Dial 5683 for LOVE

A technology as ubiquitous as mobile phones just has to change the way that we operate as human beings. Of all the mobile functions none is so widespread as “texting” or “sms-ing”. Now new research has shown that text messaging has changed the emotional charge of a simple act like dialling a number on your phone.

For the study German researchers created a list of German words that can be typed on your mobile phone keypad without typing the same digit twice in a row. For instance they used positive words like “liebe” – love (54323), and “freund” – friend (373863) as well as negative words like “schleim” – slime (7245346) and “angst” – fear (26478).

Participants were given a mobile phone with stickers over the buttons so that only numbers showed, not the corresponding letters. They were then told to type number sequences corresponding to positive and negative words.

After typing each one they rated how pleasant it had been to type the number on the phone. The participants believed that they were taking part in a study of ergonomics and did not know that the numbers related to words.

On average participants preferred punching in digits that related to positive words even thought they did not know that was what they were doing. So at some level the participants were deciphering the emotional meaning of what they were entering without any conscious knowledge of it.

At a business level this has some interesting implications. A law firm might want to go for a number that spells out “justice” or a counsellor might go for a number spelling out “discovery”. On a personal level, who knows what the future may hold. Maybe we will start speaking in numbers in the future. Perhaps you might find yourself saying:
“ I 5683 you!”
“You are 6423!”
“I want to 4653 you!”
Or on another occasion you might say to someone, “Just 5867 off!”
The deciphering of those is left up to you.

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The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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