Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Text Messaging Too Much?

According to this foxnews.com article, approximately 2.5 trillion text messages were sent from cell phones worldwide in 2008. A little division shows that this is nearly 400 text messages in one year, for every living person on the earth...or more than one text message per living human per day, all year long.

Are you doing your part? I am not. Neither is my wife, nor my children. Even though the six of us should have combined for about 2300 of the earth's text messages last year, we sent...zero. We share one cell phone, and although it can send text messages, I do not use this feature.

And I am personally wondering: How much money did the phone companies collect for all those messages this year?

So who is sending them? If we assume, somewhat liberally, that only 2 billion of earth's 6.4-or-so billion population has cell phones and use them for texting, that amounts to 1250 text messages, per year, per texting cell phone.

But even that is generous; many of those cell phone users, like myself, send few or no text messages. So let's say 1 billion are "active" text messagers. They would have to account for 2500 text messages per phone per year....about 7 text messages per day.

And then the Law of Averages arrives and reminds us that some of these will be "above" the average of 2500 per year and others will be "below" this level. There must be some who are easily exceeding 5000 text messages per year, a rate of about 14 per day.

If you find that you are consistently sending out so many text messages, do yourself a favor: Cut back. Perhaps your calling plan makes them inexpensive, and perhaps some of them serve a useful purpose (announcing your location or telling someone what you are looking at just now probably don't fit the definition of "useful" here); but surely, if you are at a "thousands-a-year" level, you are wasting your time...and possibly the time of others.

1 comment:

Peter Matesevac said...

They are nice for work when you just need to confirm something, but don't need a conversation (or you're in a place where a phone call isn't always professional. (ie: "I finished the Smith job", yes/no questions or "I'm on my way", etc.)

Also, every exchange in a conversation via text is considered a new message. If I text you "what time will you be there?" and you reply "6pm" and I confirm with "thanks"; that would be 3 text messages.

But, I do see how many people seem to almost avoid speaking to other people.

Also, I have a Blackberry; which makes them a little bit easier. I don't particularly prefer this form of communication; but when you're working with guys 10 years younger than you, they become commonplace.