To start, I will let my Tweets from tonight speak:
“Ever since living in Ireland 2005-06, I have hated text messages. My hate grows worse here in SoCal. Don’t send 5 texts when you could call!”
“I won’t text back if folks are using it for extensive details rather than calling or email. Officially old & grumpy. Text is for short msgs”
“I wish one could opt out of receiving texts with one’s carrier. I would. I don’t see why I should be charged to be irritated. F*(ked up.”
More of an explanation:
When I went to grad school in Ireland, 2005-2006, it was really expensive to make calls on one’s mobile phone but comparatively cheap to text, thus everyone I knew in Dublin texted like mad and never called.
To help the average American understand, my monthly Vodafone.ie contract allowed for a multitude of texts but only 50 minutes of phone calls per month for approx. $74. The worst insult was that I could only get 6 mb of data a month for an extra $30. Every one, young and old, in Ireland texted.
In contrast, my contract with AT&T here in the States gives me 650 daytime minutes of calls a month, unlimited AT&T to AT&T customer anytime minutes, and free nights & weekends. All of this phone call bounty for $39.99 a month. I also have unlimited data and email on my mobile for $24.99 a month. But to send a text it costs me $0.15 a text and to receive it is $0.10 a text.
What this means is that I can send and receive unlimited emails from my phone for no extra charge, but each text – incoming or outgoing – costs.
Also, because it is more important for me to have the best camera available on my phone, I don’t have a mobile with a QWERTY keyboard. Thus, texting more than one short message is a pain in the thumb and a pain in the wallet.
I could join the Century of the Anchovy and get a big fat ‘ole text plan with 1000 messages or something, but then I would have to start actually texting back and forth to conduct a conversation.
What it boils down to is that for information beyond one idea or detail where one really does need to convey complexity and / or subtly, I will be be calling or emailing. Text (SMS) is my least favorite way to communicate.