What Is the Meaning of Text Messaging?

Eli Merrell Picture

by Eli Merrell | Last Updated: Mar 29, 2023

We are all familiar with the soft ding from your smartphone and the lock screen notification that follows. Texting is becoming a major form of communication with 75 percent of Millennial and Gen Z Americans preferring to text rather than call.  Oftentimes frequent texters will wait for their phone to stop ringing so they can follow up with a text instead of answering a call. With so many users favoring texting over other forms of communication, you might be curious for more information on the topic. 

What is the Meaning of Text Messaging?

Text messaging is a form of communication that takes place on a connected device, such as a mobile phone, laptop, or desktop. Users who take part in texting will compose and send messages consisting of alphanumeric characters and possibly multimedia content. Users then share back-and-forth communication via text messages. There are a few different types of text messaging. 

What Type of Communication is Text Messaging?

Texting is both a verbal and nonverbal form of communication. Verbal communication refers to both written and spoken words (i.e. SMS messages). Nonverbal communication encompasses everything else humans do to convey information without words (i.e. emojis, gifs, pictures, and videos).  Texting as a form of communication can happen between two or more people. Two friends can text each other, communicating about a movie they just saw together. A group of friends and family can all communicate in a group text about plans for the weekend, with messages being collected into one thread for easy tracking.  Because texting is widely used, it can feel very informal. Users often write texts as if they were speaking. Two friends texting won’t use perfect grammar. When texting a friend about the latest insights on a book you just read, it’s unlikely you’ll use a semicolon or an oxford comma. 

How Has Text Messaging Changed Communication?

Sending text messages is one of the fastest-growing forms of communication. Sixty-eight percent of consumers text more than they talk on their smartphones. Texting offers a bit more freedom than talking on the phone.  Users can receive a text message and spend time thinking before they reply. Or they can receive messages and respond to them later when they have the time. This asynchronous communication is very different from a phone call. With a call, people need to stop what they are doing to speak to the other person in real-time. With text messages, they can take their time to reply.  Text messages can also be used by businesses to send reminders or marketing communications to their audience. Text messaging can be a powerful element of a marketing strategy. Businesses can also use it as a form of internal communication to share updates and critical information with their internal team. 

Text message communication examples:

What Are the Benefits of Text Messages?

Text messages have high open rates, they are less disruptive to the recipient’s day, they create direct lines of communication, most users prefer texting to calling, and responding to a text message is typically very easy.  Twilio, a leading customer engagement platform, reports: Text messaging is an easy and effective form of communication that most users prefer.  Learn more about why text messaging is a must-have channel for business!

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