Mobile Spam

I have a separate mobile phone here, an old Nokia with a Mumbai SIM card in someone else’s name because you have to be a citizen to get a phone number. I also carry my iPhone for internet access since it has an unlimited international data plan. Only one person has ever legitimately texted or called me on my Nokia, but every day I get at least 3 spam messages.

This never happens in the US, and thank god since we pay for our incoming texts and calls on most plans. Everything incoming is free here, but this is still super annoying. It’s to the point where I don’t even check when I hear that I got a new message since the signal to noise ratio is so high.

When I first got the phone I was getting these spam messages along with lots of daily trivia: questions about India mythology, celebrity quizzes, and riddles. I thought these were spam at first too, but a co-worker showed me how you could turn them off through deeply buried settings in the phone. Oddly, I’ve been told that many people actually like these messages. Maybe it has to do with the mobile being the primary source of connectivity and information, like how getting physical mail used to be exciting even when it was just a mass mailed catalog.

The other fun thing is that I’m having to learn T9 texting all over again. I’m crazy slow and have regained empathy for my old-school friends who respond to my long, grammatically correct texts with a simple “k”.