Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Brain damage caused by content, not by phones

Turns out that mobile phones are bad for your health after all. Only it's not brain damage from holding a microwave generator close to your ear, as many suspected. It's repetitive strain damage to your wrist and thumb.

A British survey showed a year-on-year increase of 38% in this type of injury, and 3.8 million new cases every year. Small surprise, considering the results of another UK survey, this one by Virgin Mobile: 12% send around 20 text messages a day, 10% even more, up to 100. From personal experience: most Asian countries will find themselves in the same league.

The worldwide number of text messages passed the 1 trillion mark in 2005. The resulting industry generates an estimated $35 billion in revenues, putting the emerging blogosphere to shame.

And while we're at it, some more fun with statistics: all this is done by 2 billion mobile phone users, who apparently send on average 1.5 messages per day. And the current world speed record is held by a Singaporean girl, who managed to send the text 'The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.' in 43.24 seconds.

Which brings us back to the subject of brain damage, I guess.

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