November 8, 2007


Cell phones have become a large part of our culture, and we are using them for more than just making calls. Many of us have begun to use text messages to get a short message to someone quickly. SMS are also handy if your calling plan has limited minutes (a lot of Indonesians prefer the prepaid / pay-as-you-go plan than subscribed plan, so they can control the phone usage). Texting is more popular by far in Asian countries like Indonesia than in the US for example, because it's relatively cheaper than to make calls. On average, in Indonesia text messaging costs between USD$0.01 to US$0.03 per message, while a voice local call would cost you between US$ 0.05 to USD$0.08 per minute.

SMS is simple to use and it empowers users to get information anywhere, anytime. According to survey, SMS in Indonesia remains by far the most popular mobile data service, with 65% of users sending text messages on a daily basis. However, texting is somewhere in between speaking and writing. So, with approx. 160 characters per SMS, people have to be creative by using abbreviations, acronyms for common words that are easy to understand. People see these limitations as a challenge to say ordinary things in new ways and type as many words as they can in one message.

Here are some examples :
# 2moro - Tomorrow
# 2nite - Tonight
# B4N - Bye For Now
# BFF - Best Friends Forever
# FWIW - For What It's Worth
# GR8 - Great
# ILY - I Love You
# L8R - Later
# NP - No Problem
# NBD - No Big Deal
# RBTL - Read Between The Lines
# RTM - Read The Manual
# SWAK - Sealed With A Kiss
# TTYL - Talk To You Later
# TYVM - Thank You Very Much
# WYWH - Wish You Were Here
# XLNT - Excellent
# XME - Excuse Me
# Y - Why?
# YBS - You'll Be Sorry
# YGBK - You Gotta Be Kidding
# YNK - You Never Know
# YSIC - Why Should I Care?
# YW - You're Welcome
# ZZZ - Sleeping, Bored, Tired

Another hilarious example is right here :
Part of an essay written by a Scottish 13-year-old secondary school pupil - and its translation

My smmr hols wr CWOT. B4, we used 2 go 2 NY 2C my bro, his GF & thr 3 :-@ kds FTF. ILNY, its gr8.
Bt my Ps wr so {:-/ BC o 9/11 tht thay dcdd 2 stay in SCO & spnd 2 wks up N.
Up N, WUCIWUG -- 0. I ws vvv brd in MON. 0 bt baas & .

Read :
My summer holidays were a complete waste of time. Before, we used to go to New York to see my brother, his girlfriend and their three screaming kids face to face. I love New York, it's a great place.

But my parents were so worried because of the terrorism attack on September 11 that they decided we would stay in Scotland and spend two weeks up north.

Up north, what you see is what you get - nothing. I was extremely bored in the middle of nowhere. Nothing but sheep and mountains.

txtin is gr8 & fun & easy rite???

*gbh = great big hug


Belle said...

i actually disabled the texting feature in my cell because it is an added cost to my monthly bill unless i go for that extra $5 dollar on top of my monthly bill, which i thought is a waste of money.

here in the US, texting isn't very popular, at least for the older people like me because i always think that i am disturbing people when i send them unimportant text messages.

momoftwo said...

funny! Texting in the Phil is very popular. Back then I used to text without even looking at my keypad hehe. I can still do it although I don't text as much as I used to.