Earlier today, Jim Hanas, co-creator of Boring Boring, published a post on his blog asking "What ever happened to Toothing?", last year's UK craze where commuters hooked up random sexual encounters via Bluetooth-enabled cellphones. (Wired News story here. Reuters article here. BBC article here.) Surprisingly, Toothy Toothing, the source for many of those original articles, responded to Jim's inquiry. Turns out, Toothy (aka Ste Curran) made the whole thing up. (Or so he claims!):
All we did was register a forum (which has now been taken down by the service provider, but we have a backup) and fill it with fictional posts by fictional Toothing 'sceners. A week later, we had what appeared to be a vibrant UK Toothing community all ready to roll, and I sent the link off to Gizmodo, a gadget blog. They reported it (you can see that first story here, with a credit at the end to 'S', my super-subtle pseudonym). Everyone else linked to / blogged / ripped off their story. Things started to roll, and we became a ludicrous, implausible meme. In turn, that brought Real People to our forum. Others created forums for their localities – Sweden, Denmark, Italy, whatever.
A few days later, the print media requests started coming. We kept a record at the start of where we were mentioned, but there were soon too many to record in full. There are hundreds of tiny anecdotes, though. I had to write Penthouse-letters-page style sexual adventure stories for a full page article and interview in The Telegraph.
UPDATE: Kuwaiti blogger .nibaq says:
"…In Kuwait bluetooth for dating and such
is standard. Anytime you enter a coffee shop or restaurant etc you
turn on bluetooth start searching and message random people looking
for reactions. Once you know who it is and you start up a conversation
via bluetooth texting. This could lead to nothing dating or some other
encounters later. This has been happening in Kuwait since the first bluetooth enabled
Nokia phone with the notes options."