You've probably heard people talk about text messaging, or texting. Text messages are short messages (usually 160 characters or fewer) sent from one mobile phone to another. It's similar to instant messaging, except that you won't need to log in—you'll just send messages directly from your phone.
Typically, texting is not free, although your mobile carrier probably offers service packages that include a certain number of texts per month (or even unlimited texts). If you don't have a texting plan, you'll generally be charged whenever you send or receive a text message.
Text messaging is also known as SMS, which stands for Short Message Service.
Many people ask the same question: "Why would I send a text message when I could just call the person?" One of the main reasons is that it's faster, at least for short messages. It can easily take several minutes to "send" your message with a phone call. With a text message, the same message could be sent with a text in just a few seconds.
There are also times when it's not really possible to call someone, like if you're at a meeting, or in class, or any other place where you're not able to talk easily. Texting is often the best alternative in these situations.
Do note that typing on a mobile phone tends to be slower than typing on a computer. To speed things up, people often use abbreviations and acronyms. If you're not familiar with these abbreviations, it can be difficult to understand some text messages. To see some of the most common acronyms, check out the Top 50 Popular Text & Chat Acronyms.
Text messages are designed to be sent from one mobile phone to another. However, there are some websites, such as textem.net, which allow you to send a text message from a computer to a mobile phone.
This can be especially helpful if you don't use texting on your phone but need to contact someone who does.
Will text messages work for your needs? Review some of the pros and cons to help decide:
If you are interested in learning how to send and receive text messages, we have tutorials on the following: