Doug Johnson: Trying to break a texting record leads to record bill

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 18, 2021

Text-messaging is a popular form of communication for both young and old alike.

But for two central Pennsylvania friends it became a very expensive one.

In March of 2009, they decided to spend the whole month attempting to break the world record, exchanging a thumbs-flying total of 217,000.

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For one of the two, that meant an inches-thick itemized bill for $26,000!

Nick Andes, age 29, and Doug Klinger, age 30, were relying on their unlimited text messaging plans to help them break the record.

But Andes panicked when he received his cell phone bill in a box so big that it cost $27.55 to send it to him.

He immediately called T-Mobile, which credited his account and began investigating the charges.

The duo got the idea one day when Andes decided to Google the world’s record for text-messaging.

The largest monthly text message total he could find posted online was 182,000 sent in 2005 by Deepak Sharma in India.

So, he and Klinger set out to break the record.

Andes sent more than 140,000 messages, and Klinger sent more than 70,000 to end the month with a total of just over 217,000. Now that’s pretty impressive when you consider how cellphones have evolved in the last twelve years.

They didn’t have an iPhone X or the latest Samsung Galaxy phone to use in trying to break the record. (I can’t even remember what kind of cell phone I had back in 2009!)

In case you’re wanting to try and break the world record yourself, according to the record is currently held by Fred Lidgren with 566,607 text messages in one month. That comes out to 18,887 daily or 787 per hour or an amazing 13 texts sent a minute!

This incident reminds me of what Jesus taught about “counting the cost.”

He said in Luke 14:28-30, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’” (NIV)

Nick Andes thought he had a great plan to beat the world text-messaging record, but panicked when he got the bill.

It would have been so much easier if he had just checked with his cell phone carrier in the beginning and alerted them to what he was doing.

Likewise, many people live their lives without checking with God first. They plan their future and totally leave Him out of it. Then, when things fall apart, panic sets in because they failed to count the cost. Perhaps you are in that position today.

You feel like everything is falling apart and there is no hope.

I believe God wants to send you a text message: “Cl 2 me n I wl ansr n sho u gr8t n mit thngs.” Jer. 33:3.

Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.