Michael Phelps ate 12,000 calories a day before the Olympics. Gabby Douglas spent 30 hours a week in the gym. What do you do to win for the LG National Texting Championship?
I text my friends. I text my family. And as I'm riding in the car with someone else, I see street signs and I just start texting those to keep my speed up. That's a weird thing that I do.
How many texts do you send in the average month?
In a month? Probably around 10,000.
I bet your parents love getting that bill.
Yeah, they love it. I know they do.
Is texting your full-time job?
No. I work at my parents' restaurant. I'm a cook there. One time I was slicing up some basil, and I cut the tip of my finger off. It wasn't my thumb, so I was O.K. But I was really concerned. I guess you could say my whole texting career flashed before my eyes.
You're now officially a two-time texting champion. What does that entail? Traveling the world teaching people how to use emoticons?
I do interviews. I go all around the U.S. and do different TV shows. It's a lot of fun and a great experience.
Let's talk texting etiquette. Would you ever text during, say, a family dinner?
Yeah, I definitely do. Even if they don't want me to, I still do it. I can text without looking, so ...
What about breaking up with someone via text?
I've never done that. I think it should be done in person. Even over the phone isn't O.K.
Some people--and I'm not saying I'm one of them--say texting is a less intimate form of communication than talking on the phone or even e-mailing. What do you think?
I think it depends what age group you belong to. For us teenagers, texting is the main way we talk to each other. That and Facebook. Even different generations of people have started using them. I know people who have grandmas who text them. It's the quickest way to talk to each other.
How would you advise someone like my mom, who's always complaining that texting is too difficult?
I'll give her lessons, for sure. She should get with the program. She's missing out!
Seriously, though, I'd love to hear some texting tips.
Obviously, don't text and drive. I'm so against that. And [for competitive texters] speed and accuracy. You can be really fast, but it doesn't matter if you're spelling every word wrong. So just be accurate. Practice makes perfect.
Any favorite abbreviations?
Actually, I don't really use abbreviations. I use correct grammar and stuff like that, which is sort of interesting. And I don't have any autocorrect horror stories.
That makes you a texting anomaly.
I guess so! But I do like LOL J/K--the standard ones, I guess.
Who in the world would you most like to receive a text from?
Oh boy. Probably Jennifer Lawrence. I was obsessed with The Hunger Games, and I just really like her as an actress.
Well, Jennifer Lawrence, if you're reading this interview, please text Austin.
Yes, text me!
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