NEW YORK — A 16-year-old from Brazil can dash off a wordy, complicated, text message in the time most of us can thumb “Where R U?” And the folks with Guinness World Records have noticed.
Marcel Fernandes typed a 25-word pre-selected paragraph into his touchscreen phone in 18.19 seconds, just enough to break the record of 18.44 seconds set in January. And that phrase was no easy task, either.
It reads: “The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.” The entire phrase had to be spelled and punctuated correctly.
Guinness officially acknowledged the record on Thursday. Fernandes set it on April 25 in New York.
The teenager comes by his texting speed honestly. He said his skill started developing in 2009, after the then-13-year-old grew frustrated with a wonky monitor on his desktop computer.
“So one day I got so stressed out about it that I literally took a hammer and broke my desktop monitor,” he said in an e-mail. “With no money to buy a new one, I resorted to using exclusively my iPhone 3Gs, which I had at the time, to do everything that I needed to do.
“I basically lived, from that day on, using my smartphone.”
Fernandes was flown to New York by Fleksy, makers of the keyboard app he used to break the record. He said he’s been using the app since 2012.
“We’ve been passionate about building the most comfortable, beautiful, and fastest smartphone keyboard ever since we started” says Loannis Verdelis, Fleksy’s founder. “The Guinness World Record is a great testament to our progress.”
A college student studying physics, Fernandes maintains that, despite the record, he’s no texting junkie like some teens.
“Since I was a child I always loved phones, and still love smartphones today …,” he said. “But I don’t consider myself addicted to using smartphones, as I don’t spend all day using them.”