Paul's been passionate about technology for over 30 years and taught digital media studies. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.
A form of communication used in mobile phones, the technical term for text messaging is SMS, which stands for short messaging service. The technology has been around since the 1990s, beginning in Europe before spreading around the world. Although SMS does have some limitations—for instance, individual messages are limited to 160 characters, anything larger is automatically broken up into multiple messages—there are also many benefits associated with texting over other forms of communication.
The 12 Main Benefits of Texting
- Quick and Immediate
- Easy to Use
- People Read Them and Respond
- Leaves Record of Sent and Received
- Widely Used
- No Internet Connection Required
- Works Best for Certain Types of Information
- Multiple Recipients
I will give more details on each pro below.
1. Quick and Immediate
Texting is virtually instantaneous. You type in your message, send it, and most of the time the recipient receives the message within seconds. Writing and sending often takes less time than emailing, and there's much less danger of getting embroiled in a long conversation like can happen with a phone call.
You don't need an expensive smartphone to text; just a basic cell phone will do. The cost of texting has fallen over time, and unlimited texting is included with many cellphone plans nowadays. If you are on a prepaid scheme, texts can cost anywhere between $0.10 and $0.30 per text to send or receive.
3. Easy to Use
Sending and receiving texts comes pretty intuitively to most people—even the least tech-savvy people can generally use it without trouble. Sending a text doesn't usually involve logging in to a website, or sitting at a computer. You can text on the move, or wherever you are located. Once you've added a recipient to your contacts list, there's no need to remember a phone number or have to look it up. Texting is also a great way for deaf and hearing-impaired people to communicate.
4. People Read Them and Respond
According to Forbes, 95% of texts are read within three minutes. Emails can sit in someone's email inbox for hours, days, or sometimes indefinitely. As well as reading them, people also respond to texts swiftly; they take just 90 seconds on average according to the CTIA.
Smartphones have other technology incorporated, known as MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), so that you can add pictures, videos, and other media to a text conversation. Sending a photo or other media can often convey some things much better than pure text.
6. Leaves Record of Sent and Received
There are times when it's very useful to be able to prove that you sent someone a message and what was in it. Likewise, it's useful sometimes to scroll back and review what you have received.
Unlike making a phone call, texting can be carried out in relative privacy. Whether you are in a busy office, at the cinema, or sat on a train, it's easy to send and receive texts without disrupting those around you, and what you read and write is not made public.
8. Widely Used
Virtually everybody nowadays has a cell phone and access to text, whatever their age, gender, or socioeconomic status. It's one of the commonest forms of communication in the modern world.
9. No Internet Connection Required
You can use text in any place that you can connect to a cellular network, which is virtually anywhere in modern countries. You don't have to rely on an internet connection.
10. Works Best for Certain Types of Information
Certain types of information are best suited to texting. Calling someone up on the phone with a difficult question or information can put them on the spot and create awkwardness. Texting gives people time to make a considered response. Smartphones also enable you to send photographs and other media as well as text, which can be more effective than trying to explain some things in words alone, especially when it's over the phone.
Texting is a store-and-forward service. This means that when you send a text, it doesn't go straight to the recipient's phone. The advantage of this is that if their phone is switched off or they are out of range, the message will be stored until they switch on their phone or move back into range, at which point the text will be delivered.
12. Multiple Recipients
Text messages don't just have to be sent to one person; you can send texts to multiple people. This is a great feature if you are meeting up with friends for dinner, or organizing a group event.
The History of Texting: 5 Key Facts
- It was a German engineer called Friedhelm Hillebrand who first came up with the idea of developing a short messaging system that limited the length of the messages to 160 characters.
- The first SMS message was sent in December 1992 when British test engineer, Neil Papworth texted "Merry Christmas" to a coworker.
- The first phone produced that could send texts was made by Nokia in 1993.
- Text messages had to be typed using the number keypad until Nokia brought out the Nokia 9000i Communicator in 1997, the first mobile phone to have a full keypad.
- Until the year 2000, you could only text people in the same network, not across networks, which was very limiting.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Paul Goodman
bhattuc on January 07, 2020: