Sms Corrupting Our Language

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Texting, what was once strictly an activity for the younger generation, has become trendy with youngster over 15. Mobile is becoming more integrated into the everyday lives of consumers across continents and age groups. What is most revealing to us is that 60 percent of over 15 year-olds – a demographic thought to be SMS laggards. “They are just as likely to use SMS as they are to make voice calls,” said Ronald Cornelisse, senior manager of product marketing and mobile messaging at Tekelec, Amsterdam. “The importance is that text messaging is becoming prevalent among younger generations, changing everything from how operators market their plans to how advertisers can reach more consumers through the mobile channel,” he said. SMS usage will expand in the older demographics as current prolific younger user’s age and bring their SMS familiarity and expectations with them and older generations will naturally use SMS to communicate with their younger family members, friends and coworkers. Currently, wireless devices used in mobile commerce include two-way pagers/short message system (SMS), wireless application protocol (WAP)-equipped cellular phones, personal digital assistants (PDA), internet-enabled laptop computer with wireless access capacity and so forth. Comparing the three platform of m-commerce namely WAP, GPRS and SMS, SMS is the most popular platform and it was discovered that the use of short messaging services (SMS) has exceeded all initial expectations (Bauer et al., 2005). This has indirectly resulted in mobile phones being used as an important market instrument compared to other mobile devices. SMS’s popularity was mainly due to its cost as it is the cheapest information delivery mode. Studies by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) found that in Quarter 1, 2006, Malaysian ranked second with 56.6 persons owning a mobile phone per 100 inhabitants in comparison to other ASEAN countries (Communication and Multimedia, 2006). The growth of SMS-related services over the past several years reflected the enormous potential of the Malaysian wireless data communication market. It is therefore timely for this study be undertaken to elucidate the rationale behind the adoption of SMS as a form of communication. Short Messaging Services (SMS) are generally understood as texts read on small mobile phones screens typically capable of presenting 15 to 20 characters per line. The messages are written with numeric keypad on the phone, normally requiring more than one key press per character, with messages restricted to 160 characters in length (Svendsen et al., 2006). It has been classified as a form of communication services within mobile commerce, grouped together with voice call, MMS, video and e-mail (Harris et al, 2005) that allows people and organization to send and receive short text messages from a mobile phone in near real time. SMS, an almost instantaneous communication medium that connects people, is now a phenomenon that has grown and spread around the globe at an amazing speed compared to other types of mobile commerce services. SMS is extensively used not only for communication purposes but also as a major marketing effort due to its low cost. As a highly interactive medium, SMS enables the recipient of the message to reply to it immediately, which establishes a direct dialogue between the advertiser and the potential customer. This enables companies to offer personalized, timely and relevant information, which in turn strengthen the customer relationship and strengthen the emotional relationship between a brand and its customers (Nysveen et al., 2005). SMS owes its popularity to its low cost mode of information delivery and its instantaneous communication medium which operates on a “store and forward concept”. With the increased number of mobile subscribers in the world, SMS has gained its popularity and has become an integral part of people’s lives (Pastore, 2002 quoted in Lai,...
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