Why Do People Still Use Texting?

October 26, 2011

Question: Why do people still text when it is the biggest ripoff in history? 5,000% markup!

It literally costs carriers next to nothing to send a message. The message piggybacks all the other packets, so those packets would be sent regardless if a text is sent. Plus, the infrastructure is already built in.

So, why in the world do they charge $.25 a text? How is that not illegal?

The “real” answer…too many of us buy into it and the carriers make billions of dollars off of it. The biggest reason I hear is “well I already have unlimited texts”. Let’s do the math though. At $10/month, that is $120/year. At $20/month, that’s $240/year. If you are on a smartphone, cancel your texting plan and you can get a new smartphone every year. That just makes sense to me, which is why I explicitly opt out of texting and save myself the money. As everyone continues to move towards smartphones, it really does not make sense to pay for texting anymore. There are too many free options.

1. Google Voice
Google Voice gives you a custom phone number to which you can send and receive text messages completely “free”. When you pair that with a smartphone, the messages are delivered to your phone directly rather than as a text message. When you text someone, again it is delivered directly via Google Voice, but it is sent to the other person as a text. Case in point, you cancel your texting plan, save $20/month, and still get free texting. Why would you not do this?

2. Google Talk
For those on Android-based devices, they come with Google Talk out of the box. Simply sign in with your Google account and you can send messages to anyone else on Google Talk including iPhone users, desktop/laptop users, iPad/iPod Touch users, etc. For example, I use the iPhone application Beejive (highly recommended) to text my android friends. Again, completely free!

3. iMessage
Apple now offers the iMessage platform that allows talking to other Apple-device users without incurring texting charges.

4. Meebo
Meebo is another Instant Messaging client that allows sending messages to other users on any instant messaging platform (Google Talk, MSN, Yahoo, AIM, etc).

5. Facebook
As much as I hate facebook, people still want to use it. That said, they also offer a messaging platform to send direct messages without using text messages.

So, I conclude with the question again? Why would anyone pay for texting? Join the Anti-SMS movement and save yourself $20/month (go enjoy a nice dinner each month instead). Let’s all IM, not Text :)

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