Friday, February 4, 2011

The Curse of "Aaron"

"I feel your pain, Aaron Rodgers."
There are many perks associated with being named "Aaron" (e.g. you're almost always first in line in kindergarten), but there's two major drawbacks that come with the name:
  • people constantly ask you how your name's spelled even though it's a very common name because people are stupid and can't quite figure out that a word can begin with two A's.
  • pocket dialing.
Being the first name in everyone's phone means being the first person pocket dialed.  But pocket dialing is not nearly as bad as its evil bastard cousin: pocket texting.  It wouldn't be so bad if it was only the occasional blank text, but having your cell phone company charge you 10¢ for every button pushed by an errant buttock starts to add up.  How much money do Aarons spend each year for butt dialed texts?

I like to consider myself a fairly average Aaron.  I get about 1 errant text per month, or about 12 errant texts per year.  Some Aarons have unlimited texting and others don't have cell phones, so I'll assume only 10% of Aarons pay for texts.  Judging by my Facebook friend list, about 1 in 200 or roughly 1.5 million Americans are named "Aaron".  This means the total money spent by Aarons for pocket texting is

(10%) · ( 1.5×106 Aarons ) · (12 texts per year per Aaron) · (10¢ per text)
= $180,000.

That's $180,000—four times what the average high school teacher makes—given to cell phone companies by Aarons because of pocket dialing.


  1. Yes! I got it right the first time doing it myself.

    Oh and Aaron, I'm not sure you knew this or not, but Chrome has some kind of built-in calculator where you can type in a math formula in the address bar up there and the answer will be displayed below. So I typed up there the math formula for this problem which is .10*1.5*10^6*12*.10 and got "180000"

    Cool eh?

    Another great post. And it makes me glad I still have an old-fashioned flip phone and don't do texting.

  2. This took me a while to understand, before I remembered that Americans are charged for receiving calls and messages, unlike us lucky plebs in New Zealand who just pay for making them.

  3. I didn't know that about Chrome. I usually just type it into the Google search bar, which is nice because it converts units for you. WolframAlpha also provides a lot of need information and is fun to use:

  4. Yes, the New Zealand cell phone system seems like it might be a welcome change from the American system (at least when it comes to texting.) A particularly unscrupulous cell phone company could easily prop up there profits by generating text message spam...and even if they don't, you still have to worry about Justin Bieber: