Text messaging is a phenomenon that has seen rapid growth in our increasingly technologically reliant world, with numbers escalating exponentially as more and more users worldwide gain access to handheld cell-phones and adjust to using them more frequently.
Experts estimated that in 2006, approximately 12 billion text messages were sent in the US alone, which increased drastically two years later to 77 billion. In 2010, experts estimated that 6.1 trillion text messages were sent worldwide. This radical increase is a trend that, for the time being, has no end in sight.
Text messages are broken down into two subcategories, SMS and MMS. The SMS, or Short Message Service, is the most widely used data application in the world, and is comprised mostly of pure text; on the other hand, the MMS, or Multimedia Message Service, is a more complicated message type which can send larger amounts of data, such as pictures or music.
Generally, text messaging etiquette mirrors that of a normal conversation. One should keep messages short, so as not to appear to ramble for too long, and the use of all caps should be avoided, so as not to seem to shout. Of course, just like slang or other language variations, the best way to learn these texting abbreviations and etiquette is simply to use them and, when confused, ask questions.
In recent years, many teachers have found young adults using text language more and more frequently in formal writing samples. Many researches have concluded that the increased use of texting, as well as heavier reliance on autocorrect features, has led to a decrease in students’ ability to write. However, researchers have also found that these same students that perform poorly in their formal writing submissions will alternatively excel in their informal writing submissions, leading them to conclude that the increased use of text language causes them to be better informal writers.
The use cell phones while driving, especially text messaging, has been a great problem in recent years. In the United States, only eight states DO NOT have some form of texting-while-driving law (Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Ohio, South Carolina, and South Dakota). Worldwide, approximately 53 countries have enacted some form of a ban on texting and driving, including: Brazil (2001), China, Denmark (1998), France (2003), Germany (2001), India (2001), Italy, Japan (1999), Russia (2001), South Korea (2001), and UK (2003).
According to a recent study done by analyzing text message data, the country that sends the highest number of text messages in the world is China. Researchers estimate that approximately one out of every two text messages sent worldwide comes from China, where about 460 million people used a cell-phone device in 2006, a number which has surely skyrocketed since then.
In the United States, there are many different carriers and manufacturers who cater to the texting community, providing texting bundles and texting-oriented phones. Of all the options available, the following phones have been rated a best-buy for people wishing to increase the ease of texting, as all of these phones come equipped with a full keyboard, and none of which are considered full-fledged smart phones:
1. Samsung Gravity T
2. Pantech Link
3. LG Banter Touch
4. Samsung Messenger Touch
5. Samsung Freeform
6. Pantech Jest
7. LG enV3
8. Samsung Gravity 3
9. LG Lotus Elite
10. LG Cosmos
Interestingly enough, the rise of texting has seen a startling drop in calling, as people rely more heavily on short texts to relay a simple message than calling the person; however, there can be no doubt that, no matter how useful a text message might be, there is no media alternative that could ever replace the efficacy and intimacy of talking and communicating with a person face-to-face.
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