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Acting Like Teenagers

Matrix_phone_1The availability of color screens and cameras and ringtones on phones are making otherwise well-behaved adults act like, well, teenagers. And it seems that the new shenanigans enabled by this technology are not limited to impish pranks.   

The Mobile Technology Weblog was the first place I read about the Shag Phone:

"I heard someone (honest) talking about their 'shag phone' the other day. He was a married man having an affair with a lady who was also married. It seems that one of the first heady rituals of the affair was to purchase a 'his and her, pair of pre-pay shag phones."

"...Only they knew each other's number, so when the phone rang, they could answer in an appropriately passionate way. While much the same effect could be achieved with caller recognition (assuming they were mobile literate), there was more than just a romantic gesture involved with this behaviour."

Any boss watching their corporate intranet traffic understands that younger workers gravitate towards sites like Match.com and sites for TV shows like The Bachelor. Indeed, dating-related applications seem to be the fuel driving much of the SMS growth in the United States, and indeed have become a substitute for the news for many young adults.

This example shows that matchmaking applications aren't limited to clumsy adaptations of existing personal classifieds. There are lots of creative ways to bring people together, and perhaps as we design these services we can find new ways to incent people to spend more time with us and perhaps buy a few things while they're getting to know each other.

But it's important that would-be mobile app developers understand that no carrier wants to be the target of any negativity arising from these applications. While they like incremental revenues, it's nothing if it costs them subscribers.

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