all those text messages still must have clogged the network. I was a bit disappointed when I only received one text message five minutes after the ball dropped. Then, around 4:30 a.m., 15 messages were delivered to my phone at the same time, sending my phone into a frantic fit of buzzing. My midnight messages presumably had a hard time navigating the crowded wireless networks as millions of other revelers also tapped away on their cellphones.

Maybe it's a good thing no one tried to make an actual phone call that night--I may not have heard from anyone.

By Kim Hart  |  January 2, 2008; 10:48 AM ET  | Category:  Kim Hart
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

That happened to me and my girl as well.. I looked at my phone at midnight and was ready for the onslaught of test messages and was amazed that ALL my friends neglected to send the staple message.... at 4 am my phone went bezerk with 24 messages as did hers :-)

Posted by: Joe B | January 2, 2008 10:27 PM

A former Silver Springer, I now live in Brazil, and my wife tells me that here a cell phone call from another state is charged just to the receiver's bill. Sender pays nothing. We got no New Year's Eve text message,but got a call from a patient of hers. And we paid.

Posted by: Steve | January 3, 2008 5:17 AM

This is why you should only use win mobile!

Posted by: stevenBallmer | January 3, 2008 9:20 AM

I HATE the holiday text messages! I don't text much, so I don't have a plan that includes unlimited texts. So, I end up paying for each and every Happy Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years message I get. It drives me crazy.

Posted by: Sweetie | January 3, 2008 9:25 AM in a fight with my friend because i recieved a rude text from her 3 times and thought she sent it multiple times on i left her a rude voice message...and now she hates joke.

Posted by: Nick | January 4, 2008 6:30 AM

استغفر الله العلي العظيم

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