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Texting: The Last Line of Communication

Marketing invades us everywhere--television, radio, internet, clothing, Google, facebook, and newspapers. I find myself telling the children who certain characters are (like Mickey Mouse, or Buzz Lightyear) and then realizing that I'm doing the marketing for these companies, giving these brands their name, desirability, story, and appeal.

Marketing has followed us to our physical mailboxes and email mailboxes, where we are invited to allow companies to contact us through our signing up for a newsletter, or a sale, or a credit card (sometimes we get contacted without our permission, when our name and information is bought and sold among the various corporations out there). I've personally seen this happen after being out of the country for 3 years and then returning, and the mailings have slowly increased as our information has filtered back into the system. We are barraged in our email about offers, jokes, and requests.

It's because of all this that I don't check email constantly, as it is mostly work and notifications and some advertising (I check it once or twice a day; I'm also very careful to unsubscribe from trusted companies whose newsletters I really don't read or need). Email used to be a way to keep in touch with friends and family, but it's now replaced the mailbox as an impersonal method of communication (the same happened to the telephone years ago, especially with robo-calling). It's particularly vital for businesses and work, as it provides a traceable method of communication. Now Twitter is the new space for advertisers, and television shows are increasingly encouraging us to tweet their show or products among our friends, so that they might trend well on Twitter.

Marketing provides a great service when we are told about products and deals we are interested in. Sometimes these are terrific services that we didn't know about, but that make our lives better. For many small software developers, the greatest challenge is the marketing, the getting their products out there and known among people. Advertising also provides cheap and inexpensive products and services, from newspapers to google to facebook. These services are not free, but are supplemented or paid for through the marketing revenues. How does Google make its money? Advertising (they're still not making any money off of Android, despite its success).

All we have left is our texting. That's the one place that's reserved for friends and personal conversations, for the really important and timely questions. So let's keep texting to ourselves and keep it appropriate. Why would I want advertisers to text me? No sale or product could possibly convince me to hand over my privacy and connection to others. Our mailboxes, phones, and email inboxes used to be our own, but they've been corrupted. Let's keep our texting pure.

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