Joe Librizzi

Marketing Strategy
Business Technology
Data & Analytics

Why Are We Still Texting?

My daughter woke up with a fever this morning. That means no daycare, and the grandparents  weren’t available to step in. Since its my turn in the rotation, I’m sitting at home with my daughter napping in my arms while my wife is in the office. She has sent me several texts thoughout the day to check on our little one, and I have to ask: Why?

I’m not questioning her maternal instinct (although I’ve always said you’ve never heard of a child being sfathered :)  ). I’m questioning her choice of communication. She, and the rest of the world it seems, is hellbent on giving Verizon $20 per month for texting rather that use the freely available and technologically superior option of instant messaging.
IM offers almost all the benefits of texting, but is free. Sure, you need a feature phone or smartphone, and a data connection rather than just cellular. But how much of a hurdle is that nowadays? And as the folks at  PhoneDog.com point out, the price you pay for texting is way out of line.  Yet so many of us continue to rely on it.
The only reason I can imagine is fragmentation. Ask everyone in your phone book and some will say they use Gtalk, others Skype, others MSN, etc. Now even Facebook and Apple are trying to get into the game. Texting is not carrier specific, so there’s no thinking involved. And you can even text someone if they don’t have a texting plan. Frictionless communication, I admit, is attractive.  But if that’s your demand, check out imo.im, Trillian or the other IM aggregaters out there and presto!
So please, the next time you tell someone you’ll text them, instead ask if they have an IM handle and use that. Together we can rid the world of an overpriced, out-dated communication platform.

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