Look, I am a British father of four. Two of my kids have been through the teenage years, so I know all too well just what a love affair the UK has with text messaging. As does my bank manager. So it really should not come as any surprise to discover that here in the UK we send an average of 200 million text messages every single day.

The figures from the Mobile Data Association reveal that certain days of the year exceed that average, of course, but some margin. Take New Year's Eve, for example, which peaked at just under 400 million text messages sent on 31st December 2008. To put that into some perspective, it is up by a whopping 37 percent from the previous year.

Indeed, general text message traffic is up by 38.6 percent year on year. Or if you prefer the raw figures, 216 million text messages a day totally nearly 79 billion texts throughout the year.


I must be something of a rarity, a tech savvy smartphone user who sent (he says checking his logs) less than 100 texts for the entire 2008 year. I also sent 3 multimedia messages, whereas on Xmas Day alone 2008 my fellow Brits managed to send 4.5 million of the things. The annual MMS traffic total in the UK was a stonkingly good 553 million.

The MDA Chairman, Steve Reynolds, reckons that it is "fascinating to see the evolution of mobile technology" and that it is compelling to see how "users define its use and application."

I say that mobile technology has evolved to the point where I can send proper email messages using proper email clients rather than restrict myself to what, 160 characters? Heck, I an even talk to someone else using pretty darn decent video in real time so why bother with MMS?

Or am I really missing the point here? Isn't technology meant to liberate, not restrict? So why are people so hooked on SMS?

Are you a text messaging monkey or do you opt for the mobile email route to the written word on the move?

I suspect the numbers are greatly skewed by age bracket. At least here in the US I have at least 5 cousins just out of HS, but all during HS they all had mobile phones with unlimited text message plans that basically were extensions of their instant messaging applications with all their friends. Some of them used to laugh over the holidays when we all got together that their texts hit hundreds a day at times.

As for me, well, I hate text messaging. In fact, the only thing I want my phone to do is receive email/SMS alerts from the servers that I monitor for my company. Other than that, a contact list and a calendar /schedule alarm is perfect for me. Even though I am on call for a data center with over a hundred servers, I have never had a true business need to send emails or text messages from my mobile.

To me, technology as a "liberation" is all based on personal perspective. I prefer a full featured laptop like one of those 7" compact laptops running Linux over a phone any day. :)

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