April 30, 2012 by Scott McLeod 2 Comments
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If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s Nancy Lublin’s 5-minute TED talk on texting that saves lives. It reminds me that we need to start thinking more creatively about texting, Facebook, and other technologies for which so many adults are uncertain…
Thanks for posting this!
But, for me, it wasn’t happy viewing. What Nancy Lublin speaks of is not happy stuff; it’s really bad stuff.
But something else made me unhappy too: her swift hardly noticeable switch from speaking of bad stuff reported by people using texting, to speaking of data.
A testing hot line does indeed look like a good idea here, but it will not, in and of itself, generate data, as Lublin says it will.
Summing the number of rape reports, or bullying reports, or whatever, does not tell you how much there is of these things going on, not without also knowing something, albeit an estimate, of the number of people affected who report using texting.
There’s typically a lot of worked needed to turn the kinds of raw numbers of things that such a texting hotline would collect into reliable, robust, trustable data. But before it is known to be reliable, robust, and trustable, it’d be best not to call it data, so as not to give people the wrong impression.
For me, this is what Lublin did: she spoilt an important message with a poorly thought out and ill presented personal ambition statement.
Perhaps someone should tell her.
Tim makes a very good point. I’ll tell her. I find these over simplifications about the virtues of the latest internet technology are often used to obtain 15 minutes of fame by the proponents of ideas that will likely prove to be BS. I couldn’t help thinking of Suzy Orman while watching this video. This fad too shall pass. I find it amazing that teens, of all people, should like a system that requires that they type. I remember when typing was a job skill usually required of women for their second class low paying jobs as secretaries. Now you have to buy your own tiny typewriter and you don’t even get paid anything to use it. I consider it rude for someone to assume I text and to send me a message expecting me to type on tiny keys. That’s too much like work, so unless you are my boss don’t assume I text just because it is convenient for you. Ask before texting!
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