A very modern dilemma

Katherine sent me a text message the other day. Nothing that surprising in that – I suppose. But we were in the same house, and she was asking me if I wanted a cup of coffee.

Now when I was brought up, I was always told that I was not supposed to shout up the stairs. Shouting, I was told, was a terrible thing to do as it made the baby Jesus cry. So we weren’t allowed to shout up the stairs at home. So if you wanted to ask a question you had to go up and ask. When I was a child I always wanted some kind of intercom system, some way of contacting those in other rooms without shouting. And that is very much what Katherine had achieved with her text message.

On the other hand my parents tried to teach me the value of money and how one should try very hard not to waste it. In many ways this text message was exactly that – a waste of money*.

So was it a reasonable thing to do? What solutions do you have? We do have an internal telephone that has an intercom, but there isn’t a telephone in every room so that needs to be taken into account.

*We were both within our minutes but is that an opportunity cost or a sunk cost? Economists amongst you – you be the judge.

3 thoughts on “A very modern dilemma

  1. Nick Ollivère says:

    I don’t know much about these things, but couldn’t your phones be permanently connected via Bluetooth, and thus send each other messages for free? Or is the distance too great?

  2. Alex Andronov says:

    Weirdly our phones don’t have bluetooth. However if Katherine had wanted to she could have e-mailed me from her phone which would have been free.The only problem with that is that we’ve both turned off sound alerts for e-mail arriving because e-mail often arrives in the middle of the night.

  3. Alex Andronov says:

    Just to make that clearer.The iPhone has bluetooth, but it is crippled at present to only allow a bluetooth headset. Apple have hinted that more bluetooth applications will be coming soon.

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