The noted social scientist said that the world has become a global village. Nothing illustrates this better than the emergence of the mobile phone. A century ago, the wireless radio, the telephone and the cable made possible the act of communication, by sending and receiving of messages. Today a SMS message takes am couple of seconds to reach a mobile phone, anywhere in the world through the magic of undersea cables, satellite transmission and local cell towers. This is a vast improvement from the traditional methods of messenger, pigeon post, sea mail, and the ubiquitous postman.
It is a vastly different world where your trusty mobile phone becomes your best communication medium in times of festivities, family occasions like birthdays, wedding days, anniversaries and emergencies. It takes a few seconds to write and a second to send it. Lovers, young and old, find it useful because the messages remain private and ‘for your eyes only’ with none being aware about it. It seems perfect that the I Love You message you send reaches the intended destination straight and true like an arrow. Of course, if the recipient’s phone number is a wrong number, you have had it.
SMS messages can be short and sweet, or as long as you like, the only limitation being that they do not exceed 150 characters. When this happens, the message is split up and sent as separate messages of 150 characters each. Book publishers have appreciated this and are sending best sellers via SMS to interested book lovers. Some SMS messages can bring the senders lots of prizes through contests, sweepstakes and lucky predictions.
SMS messages are cheap because mobile phone providers offer the facility either for free or at a low price. Associations, professional organizations, social welfare societies like the Lions and Rotary Clubs, welcome the facility of sending SMS messages announcing upcoming meetings, membership arrears payment dates, payment due alerts and acknowledgements of fee and subscription payments received.
Schools, colleges and other educational institutions find it useful to send short communications of impending semester dates, examinations and results as well as fee payment due alerts to students and their parents. The students and parents appreciate the relevant information in the messages.
Credit card companies, banks and financial institutions and marketing companies are able to generate new business from existing consumer database by using this medium to remind customers of payment or renewal dates, new offers available, or as a means of addressing customer complaints.
And laughing all the way to the bank are the mobile service providers, who earn a windfall amount in additional revenue by splitting the premium SMS message call charges with the companies