I remember the good old days, when I had to pay extra for text messaging. It wasn't bundled with a plan, and it wasn't a service that many considered all that important back in those days. Those were the days that people still talked on the phone, though, so that shouldn't be too surprising. I remember when I used to talk on the phone, too. But then I found texting, or it found me --who can be sure?--, and I basically stopped calling anyone.
More often than not, when my phone rings, I ignore the call. If it's to my personal line, that is. If a call comes in on the number I've designated for work (thanks, Google Voice), I'll answer it. But I very rarely ever answer the phone. And that's an understatement. I simply prefer to send messages with text in them.
It used to be text messages, specifically. I haven't given it much thought, up until this morning, but I'm beginning to realize that I don't actually send all that many text messages anymore. It isn't that I'm not talking to the same people every day that I used to. It's just changed methodology.
And this isn't a new trend, apparently. According to the Financial Times, the use of messaging apps, or chat apps, has increased sharply, which has left an impact on mobile carriers. These are the same networks that used to rake in cash for adding on additional text messaging packages, but obviously we've come to expect unlimited text messaging in our bundled packages these days.
And yet, despite the bundled prices, it looks like folks are simply turning to applications to send messages to people they know. I have no doubt that this is the case, as I've seen it first hand. In fact, I'm someone who has already begun to make the switch, as I've stated above. I asked a friend of mine how he interacts with his schoolmates, and he told me that many of them use popular services GroupMe or WhatsApp.
He did point out that some people use iMessage, and that he has seen a few folks using BlackBerry Messenger (on older BlackBerry-branded devices, mind you), but for the most part he doesn't send any text messages anymore. Not unless someone instigates the conversation first.
According to that friend, it's all about the group messaging aspect. Instead of individual conversations that one would be forced to repeat several times, just including a group of your friends, colleagues, or whomever else for a plan of any kind just makes more sense. And, many of these popular chat apps also allow for individual conversations, as well as those group settings, so it can all be handled within the same area. No switching back and forth unnecessarily.
Before iMessage launched, I used KiK Messenger quite a bit. I used it to talk to a friend of mine who lives in Canada. We've stopped using KiK since iMessages released, though, since we both have the service and it bypasses standard text messaging rates. And I can fully admit that I use Facebook Messenger way, way more than I send text messages on any given day.
I also use GroupMe every single day, and I send a lot of messages through that particular service.
I know that phone calls haven't been phased out completely, not on a wide scale anyway, but I do know several people who don't make phone calls unless they absolutely have to. They stick to messaging as well. So, much like we've seen text messaging phase out phone calls, over time, are we now starting to see messaging applications phase out SMS?
Considering there are so many different options, many of which offer way more features than your standard text message, it's not hard to see why the majority of people out there would prefer to skip the standard, and go for something above and beyond.
So how often do you send text messages each month? Are you someone who prefers the ways of the old, versus switching over to a messaging application? Or do you find yourself using apps like Viber, Google Talk, Facebook Messenger, or any one of the other options, more than sending an SMS? Let me know!