Tech

UNT Student Competes In Nat’l Texting Championship

DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – A University of North Texas student is in New York City preparing to compete in the fifth annual LG U.S. National Texting Championship.

Sarah Wood is one of just 12 other “texters” competing. The 22-year-old college student is practically a “senior citizen” at the vent. The reigning texting champion is 14 and most of this years competitors are teenagers.

There are several stages of the event, which of course increase in difficulty. “The fifth round, where there’s only three contestants left, we have to do it blindfolded,” explained Wood.

Wood said it generally isn’t the spelling that makes some words harder to text than others.

“Honestly the ones that are hard are the ones that you use only one hand on,” she said. “Like, words like “states” where you only use the left hand… ‘cause it’s not as fast ‘cause you only use the one thumb. You can’t go as quickly.”

So exactly how does one prepare for a texting championship? “They gave us a phone for the competition. We all have to use the same one. And I just practiced texting my friends and they’ve got a Facebook app that you can go on and play and practice your skills,” said Wood.

An LG press release said the 2011 challenge “will push contestants to dig deep and flex their texting muscles as they race through challenges designed to test texting speed, accuracy and dexterity”.

While every round is unique, Wood said this year’s competition also has a bit of a twist.

“They got us the LG DoublePlay, which is the brand new phone from LG – that’s the one we’re using now. It’s a full QWERTY keyboard but it’s a split keyboard, so there’s a little small screen in between the two halves.”

Contestants will be judged on speed and the number of mistakes made.

If Wood is deemed to have the fastest thumbs in the nation she will walk away with the honor and a $50,000 cash prize.