A new poll taken by the Pew Research Center has shown growing distrust between Smart Phones and the people who use them. Among the 10,000 users surveyed, 7,843 (more than 78%) said that they trust their phone less than half of the time, often checking and rechecking text messages before sending them. Interestingly, among the 5,000 Smart Phones polled, 4,300 placed the blame on 'operator error.' What explains the wide variance in feeling among technology and their handlers? I talked to research analyst David Allen Smith to find an answer.
"What we have is a typical 'he said, she said' scenario. Neither party is willing to take the blame and each feels the other is at fault," Smith explained. "Somewhere along the way, Americans have developed their own jargons and dialects on SMS, and it's hard for even the newest cell phones to keep up. You have to understand, most Smart Phones were raised in areas where proper speech and good grammar were highly esteemed."
It would appear that the situation at hand is a classic American story: newcomers in a foreign land often take several generations to feel like a true part of their community. But isn't that what America is known for, the melting pot and largest consumer electronic market in the world? Why then, is the culture clash having such an aggravating effect on the mobile phone community? I interviewed some locals for their opinions.
"I paid $400 dollars for my phone. My laptop doesn't choose when to give me internet access; my stereo doesn't decide what stations I will listen to. Why shouldn't I expect my phone to have my back?" asked one consumer.
"People think that because I have the largest screen and thinnest frame that I'm perfect, that I'll never make a mistake," continues one Samsung (Model number asked to be withdrawn). "Just because I cost two weeks paychecks and you had to pay an upgrade fee does not mean I can walk on water. I'm allowed to make mistakes too, ya know."
"I was texting my buddy Chuck, asking him if he wanted to come over for the game. I hit send and a minute later he asks me what I meant by 'comedy' over for the game. I was so embarrassed I couldn't even look at my phone for the rest of the night," says one man inside a Best Buy, threatening to buy a newer model.
I had the chance to talk to the man's Windows 925, who had this to say in his defense: "What he didn't tell you is that he was on his third beer when he text Chuck. He typed "do u wanna xomed over for da game?" How am I supposed to translate that into something intelligible? I took a guess and went with comedy, seeing as he had pushed an extra button. And for the record, he looked at me several times throughout the game to check the time."
Perhaps in the years to come, newer generations of Smart Phones will get the formula right, taking into consideration the context a misspelled word is used in. In the meantime, it isn't unreasonable for the phones to ask users to brush up on their spelling and read over their message before hitting send.