Dutch newssite nu.nl writes about a recent research by Hi, a telecom provider targeted at young people. According to this research involving 1017 people between 16 and 30 young people find it very hard to overwrite SMS messages on their phones when the memory is full. They inspect each message to see whether it is fit for deletion. Almost all people reread their messages. They especially keep text messages by lovers, family and friends. 8 In 10 women keep sweet messages, against 7 in 10 amongst men. 17 % Of men keep SMSses with which they can blackmail others. Most text messages are lost when people switch to a new phone. The oldest SMS in 58 % of cases is 6 months. In 19 % of cases the oldest SMS is between one and three years old.
This seems to underline what many studies have already shown: the importance of the mobile phone in general and text messages in particular for young people’s social identities. Text messages are sweet little reminders of the people who matter, portable and accesible at any moment, like amulets. But is this any different for older people?