I'm pretty sure this is another commercial for Sprint, which is currently leading the "don't ever do anything that doesn't involve using your phones" charge among cell service providers. But really, does it matter?
A bemused (or deflated, defeated, and probably never made much effort at imposing simple, necessary discipline and self-restraint) dad is asking the disembodied voice of the commercial's narrator for "help" in handling the family's cell phone bill. "What if you have a daughter who sent 35,000 texts last month?"
Zombie Daughter, staring at the screen of her phone with an intently focused, "why won't the non-cell phone world just go away" look on her face-- "that's an exaggeration."
Deflated Dad: "No it isn't."
Of course, the commercial doesn't address the real problem- that this daughter has a serious addiction to her phone, which has taken over her life in an alarmingly unhealthy way. According to Sprint, it's not even worth noting that 35,000 text messages in a month means 1166 messages per day. Assuming sixteen hours of wakefulness per day (considering how many of my students fall asleep first period because they've been online or on their phones until 2 AM, maybe this is a misguided assumption,) that's seventy-three texts per hour-- just over one per minute. No, the "problem" is the cost of all these messages, which is "solved" by getting Unlimited Texting from Sprint.
I wish a parent would explain to me why this commercial is amusing and helpful, rather than sad. I wish a parent would shoot me an email telling me that they couldn't care less if their children are basically doing nothing BUT texting people- and that the only problem they associate with this "activity" is the cost involved.
I wish kids who do a lot of texting would explain to me how and if they manage to carry out actual conversations with human beings in the vicinity while they are texting others. I wish they would explain to me why texting is preferable to talking, not to mention preferable to engaging in sports, reading, or any of the wide range of activities you simply cannot participate in fully with a cell phone attached to your hand.
Most of all, I wish Sprint and all the other cell phone companies would explain to me why they think that the pursuit of the Allmighty Dollar is worth crippling an entire generation of young people, who will one day look up from their screens to notice that something called Real Life has been going on around them, and all they have to show for their youth is an overloaded In Box and callouses. Oh, and bad grades- at least four of my students will be taking history again next year, because they spent the 2009-10 term in the bathrooms tapping away at their beeping little toys.