While the primary use of cell phones remains to be telephone calls, other uses for the devices – which are increasingly like small computers – are popping up every day. It’s not surprising, given the bevy of features that providers are offering these days – everything from the ability to send photos and videos from phone handset to phone handset or computer, the functionality to play video games [sometimes even networked with friends], and other exciting features. But the one that has captured the hearts and minds of many is the text message.
Text messages are simple and easy to use. Many phones have even come out with full keyboards to make texting easier. With a 160-character limit, text messages have become a quick, fun, and easy way to communicate without the hassle of stopping everything to pick up a call and have a drawn out conversation. The character limit also forces people to be brief and get to the point, where telephone calls can meander quite a bit or veer off subject with ease. It is estimated that nearly half of all cell phone users send at least one text message a day.
Some people are lightning fast at texting, and these people have said, in surveys, that they have been known to send even hundreds of text messages per month. Text messages are most commonly used amongst friends, significant others, and family members, as they have not yet been formally embraced by the business community as a viable form of business communication. This is likely because of the character limit as well as the proliferation of “text speak,” which is almost like its own language. It evolved from various abbreviations that people started using to help them say more in such a short space.
Here is some common text speak:
TTYL – Talk to you later
LOL – Laughing out loud
<3 – Love
OMG – Oh my God
NW – No way
As you can imagine, all this code isn’t very business-friendly. However, as the technology improves, chances are texting will become a more viable means of business communication. As it does, expect to see more people using ringtones for their text messages, as well... though many people still prefer the old buzzing standby, the vibrate setting, to notify them of incoming text messages.