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Text messaging, or texting, is the act of composing and sending electronic messages, typically consisting of alphabetic and numeric characters, between two or more users of mobile devices, desktops/laptops, or other type of compatible computer. Text messages may be sent over a cellular network, or may also be sent via an Internet connection.

The term originally referred to messages sent using the Short Message Service (SMS). It has grown beyond alphanumeric text to include multimedia messages using the Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) containing digital images, videos, and sound content, as well as ideograms known as emoji (happy faces, sad faces, and other icons), and instant messenger applications (usually the term is used when on mobile devices).

Text messages are used for personal, family, business and social purposes. Governmental and non-governmental organizations use text messaging for communication between colleagues. In the 2010s, the sending of short informal messages became an accepted part of many cultures, as happened earlier with emailing.[1] This makes texting a quick and easy way to communicate with friends, family and colleagues, including in contexts where a call would be impolite or inappropriate (e.g., calling very late at night or when one knows the other person is busy with family or work activities). Like e-mail and voicemail and unlike calls (in which the caller hopes to speak directly with the recipient), texting does not require the caller and recipient to both be free at the same moment; this permits communication even between busy individuals. Text messages can also be used to interact with automated systems, for example, to order products or services from e-commerce websites, or to participate in online contests. Advertisers and service providers use direct text marketing to send messages to mobile users about promotions, payment due dates, and other notifications instead of using postal mail, email, or voicemail.

The excessive use of the thumb for pressing keys on mobile devices has led to a high rate of a form of repetitive strain injury termed "BlackBerry thumb" (although this refers to strain developed on older Blackberry devices, which had a scroll wheel on the side of the phone). An inflammation of the tendons in the thumb caused by constant text-messaging is also called text-messager's thumb, or texting tenosynovitis.[151] Texting has also been linked as a secondary source in numerous traffic collisions, in which police investigations of mobile phone records have found that many drivers have lost control of their cars while attempting to send or retrieve a text message. Increasing cases of Internet repetitive strain injury termed "BlackBerry thumb" (although this refers to strain developed on older Blackberry devices, which had a scroll wheel on the side of the phone). An inflammation of the tendons in the thumb caused by constant text-messaging is also called text-messager's thumb, or texting tenosynovitis.[151] Texting has also been linked as a secondary source in numerous traffic collisions, in which police investigations of mobile phone records have found that many drivers have lost control of their cars while attempting to send or retrieve a text message. Increasing cases of Internet addiction are now also being linked to text messaging, as mobile phones are now more likely to have e-mail and Web capabilities to complement the ability to text.

Etiquette

Texting etiquette refers to what is considered appropriate texting behavior. These expectations may concern different areas, such as the context in which a text was sent and received/read, who eac

Texting etiquette refers to what is considered appropriate texting behavior. These expectations may concern different areas, such as the context in which a text was sent and received/read, who each participant was with when the participant sent or received/read a text message or what constitutes impolite text messages.[152] At the website of The Emily Post Institute, the topic of texting has spurred several articles with the "do's and dont's" regarding the new form of communication. One example from the site is: "Keep your message brief. No one wants to have an entire conversation with you by texting when you could just call him or her instead."[153] Another example is: "Don't use all Caps. Typing a text message in all capital letters will appear as though you are shouting at the recipient, and should be avoided."

Expectations for etiquette may differ depending on various factors. For example, expectations for appropriate behavior have been found to differ markedly between the U.S. and India.[152] A

Expectations for etiquette may differ depending on various factors. For example, expectations for appropriate behavior have been found to differ markedly between the U.S. and India.[152] Another example is generational differences. In The M-Factor: How the Millennial Generation Is Rocking the Workplace, Lynne Lancaster and David Stillman note that younger Americans often do not consider it rude to answer their cell or begin texting in the middle of a face-to-face conversation with someone else, while older people, less used to the behavior and the accompanying lack of eye contact or attention, find this to be disruptive and ill-mannered.[citation needed] With regard to texting in the workplace, Plantronics studied how we communicate at work] and found that 58% of US knowledge workers have increased the use of text messaging for work in the past five years.[154] The same study found that 33% of knowledge workers felt text messaging was critical or very important to success and productivity at work.[155]

In 2002, an increasing trend towards spamming mobile phone users through SMS prompted cellular-service carriers to take steps against the practice, before it became a widespread problem. No major spamming incidents involving SMS had been reported as of March 2007, but the existence of mobile phone spam[156] has been noted by industry watchdogs including Consumer Reports magazine and the Utility Consumers' Action Network (UCAN). In 2005, UCAN brought a case against Sprint for spamming its customers and charging $0.10 per text message.[157] The case was settled in 2006 with Sprint agreeing not to send customers Sprint advertisements via SMS.[158] SMS expert Acision (formerly LogicaCMG Telecoms) reported a new type of SMS malice at the end of 2006, noting the first instances of SMiShing (a cousin to e-mail phishing scams). In SMiShing, users receive SMS messages posing to be from a company, enticing users to phone premium-rate numbers or reply with personal information. Similar concerns were reported by PhonepayPlus, a consumer watchdog in the United Kingdom, in 2012.[159]

Pricing concerns

Concerns have been voiced[160] over the excessive cost of off-plan text messaging in the United States. AT&T Mobility, along with most other service providers, charges texters 20 cents per message if they do not have a messaging plan or if they have exceeded

Concerns have been voiced[160] over the excessive cost of off-plan text messaging in the United States. AT&T Mobility, along with most other service providers, charges texters 20 cents per message if they do not have a messaging plan or if they have exceeded their allotted number of texts. Given that an SMS message is at most 160 bytes in size, this cost scales to a cost of $1,310[160] per megabyte sent via text message. This is in sharp contrast with the price of unlimited data plans offered by the same carriers, which allow the transmission of hundreds of megabytes of data for monthly prices of about $15 to $45 in addition to a voice plan. As a comparison, a one-minute phone call uses up the same amount of network capacity as 600 text messages,[161] meaning that if the same cost-per-traffic formula were applied to phone calls, cell phone calls would cost $120 per minute. With service providers gaining more customers and expanding their capacity, their overhead costs should be decreasing, not increasing. In 2005, text messaging generated nearly 70 billion dollars in revenue, as reported by Gartner, industry analysts, three times as much as Hollywood box office sales in 2005. World figures showed that over a trillion text messages were sent in 2005.[162]

Although major cellphone providers deny any collusion, fees for out-of-package text messages have increased, doubling from 10 to 20 cents in the United States between 2007 and 2008 alone.[163] On 16 July 2009, Senate hearings were held to look

Although major cellphone providers deny any collusion, fees for out-of-package text messages have increased, doubling from 10 to 20 cents in the United States between 2007 and 2008 alone.[163] On 16 July 2009, Senate hearings were held to look into any breach of the Sherman Antitrust Act.[164] The same trend is visible in other countries, though increasingly widespread flatrate plans, for example in Germany, do make text messaging easier, text messages sent abroad still result in higher costs.

While text messaging is still a growing market, traditional SMS are becoming increasingly challenged by alternative messaging services which are available on smartphones with data connections. These services are much cheaper and offer more functionality like exchanging of multimedia content (e.g. photos, videos or audio notes) and group messaging. Especially in western countries some of these services attract more and more users.[165]

Security concerns

Consumer SMS

Consumer SMS should not be used for confidential communication. The contents of common SMS messages are known to the network operator's systems and personnel. Therefore, consumer SMS is not an appropriate technology for secure communications.[166] To address this issue, many companies use an SMS gateway provider based on SS7 connectivity to route the messages. The advantage of this international termination model is the ability to route data directly through SS7, which gives the provider visibility of the complete path of the SMS. This means SMS messages can be sent directly to and from recipients without having to go through the SMS-C of other mobile operators. This approach reduces the number of mobile operators that handle the message; however, it should not be considered as an end-to-end secure communication, as the content of the message is exposed to the SMS gateway provider.

An alternative approach is to use end-to-end security software that runs on both the sending and receiving device, where the original text message is transmitted in encrypted form as a consumer SMS. By using key rotation, the encrypted text messages stored under data retention laws at the network operator cannot be decrypted even if one of the devices is compromised. A problem with this approach is that communicating devices needs to run compatible software. Failure rates without backward notification can be high between carriers.[citation needed] International texting can be unreliable depending on the country of origin, destination and respective operators (US: "carriers"). Differences in the character sets used for coding can cause a text message sent from one country to another to become unreadable.

The Guinness Book of World Records has a world record for text messaging, currently held by Sonja Kristiansen of Norway. Kristiansen keyed in the official text message, as established by Guinness, in 37.28 seconds.[167] The message is, "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality, they seldom attack a human."[167] In 2005, the record was held by a 24-year-old Scottish man, Craig Crosbie, who completed the same message in 48 seconds, beating the previous time by 19 seconds.[168] The Book of Alternative Records lists Chris Young of Salem, Oregon, as the world-record holder for the fastest 160-character text message where the contents of the message are not provided ahead of time. His record of 62.3 seconds was set on 23 May 2007.[169]

Elliot Nicholls of Dunedin, New Zealand, currently holds the world record for the fastest blindfolded text messaging. A record of a 160-letter text in 45 seconds while blindfolded was set on 17 November 2007, beating the old record of 1-minute 26 seconds set by an Italian in September 2006.[170] Ohio native Andrew Acklin is credited with the world record for most text messages sent or received in a single month, with 200,052. His accomplishments were first in the World Records Academy and later followed up by Ripley's Believe It Or Not 2010: Seeing Is Believing. He has been acknowledg

Elliot Nicholls of Dunedin, New Zealand, currently holds the world record for the fastest blindfolded text messaging. A record of a 160-letter text in 45 seconds while blindfolded was set on 17 November 2007, beating the old record of 1-minute 26 seconds set by an Italian in September 2006.[170] Ohio native Andrew Acklin is credited with the world record for most text messages sent or received in a single month, with 200,052. His accomplishments were first in the World Records Academy and later followed up by Ripley's Believe It Or Not 2010: Seeing Is Believing. He has been acknowledged by The Universal Records Database for the most text messages in a single month; however, this has since been broken twice and as of 2010 was listed as 566607 messages by Fred Lindgren.[171]

In January 2010, LG Electronics sponsored an international competition, the LG Mobile World Cup, to determine the fastest pair of texters. The winners were a team from South Korea, Ha Mok-min and Bae Yeong-ho.[172] On 6 April 2011, SKH Apps released an iPhone app, iTextFast, to allow consumers to test their texting speed and practice the paragraph used by Guinness Book of World Records. As of 2011, best time listed on Game Center for that paragraph is 34.65 seconds.[173]

A few competitions have been held between expert Morse code operators and expert SMS users.[174] Several mobile phones have Morse code ring tones and alert messages. For example, many Nokia mobile phones have an option to beep "S M S" in Morse code when it receives a short message. Some of these phones could also play the Nokia slogan "Connecting people" in Morse code as a message tone.[175] There are third-party applications available for some mobile phones that allow Morse input for short messages.[176][177][178]

Tattle texting<

"Tattle texting" can mean either of two different texting trends:

Arena security

Many sports arenas now offer a number where patrons can text report security concerns, like drunk or unruly fans, or safety issues like spills.[179][180] These programs have been praised by patrons and security personnel as more effective than traditional methods. For instance, the patron doesn't need to leave his seat and miss the event in order to report something important. Also, disruptive fans can be reported with relative anonymity. "Text tattling" also gives security personnel a useful tool to prioritize messages. For instance, a single complaint in one section about an unruly fan can be addressed when convenient, while multiple complaints by several different patrons can be acted upon immediately.

Smart cars

In this c

In this context, "tattle texting" refers to an automatic text sent by the computer in an automobile, because a preset condition was met.[citation needed] The most common use for this is for parents to receive texts from the car their child is driving, alerting them to speeding or other issues. Employers can also use the service to monitor their corporate vehicles. The technology is still new and (currently) only available on a few car models.

Common conditions that can be chosen to send a text are:

  • Speeding. With the use of GPS, stored maps, and speed limit information, the onboard computer can determine if the driver is

    Common conditions that can be chosen to send a text are: