Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Texual Revolution


So the big news around these parts yesterday was that a fast-thinking employee of a bank thwarted a bank heist by text message.

A man dressed in a suit and tie, driving a BMW, pulled up to a bank in Dedham, MA and pretended to be withdrawing money from an ATM just before the bank was opening for business. He forced his way into the bank, armed with a pellet gun and demanded access to the vault. One of the bank employees used her cell phone to text another bank manager at a nearby branch, who then alerted police. Two police officers working less than 100 yards away responded immediately and the thief was arrested.

This is amazing to me. The fact that the employee thought to alert another manager via text is astounding enough, but the fact that the bank employee had her cell phone with her at the time and opted to send a text message instead of dialing 911 is surprising. Couple that with the fact that the text was immediately received and the authorities alerted within minutes, make this a wondrous thing. What does this say about society's love affair with cell phones? It would seem that this is just another example of how having a cell phone with you at all times, for "emergencies", is a good idea.


I have been out of an office atmosphere for a few months now, but I do know that most employers frown upon employees having their cell phone with them during business hours. Yet-employees do it anyway. Most of us unable to part from our ever important cellular device-the outside connection to our own little world. My children have had cell phones for a few years now and on days like today, I question whether or not I should continue to chide them for their dependency on text use.

Here's the thing, what if the other bank manager didn't have his/her cell phone at the time the robbery was taking place? The employee at the bank where the robbery was taking place made a conscious decision to alert the danger via text instead of using 911. Did she take a chance on whether or not the other manager would receive the important alert? I think not. This tells me that she knew that the other bank manager would be sure to receive the text and that help would be on the way. If I were a betting man I would bet the farm that if phone records were checked, they would confirm that these two employees had been engaging in a text conversation prior to the robbery. This is by no means an accusation of wrong doing, just a statement of fact that illustrates society's texual revolution.

Interestingly enough, ABC News reported last night, (unrelated to the bank heist), that over three trillion text messages were sent last year alone. The Senate is questioning the phone companies over their overwhelming profits on text messaging. Phone companies charge the user .20 cents to send or receive a text when it costs them 3/10ths of .1 cent to transmit the message. Phone companies are being accused of price gouging by the Senate. The fact is that 600 text messages use just 1 minute of cellular network time, yet we the users, are being charged quadruple for what seems to be our preferred communication of choice. This translates into a virtual gold mine for the cell phone companies.

In light of yesterday's events and the recent uprising in Iran, where people used text messages, mobile devices and outlets like Twitter to have their voices heard and successfully shared information about important issues, solidifies the fact I am going to keep my mouth shut and gratefully pay my own and my children's cell phone bills. My peace of mind is worth it's weight in the phone companies gold.

19 comments:

Bill Stankus said...

You did not resist, you have been assimilated. We are the Borg.

Chris said...

Scary isn't it?

Okay, Candy, back to that other thing. I am a lifelong Jets fan, so I am not fond of the Pats, particularly Belichick. But I sense perhaps a bigger problem. You say that you bleed black, gold (Bruins, I suppose), Green (Celtics), and red, blue, and silver (Patriots). There's a gap there, and that's good, but I could be mistaken. Here's the thing...

My blood is pinstriped.

Jennifer and Sandi said...

Interesting post today. I don't text. Shit I can barely use the damn phone. I do however get charged .10 for every text I get and picture received. I could upgrade to unlimited texting for $9.99 BUT I DON'T TEXT. So please...don't text me cuz it costs me money. HAHAHAHA

Have a super day!!

- Jennifer

Meghan said...

Text messaging is amazing.Except I hate when people text while driving. That's annoying and unsafe.

Cora said...

I feel like Wilma Flintstone right now. I have a cell, but it's an ancient one. It can't send texts. I've never texted. Not once. Ever.

Maybe upgrading wouldn't be a bad thing.

RedCurlGirl said...

i feel like text messaging is my only way of keeping in the loop half the time!

even though i hate people that have them on at the office. i threatened a woman yesterday that if i heard her blackberry sing that country song "i wanna make a memory" one more time i was going to make her phone a memory.

BamaTrav said...

I only use my text in a pic text. I send nude shots to girls I know. I had no idea that you could type with one of those things. ;)

BeckEye said...

I think the employee was probably afraid that the robber would've seen or heard her dial 911, so opted to text for help instead. Maybe 911 should start taking text messages??

Scope said...

I live and die with my BlackBerry.

And don't get me on the whole price gouging thing. I can send unlimited email, surf the web, and stream video on the unlimited data plan, but still pay per text to send bits in a non-realtime stream.

Heff said...

I'm sorry. I still think cell phones are OF THE DEVIL !!!

SkylersDad said...

I never text, if I have something to say, I call the person and say/ask it! What the hell is up with texting? What is wrong with the girl in the bank that she didn't call 911!?!

Soda and Candy said...

That's really interesting! My cell phone has definitely made me feel safer more than once.

Skye said...

And I refuse to get a cell phone so no texting for me. I can't stand cell's especially when people are using them while shopping or standing in line for something. The worst though has got to be texting while driving. That's just gotta go!

The Dental Maven said...

Yup. Every one of my employee's has their cell phone with them - at every work station. Strange, but it's not intrusive on their work. If it was I'd put the Kabosh on that RIGHT QUICK.

Fancy Schmancy said...

I don't even have a cell phone right now, and I don't care! I've had the pay-as-you-go emergency phones in the past, and just hate them with a fiery passion. I do pay for my son to have one, though. His generation would literally be lost without it. Which makes it especially effective when you take it away!

Furtheron said...

the new generation won't accept that employers will want to stifle their access to mobiles (cells), facebook, twitter, etc. etc. They will see it as part of them and the companies that embrace that culture within themselves are likely to be the ones who will be able to recruit and retain the very best talent in the near future.

Interestingly SMS messages were only devised by the engineers of a way of them quickly communicating with each other without taking up precious bandwidth on the original services.

I use SMS a lot - esp with my family it is the best and least intrusive way of us keeping in touch... my daughter can send me a note of her going somewhere after school knowing I'll pick it up no matter if I'm in a meeting at that time or not. I can text back and let her know it's ok and when I'll pick her up and again not intrude on her with her friends... Dad calling and her having to say "Hello Dad... yes can you pick me up..." may not be cool, her answering text can be... :-)

Furtheron said...

To Meghan - if you text and drive in the UK now you'll get a fine and points on your license... I think it might be 6 points now... I might be wrong but do it twice and get caught and you'll be banned from driving...

Pop and Ice said...

If you have a phone that has the ability to use an app in place of direct text messaging, it's great! When I first started using Twitter I had SMS enabled, but after looking at just 2 days worth of data, I turned it off and switched to using a mobile Twitter app.

But I still direct text when I want to get someone's attention IMMEDIATELY. So I think these bank employees are to be commended and, yes, everyone should carry their cell phones with them at all times. You just never know what may happen....

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