One of TigerBlog's favorite parts of paying the bills each month - you know, other than the sheer joy of spending all that money - is to see how many minutes on the phone and text messages TigerBlog Jr. and Miss TigerBlog have combined for in the preview few weeks.
This past month? It was more than 3,000 text messages and a total combined of 15 minutes on the phone. TigerBlog Jr. with five minutes. MTB with 10.
That's not a lot of time on the phone. For TBJ, TigerBlog will assume all five of those minutes were spent ordering pizza or something.
The thing about the text messages is that TigerBlog also thinks they spend as much or more of their time communicating via Snapchat, something that isn't tracked on the cell phone bill.
What can be learned from this?
Well, for one thing, it's that the generation of people who are, say, 25 or younger don't need to communicate with people directly and as such never really learn to do so. They can carry on whole relationships with people with whom they rarely if ever actually speak and get used to conversing in abbreviations, or incomplete sentences, or poor grammar. And that's not even counting the whole 140-character thing.
Or the way a group of, say, four 15-year-old girls can be in the same car at the same time, all of them on their phones, none of them speaking, all of them laughing at the same time. TigerBlog is fascinated by this, and he's experienced this more than once as he's driven MTB and her friends around.
They're clearly connected to each other on their phones. None of them are speaking. And they're all laughing at the same exact time, which means at the same exact thing. It's weird. And normal. At the same time.
On the other hand, TB thinks that kids become more sociable, rather than less, because they maintain relationships with so many more people and on a much more regular basis. He sort of wonders how he would have done with it had all of this been the case when he was 15 or 18.
Is all of this good or bad for the future of the world? Both, TB supposes.
There are lessons in here for college athletic marketing, too. You know, in the best ways to reach students to let them know about games and promotions and such.
Of course, another way to let them know is to simply send a bunch of the athletes out onto the campus with a microphone, a videographer, a mascot and some t-shirts.
That's what Princeton athletic marketers Carolyn Cooper and Caroline Kelly and videographer Cody Chrusciel did Tuesday afternoon. They sent men's basketball players Spencer Weisz, Mike Washington, Amir Bell and Devin Cannady - and the Tiger - in and around the Frist Campus Center to let their peers know that Princeton is playing Harvard tomorrow night.
The game is at 7. There will be free pizza for students. One student will get a chance to win $1,000. And the game is on ESPNU.
That was the message that the four players were getting out. And they did it fairly humorously.
They were all very comfortable behind the mic and talking to the students who were walking in and out of the building. They were pretty funny, actually.
Weisz, for instance, introduced himself to most of the students he spoke with as "Spencer Weisz of the Daily Princetonian," and not one of them questioned this. Maybe it's because he was wearing a purple sweater as opposed to the Princeton Basketball gear the other three were wearing.
Either way, maybe the funniest moment wasn't caught on camera. That was when Washington said to Weisz "you were the Ivy League Rookie of the Year two years ago. You'd think somebody would recognize you."
Anyway, they had fun with it for a half-hour. You can see the video on goprincetontigers.com.
And who knows, maybe they've helped drum up some students to come to the game who otherwise might not have.
The game against Harvard is followed by one Saturday against Dartmouth.
As incredible as this sounds, Princeton still hasn't played a home league game yet. Let's pick a few other teams at random and see how many home league games they've played:
Princeton still has all seven home Ivy games left. It comes into this weekend at 2-1 in the Ivy League after its loss at Yale last weekend.
Yale and Columbia are both 4-0 in the league, and they play tomorrow in New Haven. Since that game is at 5, the Bulldogs will have played four home Ivy games before Princeton plays one.
Only Princeton has one league loss. Cornell has two; every other team has at least three.
A Princeton sweep this weekend and even one Cornell loss and the race might start to look like it's between three teams - Princeton, Yale and Columbia. On the other hand, Harvard - now 1-3 - can get right back into the thick of it with a sweep of its own.
Either way, this is the weekend where the league race will really start to come into focus. Only five times in the last 25 years has a team with at least three league losses won at least a share of the men's basketball championship.
So that's what's riding on the game tomorrow.
Maybe there will be a few students there who have a new orange t-shirt who will be wondering why the kid from the Daily Princetonian is starting for the men's basketball team.
Hey, that was all fun and games.
Tomorrow night it's just the game, and it's a serious one at that.