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It's probably just me....

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...but aren't we witnessing some sort of perverse yet profound overlap of stories related to mobile phones and texting?On the one side, we have everyone up in arms about efforts by Telus and Bell to massively increase the charges for incoming text messages. Consumers are also up in arms about pricing plans for the new iPhone - Ted Rogers might as well change his name to Jesse James - which put the monthly costs of operating one of the mobile wunderdevices in the same category as operating a car.It's quite clear that the mobile companies introduced texting at virtually no cost, and are now moving in for the kill with the knowledge that an entire generation of its clients have become profoundly addicted to text and IM. For all those texting addicts out there, who is LTAO now?At the same time, however, concerned parties are urging the federal government to create a criminal code offence for bullying using instant messaging or texting. The Canadian Teacher's Federation, which is spearheading the campaign, said it performed a national survey and found that more than one-third of students had been cyberbullied or knew someone who had been.I'll put on my parent's hat now and say that generally, I do not subscribe to the idea that the Internet is a tool of the devil. In fact, if parents took the time to do some basic monitoring of Internet use, including a demand to see IM logs, and took computers and high-speed Internet connections out of bedrooms and put them back into more public areas of our homes, a lot of the problems parents complain about would be solved. However, IM and text is a very difficult thing to monitor, and it is becoming a greater concern for anyone concerned about what kids are saying to each other.I have a friend whose teenaged daughter pretty much ruined her high school experience after becoming addicted to IM and text. Many of the messages this young woman was exchanging tended to be of sexually explicit nature. It became so distracting, it compromised her ability to get through school work. It was evidence, IMHO, that that writing a text message or IM is not only addictive, it frees up those inner demons.This is one of those posts that has been written with entirely no idea of what, ultimately, I have concluded on this subject. I find it odd that we're engaged in a national tug-of-war with mobile companies to lower texting fees while at the same time others are warning us about the social dangers of rampant texting and IMing. As a consumer, I'm offended by the cash grabs. As a parent, I wonder if horrendously expensive texting isn't a good thing.It makes for an interesting debate, no?-30-

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About Dan Lett

Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school.

Despite the fact that he’s originally from Toronto and has a fatal attraction to the Maple Leafs, Winnipeggers let him stay.

In the following years, he has worked at bureaus covering every level of government – from city hall to the national bureau in Ottawa.

He has had bricks thrown at him in riots following the 1995 Quebec referendum, wrote stories that helped in part to free three wrongly convicted men, met Fidel Castro, interviewed three Philippine presidents, crossed several borders in Africa illegally, chased Somali pirates in a Canadian warship and had several guns pointed at him.

In other words, he’s had every experience a journalist could even hope for. He has also been fortunate enough to be a two-time nominee for a National Newspaper Award, winning in 2003 for investigations.

Other awards include the B’Nai Brith National Human Rights Media Award and nominee for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism.

Now firmly rooted in Winnipeg, Dan visits Toronto often but no longer pines to live there.

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