Is "text messaging" good for anything.

First of all, I’ve never text-messaged anyone or anything. I don’t know if my phone can do it, and even if it did, I wouldn’t know how to do it.

Now, I’m not SCARED of new technology. I can see the use in cell phones, palm pilots, the Ipods, and to a degree even camera phones.

But, I don’t get text messaging AT ALL.

It seems to only be used for voting on American Idol, or voting “should they go for it on 4th down?”

Even the commercials don’t make it seem useful for anything. They’ll show a guy messaging a girl Lunch? during a business meeting, or – of all things – Hello from across a bar.

So, what’s the deal with it?

I could imagine being in high school and text-messaging my friend, “Julie’s smuggling peas,” but that’s about as far as my imagination extends.

Also, do you call it “TM-ing”, as in “Hey, TM me”?

It’s the thing I use most on my phone. And that’s true of most people in Britain, it would seem. It’s far quicker to send a short message this way than the rigmarole of “hi how are you blah blah I’m calling to say blah blah fine see you soon bye”. It’s less intrusive, if you’re doing it in public - most people can continue a conversation while typing a message. If someone’s phone is turned off, you can be sure they’ll get the message as soon as it’s back on (they may not want to call voicemail straight away). It’s much cheaper internationally than voice calls.

Nope - ‘texting’.

It’s the most frequent thing I do with my phone, as well. In addition to the above posted advantages, it works under much worse reception conditions than voice does, and it’s also like email in the sense that it has a turnaround time in seconds if the recipient likes, but it doesn’t tend to interrupt the recipient unless he wants it to.

I use it quite a bit. As mentioned above you don’t have to go through the formalities of normal conversation. You can text something absurdly silly or maybe just check in with someone. It’s fairly cheap (I have 75 for $5 plus unlimited incoming) which is great for saying hi to friends overseas and you can respond at your leisure.

I may be in the minority though in that I don’t type shorthand i.e. “how r u?” I’d be interested to hear if many others do.

I use text messaging quite a lot. Mainly rather useful for quick short messages along the lines of “Am on the train. ETA xxxx”. Far nicer than trying to call from a train, and the associated poser conversation of “Am on the train, blah blah blah”. Plus, like others have said, its also useful to get messages to other people when you don’t want to disturb them.
Oh, and if you’re David Beckham and Rebecca Loos, its also apparantly rather good for phone sex.

No, but then I type fairly quickly so I don’t need to resort to shorthand.

I also send most of my text messages over the web (with my mobile provider they’re free to “national” numbers that way).

Mr. S works five miles away, but the signal is terrible for voice in his building and he’s not really supposed to be yakking on his phone while he works (he’s a school custodian). So sometimes I’ll text him during the day with some bit of interesting news, or a funny comment, or let him know I’m coming to meet him for lunch. If something urgent comes up I can text him to call me ASAP. All he gets is a beep, and he can look at the message and go on with his work or call me if it’s urgent. It’s a wonderfully nonintrusive way to communicate.

ah. I could see it being good for that – to avoid having to use the phone.

I use it a fair amount, for an American (it’s less popular here than in Europe and Asia, or some reason). I don’t generally use it to send random messages to people (since few of the people I know even know how to access text messages on their phones). My main uses are:
[li]for my wife to get a quick message through to me even if I’m in a meeting or otherwise unable to answer the phone right away. She knows that if I’m tied up I sometimes won’t be able to answer, but that if it’s an emergency she can text message me and I’ll get the message and can excuse myself if necessary. I do the same thing with colleagues and customers – if I’m expecting them to call but have other meetings going on, I give them instructions to text message first.[/li][li]as a way for people to reach me when my cell reception is spotty. For example, last week I was at a customer site where I had extremely intermittent cell reception – I could not maintain a cell call for more than ten to fifteen seconds. But I needed for other people at the customer who were in different parts of the building to be able to reach me. Because it takes only a fraction of a second for a text message to get transmitted, they make it through even when reception is poor. So I had people text message me when they needed me, so that I could call them back from a land line phone.[/li][li]to receive status updates on airline flights. I fly a lot, and it’s nice getting a update that my flight’s been delayed before I even get to the airport, or that my departure gate has been changed (especially important in Atlanta – you don’t want to schlep all the way out to D34 only to find out that your flight’s been changed to A2).[/li][li]to send a quick note to someone to let them know I’ll be late, or similar things, when sending an e-mail isn’t feasible.[/li][li]to get a daily weather forecast in the morning. We never turn on the TV or radio in the morning, but a lot of times when I’m home it’s my responsibility to get the kids dressed, and I like to be able to know at a glance what the temp and weather are likely to be.[/li][/ul]

I also have Yahoo set up to send me the score of the Braves’ games at the end of each three innings. It’s not as if it’s something I couldn’t live without, but I definitely have put it to use.

Like various people here, I use text messaging far more often than I actually place a call on my phone. My husband isn’t supposed to be talking on the phone for much of his work day, but he can whip out the cell phone on break or at various other times and type in a quick message. He messaged me yesterday to remind me to confirm our vacation rental car, and I messaged back to let him know it was set.

One handy usage was when we were supposed to be picked up at the airport by a friend, and the plane was delayed over 8 hours due to storms. We were able to keep him updated frequently with text-messaging without necessitating the ton of phone calls it would have required (interrupting him a lot), burning up plan minutes, etc.


I could imagine being in high school and text-messaging my friend, “Julie’s smuggling peas,” but that’s about as far as my imagination extends.



Were peas a valuable commodity in your high school or something?

I used to despise text messages (which are ubiquitous here in the UK) - mostly because:

-You have to exchange six short messages each way to carry out the conversation, which could have been done in twenty seconds by voice at a fraction of the cost.

-Predictive text or no, pecking out a message on a silly little numeric pad just begins to hurt me after a while, in the same way as walking with a stone in your shoe.

I’ve warmed a little to them since I got my new phone (a Treo 600) because the messaging interface is just like a chat client and I can enter the text either on the alpha keyboard, or by graffiti (still costs for each message though).

To add, I write my text messages in full sentences, with punctuation and capital letters. Its helped by the fact that my phone has an interactive keyboard on the screen, which you just either press the letters on, or write on using the stylus. Rather helpful.

According to my cellphone bill, I’m sending about 150 messages a month. However, messages to ‘special’ services (show times, restaurant tel. numbers, etc.) are billed two times per message, intl. messages are billed 5 times per message. I actually must be sending about 65 sms’s a month.

That’s what we call 'em here. SMS - Short Messaging Service. Easiest to type.

I always key out full words and sentences, punctuation and all. If it weren’t for predicitve input (T9), I doubt I’d take the trouble.
How much do text messages cost in your part of the world? Here, without an SMS plan, they cost Rs. 1.00 each (about $0.02). With a plan, I pay Rs. 30 ($0.66) per month for 100 free messages, after which each message costs Rs. 0.30 ($insanelysmallamount). Special and international numbers are billed at normal rates though, i.e. Rs. 1.00 and multiples as applies.

I’ve found text messaging to be very useful when you need to keep in touch with someone overseas. It’s cheap (my plan only charges 5 cents per text msg, even if sending to an international phone number) and convenient if you’re on the move or in a country where calling would be really expensive. One could say it’s a very economical way to keep in touch.

It’s also good if you need to tell a group of people the same thing with one message. If you fly to somewhere on business, you can tell your SO, your boss, the client and the guy metting you at the airport “Have landed - still alive” or whatever. Much quicker than five or six phone calls.

Text messages cost me 2 cents for each received, 10 cents for each one sent. Since I send very few, and average 4 received each day, I pay about $5/month. I’m right on the cusp of it being worthwhile to add a standard bucket of messages to my cell plan – right now, I probably still save a few pennies a month being on a pay-as-you-go plan.

It costs you to receive messages? :eek: Hell, no wonder they’re not as popular over there are they are here.

I use my text messaging once in a while for many of the situations mentioned. Ther main reason it is so much more populsr in the UK is because of the priceing plans. In the US minutes to talk are not expensive at all, compared to overseas, or at lest that is the way it was a couple of years ago.

With my plan. I pay $2.99 and get 300 text msgs. Text messaging comes incredibly handy because I am a college student and lectures often get long and boring, so I will text friends to entertain myself and help pass the time. I think text messaging is more of a younger generation thing. EVERYONE I know (age range is 20-25) has text messaging and uses it.