New Year's Text Message Mayhem
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.
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