Last week I received one of the most surprising SMS messages of my life... it was from my grandmother! At the rip old age of 80 she has decided to join in the mobile revolution and has bought a mobile phone. What's more, she has taken to using it like a fish takes to water - including sending SMS messages. While it makes prefect sense for my Gran to have a mobile phone so she is connected to the rest of the family while she is out and about, I was surprised to see how quickly she accepted this new technology. Of course she's had some heavy duty tuition from my sister who has shown her all the ins and outs of her new phone, as well as teaching her how to send and read SMS messages. She even knows about popular SMS emoticons such as :-). I guess I shouldn't really be surprised by my Grandmother's use of a mobile phone for voice and SMS messages. According to research earlier this year, mobile phone use amongst the over 65s is on the increase both in North American and in much of Europe, although voice is more popular than SMS.
The 19 year old juror blatantly ignored the court's instructions not to communicate with others by sending her text messages, and she showed very poor judgement by continuing to text to her new found 'friend' even though she had been warned off. Passing on overheard gossip in the text messages only made matters worse and was a clear case of trying to influence a juror - a big 'no no'. Moreover, shouldn't she have been paying attention to her own case – not sending text about another one? But by all accounts the young British woman was not the brightest of sparks, as well as very immature. I guess you could question whether a 19 year old has the maturity and presence of mind to undertake jury service, but I am sure there are many that would take jury service in their stride. To me it boils down to realising that just because you can, doesn't mean you should. There are times when texting is appropriate and times when it isn't (such as while on jury service or driving) and a bit of common sense is all you need.