For some people, texting is not just a convenient way to send a message; it's the only way. I hate to show my age, but today's youth really doesn't know what it's like to draft an actual letter anymore because they don't have to. Technology has made it so that communication is a completely different beast than it was even ten or twelve years ago, and sometimes, if you're adept enough, you can translate your knowledge of it into cold, hard cash.
That was certainly the case for 17-year old Austin Wierschke, a Wisconsin teen who can text so fast his thumbs are a virtual blur over the keys. And during the 6th Annual LG U.S. National Texting Championship, that counts for quite a bit. However, you also have to be accurate, and Austin proved himself the master of texting when he typed out several phrases with more speed and precision than opponent Kent Augustine in the final round.
"Hearing my name called for the second time was amazing and a total shock," said Wiershcke. "I feel really lucky that I was able to come back this year to compete again."
Wiershcke received a whopping fifty grand as his prize, but almost as good was the knowledge that he'd done something worthwhile for a good cause: bullying. The Cartoon Network's "Stop Bullying: Speak Up" campaign was involved in the championship, and encouraged those attending to text a phrase to a certain number; in return, the campaign organizers donated money to an anti-bullying cause to raise awareness of the problem.
"Since texting is such a fast and convenient form of communication, it's unfortunately become common for some to use it to bully and spread negativity," said James Fishler, vice president of LG Electronics. "For that reason, we felt a responsibility to evolve the 2012 LG U.S. National Texting Championship into a platform to help educate all of us about standing up to bullying in our local communities."
Image credit: LG