There is scarcely a public phone throughout the island without a queue of at least ten teenagers lined up outside, as the youth are swept along by the new “texting” craze. Concerned parents' groups believe it could permanently transform social interaction, and not always for the better, as youngsters indulge in hours of unsupervised contact with their peers from the privacy of their local call-box.
Already there are reports of harassment and “sexting”, as police investigate one message from a 17 year old in which he told a girl of his acquaintance “id lk 2 luk up ur skrt”. It was accompanied by a grainy black-and-white image of what the outraged recipient believes are his genitals, although the investigating officers admit it could also be “a shellfish, or a steam locomotive”, given the data limit of 0.1kb per image transmitted.
However, the island's telecommunications czar, Robert Young, has allayed the fears of parents that their offspring will turn into sex maniacs with the attention span of gnats. “We have adequate built-in safeguards” he assured them, “texts must be at least 200 words long, with a neat one-inch margin, and at least one semicolon per sentence. And all will be subject to censorship by the local postmistress”.