It is funny what the cell phone has become today. While they do still function as phones they are so much more too. Now you can catch the Denver Broncos game on your Unlocked GSM Cell Phones, email your boss, find the nearest bar, get directions to Aunt Barboca’s house and order some Christmas presents. But even weirder is that what is making the phone less and less like a phone isn’t all that combined, rather it is text messaging. Text messaging is now the more popular and more common way of communicating. Phone calls on unlocked gsm cell phones are now a bit odder than a simple text.
At the beginning of 2009 72.2% of cell phone owners had a text messaging plan on their phone (Blackberry cell phones or whatever.) That equates to 203 million Americans with text plans. In the past year the increase of text use was 107%. And 2.3 billion text messages are sent each day, making it a part of most Americans’ lives. If you compare texts to calls, per month, the numbers are somewhat shocking. There are, on average, 357 texts in one month versus 204 phone calls. Of course we must consider that one conversation via phone call can go much farther than one text message unless maybe you use Blackberry cell phones. So while a phone call can establish who, what, where, when and why, a text might only cover one or two of those things.
Which now brings me to this question: If that is true, that more can be communicated in a two-minute conversation than in a series of back and forth text messages, why do it? Are we too impersonal to talk to someone on the phone, and remember that in the not too distant past a phone call was considered impersonal. Now we can’t even do that even though it is many times more convenient. Yes, sometimes a text that simply says “yes” or “no” is more effective but sometimes a simple question blossoms into something more complex and yet we continue texting rather than making the call. But considering smart phones like Blackberry Cell Phones are making typing easier, maybe it isn’t so weird.
It is hard to say why texting took over the classic phone but it has and it looks like it will continue to gain in popularity. But as a society we should still utilize the phone for its original purpose, the phone call. To dissociate with speaking to someone over the phone may have larger ramifications than we can see at the moment. We don’t want to avoid natural communication, that is talking face to face, or at the very least, over the phone, to the point that we can’t socialize fluidly. After all, we are a social being.