Teen Rings Up $5,000 Texting Bill

There’s oversharing, and then there’s oversharing. In an age of Facebook, Twitter, rampant SMS messaging, IM and other instantaneous media, it’s easy to cultivate a communications habit. But imagine sending/receiving 700 texts in a day. Or how about that many every day. For a month.

That was the fate of 13-year-old Dena Christoffersen, a Cheyenne, Wyo. teen that presented her parents with a mobile bill for around $4750.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Dena has been grounded until the end of the school year, and she’s now phone-less: her father, Gregg Christoffersen, smashed the phone with a hammer after opening up the bill.

Scenting an opportunity, mobile entertainment community Predicto Mobile said this week that it will pay the full balance on the family’s behalf.

In exchange, Predicto Mobile gains some publicity, and it has requested that Dena write a 1,000 word essay on “smart texting,” offering fellow teen text enthusiasts insight into what she learned from the experience and how her habits might change moving forward. The essay will be posted on the Predicto Mobile’s blog “as a way for parents and texters to learn from the costly error,” the company said.

Imagine: 700 messages. Say half are sent, half received. If Dena regularly sent 350 messages in a 12-hour period—down from 24 to account for sleep, meals and class time—that’s about 30 per hour, or one message every two minutes.


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