Why we hate using email but love sending texts

Working At A Starbucks Coffee Shop in Connecticut

They both allow us to stay in touch, but while email often attracts ire, text messaging is more popular than ever. Is the way we choose to communicate saying more than we might think?

Around 15 years ago, I was working at my part-time job at an electronics store at the mall. One of my colleagues asked me if I “use text messages.”

“I’m addicted,” she said wide-eyed. “They’re so much fun.”

At that time, most people were still using old feature phones with LED screens and plastic keypads. I don’t remember what the character limits were, but it was certainly fewer than a tweet, and it took about 12 years to finally type out what you wanted to say. They were slow, very expensive, and long enough to write about a quarter of a haiku. I genuinely thought it was a dumb, flash-in-the-pan gimmick that wouldn’t last long.

How wrong I was.

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75% of people worldwide use their cellphones for text messaging

texting globally

Have you seen the Apple commercial showing Santa asking the iPhone’s Siri for guidance?  Well, it’s not far off the mark. Seventy-five percent of cellphone users around the globe use their phones for text messaging, in wealthy countries as well as poor ones, according to a new study.

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83% of American adults own cell phones

people on cell phones

A third of American adults own smartphones.

83% of American adults own some kind of cell phone.  Cell phones have become a near-ubiquitous tool for information seeking and communicating and these devices have an impact on many aspects of their owners’ daily lives. In a nationally representative telephone survey, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that, during the 30 days preceding the interview:


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