TRAI-ing times for the youth - time to move back to pigeons & letter writing?
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) 100 SMSs-per-day rule has been successfully activated, and even the traffic police now can’t send out traffic updates post this rule. But for the youth, it’s a time of mourning as even though TRAI claims that the “average person sends 30 to 50 text messages per day”, youngsters believe that this claim is grossly unfounded.
In fact, a recent internet survey cited that cell phone owners between the ages of 18 and 24 exchange an incredible 109.5 text messages per day, or 3,200 per month! Students we spoke to agreed, with many saying that they send an average of 100 to 150 texts a day. And then there are those who send some whopping 700 SMSs!
End of social & Love life...
"TRAI will be ruining love lives", says the Ayushi, 21, DTU. “There are certain things that I like to say in texts only, like ‘I love you.’ I send more than a 150 messages a day, and this is bound to affect my love life,” says Anuradha Saxena, 20. Neha Raheja agrees, “I’m in a long distance relationship, and texts are the best way to stay in touch since I can’t make calls all day long.”
And if the love life’s gone, does social life stand a chance? “My friends and I rely heavily on SMSs. It’s inexpensive and effective. Like during the Anna Hazare anti-corruption movement, we communicated through texts. And if you are in DU and affiliated to a cause, SMSs are the best option to register the events. Besides that, it’s an inexpensive way to invite people for parties,” says Aashish Sharma.
But there are some who are trying to see the silver lining, like 19-year-old Aarti. “There’s a SMS card that gives me 1000 SMS for 62, and I buy it at least four-five times a month. So at least now my hands won’t hurt as much, and I might also save a lot of money,” says Aarti. But there are some who have been hit hard, like Nitin Sharma, who sends an average of 700 SMSs a day, “Maybe I will go back to writing letters! I’m also planning to buy a pigeon and send messages through it.”
Businesses will take a hit: entrepreneurs
It’s not only the youth, but also tech-savvy businessmen and entrepreneurs who are feeling the heat. A few days ago, online shopping store Flipkart sent an e-mail to customers saying that due to the new TRAI regulations, they’ll be unable to send customers an “Order Confirmation/Shipment/Delivery SMS notifications, starting September 27.”
But, since a lot of the courier and shipment related communication happens via SMS, it’s advisable to subscribe to partial DND. “So, the new regulation effectively means that I have to subscribe to partial DND and get ‘invest in Noida’ messages, if I need SMS confirmations from shopping portals. This is such a Catch-22 situation,” says Gaurav Arora.
Says PR professional Sonali Nigam says, “Earlier, I’d send bulk SMSs to invite guests for an event, so now I’ve decided to buy extra handsets just to text them!”
What's your take on this ridiculous but necessary step by TRAI...do share it with all of us..