I guess I've given up text messaging

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| February 21, 2014

I edit my home screens quite a bit, sometimes a couple of times a week, just to keep everything fresh and exciting. When I'm using an Android-based device, I change around widgets (if I have any in use, anyway), and I switch around which app icons find their way to the bottom drawer. When I use iOS, I move around app folders and app icons, while the bottom row of icons usually stays the same. I get really crazy when I have a Windows Phone handset, though, because then I change Live Tile sizes, move them around, and change the theme color more often than I probably should.

I don't make a lot of calls, so when all is said and done after an edit process, my phone option is usually shoved into a folder, or removed from a home screen altogether. On the opposite end of the spectrum, my text messaging app is always front-and-center and easy to get access to. Text messaging has become my main source of communication, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Not that companies aren't trying to make it change, though. Apple, Google, and even companies like Facebook would love it if you dropped the traditional text messaging routine and substituted it for an app instead. Messaging services aren't new, but they are certainly growing in popularity. If you look over a few graphs here and there, you'll see that their user base has exploded over the years, with folks saying that's going to continue for the foreseeable future.

Apple's Messages. Google's Hangouts. Facebook Messenger. GroupMe. BlackBerry Messenger. The options are out there, and many folks have jumped on board.

I've been known to use some messaging apps in the past, and I still use one in particular every day. I can understand the appeal. Pulling together a group of people and having an easy way to communicate with all of them, just like chat rooms of yesteryear, as long as their able to pull down data on their phone (or other mobile device in most cases) is a nice option.

Plus, if you don't want to use a text message to get in touch with someone, for whatever reason, then a messaging app is the next best thing.

When I started writing this article, I was of the mind that I use text messaging much more than I use any messaging app I have on my phone(s), but then I realized that that's just not the case at all. I do still text message quite a bit, but it pales in comparison to how often I find myself communicating with those I know through a messaging service. It basically snuck up on me. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

This week's news, that Facebook has purchased WhatsApp for $16 billion, got me thinking that text messaging may be just a dying breed. Even for me, who thought I was using it quite a bit, just doesn't anymore. It's kind of funny to think that as more carriers offer unlimited text messaging, it appears that fewer people are actually using those unlimited text messages.

Which made me want to ask: Are you using a messaging service, like WhatsApp or GroupMe, for most of your communication? Or do you still prefer to send a traditional text message more often than not? How long has it been since you gave up text messaging? Did you do it cold turkey? Let me know!