From a 21st century point of view, text messaging might look like an old technology. With the revolution of apps you read headlines like “Text messaging is dead” or “Messengers kill SMS” on tech blogs every now and then. However, fact is that the long history of text messaging is one of the reasons why we regard texts as a reliable and pleasant way of communication. Our sympathy for text messages is so great that we might also say: we love text messaging.
A survey conducted by Acision found that 92 % of smartphone users still send text messages. This makes texting one of the most widespread methods of communication in the world. Also, against all odds, SMS usage is increasing with about 8,000,000,000 texts being sent every day.
Text Messaging Differences I – Women vs Men
While both obviously love text messaging, they use it for different purposes. Men send texts for practical reasons: It’s fast, you can avoid nasty phone calls and come straight to the point. Women use texting to deepen relationships. On average, their texts are longer and contain more emotional messages. 54 % of all polled women said they text their beloved “I love you”-messages to cultivate human relations.
Text Messaging Differences II – Young vs “Mature“
Also, the purpose of texting is different across different age groups. While 18 – 25 year-olds send about 133 texts a week mainly to their friends, 55+ year-olds use text messaging to stay in contact with their family. Very interesting fact: Only 19 % of under 25s use services like Skype or Twitter on their mobile, but 94 % of them send text messages.
The main reason people prefer to send a text rather than using another kind of communication is reliability and trust. 46 % of respondents claimed that texting is more reliable than other messaging services and 69 % said that they would be lost without text messaging. Other reasons why we love text messaging are its immediacy, speed of delivery and reach.
While sending a message via a social media platform feels less immediate to many smartphone owners, text messages often elicit instantaneous responses. Internet psychologist Graham Jones says: “People today are also compartmentalising their messages as they all have a specific purpose. Email is being used much less for personal communication and much more for business, whereas social networks tend to remain a medium to message friends and peers, sometimes on a one-to-many basis.”
Also “Text messaging remains a functional communication tool, but still with a personal aspect, which could explain its longevity,” he continues. “You can say things in text you wouldn’t necessarily say on another communication tool. Although there has been an influx in new broadband-based messaging services, which people are certainly experimenting with, people are differentiating services according to their need and using them as complimentary services as opposed to stopping usage of one or another messaging service.”
It’s great to have a choice, and it’s great to rely on a service; a service that lets us connect with our family and friends on a very personal level, is fast and reaches out to every phone all over the world. That’s why we still love text messaging.
Why do you love text messaging? Let us know in the comments.