The activity of sending wireless text messages
. This is done primarily with cellphones
but other mobile devices
can be used, as long as they support a common protocol such as SMS
Texting is more common in Europe and Asia, where GSM has been standardised. In the United States, texting is rarely used as the public utilises several different wireless protocols, and thus, different text message protocols, if any.
The current "texting capital of the world" is the Philippines. There are more messages sent in the Philippines than in the rest of the world combined. This is due to several factors. First, because of the monopoly on landlines, and the relatively low cost of mobile charges, a large number of people have cellphones. Phone charges are also prepaid, by purchasing additional cards. This means there are no credit checks, and makes it much easier to obtain a mobile phone. Second, the cost of text messages is very low, running around 1 peso per message ($0.02 US). The culture is also to credit, as the socially reserved nature of some people find the non-direct communication more convenient.
Given the cumbersome nature of entering text messages on a phone dialpad, it is still more cost-effective to the Filipino than transmitting messages by voice. In fact, many people there completely disable voice capabilities. I have seen people texting in action, and it is quite amazing to see how fast and nimble one can be.
Like a related messaging system, texting does have its share of problems. Forwards are fairly common, as well as the occasional scam. Rumors routinely run rampant. However, texting has been credited as part of the success of People Power 2. 70 million text messages, a 55 percent increase from the previous week, were sent during that week. The ability to spread information and keep in touch with each other helped the people push former President Joseph Estrada out of office.
It is interesting to see how a particular technology can be so deeply entrenched in a culture.