Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Short Message Service - SMS

I bet I could count on one hand the number of SMS messages I sent in my life before coming to Indonesia. Now, sometimes I can't count on one hand the number I send in a day.

In spite of my efforts to resist the powerful tide, I'm becoming an SMS-er. The biggest thing working against me is that I seem to be in the overwhelming minority as one who doesn't like SMS communication. There are some advantages. It is very cheep here. For cell phone service, there is no monthly plan; everything is pay in advance. SMS's hit your balance softer than calls. Another plus is that you can communicate in Indonesian without having to hear a thing. We are much better at reading! Also, it is often less disruptive to receive an SMS than a call.

However, it's still SMS-ing. It's very cumbersome to type out long messages on your phone. How people spend so much of their day doing this (or get enough practice to become quite skillful at it) is a mystery to me. Also, to exchange information may take several back-and-forths which would be avoided by a simple call. Finally, there is a specific challenge relating to SMS's in Indonesian. Typically, Indonesians leave the consonants out of more common words. That basically means that there's almost a sub-language for SMS's. It can be quite a challenge for us to decipher some of them.

In spite of the disadvantages, I don't think I'll be able to reverse the cultural trend! (Of course, I'm kidding...I wouldn't try to do that!)

1 comment:

  1. If SMSing is the same as texting I agree with you. A phone call works much better!