Mobile Phone Texting In The Philipenes

In such an inconspicuous and economically disadvantaged country as the Philippines, what could be the reasons as to its overwhelming acceptance to the luxurious realm of text messaging?

Five years ago, the average Filipino student would have said, "you're nothing but a rich little spoiled brat" had you secured yourself an extremely expensive digital cellular telephone. Today, however, just five years thereafter, even grade schoolers can't go on with their lives without "cellfones" to grace their daily routines. Indeed, much has transpired within those seemingly short five years. From a nation of analog telephones, the Philippines has fascinatingly transformed into a "texting" one. Every single student (of course, this is a generalization), even those in the lower middle class, has been caught up with this seemingly inevitable plague.

So what is this "texting" that Filipinos go crazy about even as we speak?

Texting is actually coined to mean text messaging. It is the process by which one sends a message from one cellular telephone to another in the form of words""or texts""instead of speaking directly over the telephone. In the Philippines, it actually revolutionized the perception of a cellfone. Gone are the days when people, students in particular, used to carry cellfones but never really got to use them because calls are not that affordable and "student-friendly". But now, assuming a Filipino perspective, one could not be anything but amazed and surprised as to how this economically disadvantaged country embraced cordially this new and quite luxurious technology.



In an interview with three students from one of the best universities in the Philippines, it has been unanimously agreed upon that one of the main causes of this "texting fever" is its sense of connectedness, its sense of making people feel within reach of anyone anytime, anywhere, its sense of value manifested in its affordable price.

It is believed that this tactful combination of connection (Filipinos has always wanted to be connected""locally or globally) and affordability is the perfect formula that Filipinos could not resist. Come to think of it, people can communicate with anyone and they wouldn't spend as much as they would vis-à-vis a call. Indeed, it is this side of the story that the Filipinos focused on when they were weighing and evaluating their options. It is this luster that enticed them to use the cellular telephone.

But what are its pitfalls? Certainly, a multi-million craze as this couldn't be smooth all over? For one, though generally perceived as cheap, texting could become a very expensive vice. For those people addicted to it, they could never realize that they are actually spending a good sum of money in every single day of texting. Just imagine, the major cellular telephone companies are charging the public one peso for every message successfully sent. For an hour or two of texting, addicted "texters" can most likely use up 10 to 20 pesos. This is simply because texters text as if they were carrying on a dialogue. This implies that as long as a response to a textmate's message is necessary, texting will go on""and so is its cost. And like most people, Filipinos love to talk. They love to gossip. So in effect, texting turns out to be a not-so-cheap form of communication after all. To a certain extent, it somehow equates its price to that of a call's, and a call from a cellular phone in the Philippines is not inexpensive.

So, in the end, texting is generally a significant manifestation of how a Filipino views the world and its technology. It consequently exposes desires uniquely their own. It elicits their innate sense of frugality and wastefulness combined to exhibit their own true identity, their own true form, their own true style.

So, anyone going texting? Do it the Filipino way.

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