It’s only been a few days since I found out that a couple of my siblings have added text messaging to their mobile phone contracts, and I’m already in trouble. (Unlike most of Europe, SMS is a separate service in the U.S. and has to be activated by your carrier in order to work on your phone.)
Now it’s well established that I’m not an especially prolific texter, but the chance to dash off a quick message to a family member on the other side of the world is proving to be practically irresistible.
My brother is presently on his way to the Middle East on a business trip, and since he works for a state-supported university, he always flies coach with multiple lay-overs. (You can’t expect the taxpayers to spring for direct flights and business class, unless you work for the Bush Administration, of course.)
So I sent him a quick text earlier this evening asking where he was, expecting a one word answer. (He’s a man of few words if they have to be typed out, especially on a Blackberry.) But I was surprised and delighted to get the following response: “Sitting on a plane in Casablanca.” This of course begged the reply, “Here’s looking at you, kid.” And a full-on “conversation” ensued…all via SMS.
Do you know how much it costs to send a text message to Morocco via a U.S. mobile carrier? Almost 20 cents per SMS! (And I have a sneaking suspicion he’s going to be paying a similar fee for receiving them.)
Clearly I’m going to have to rethink my mobile phone budget.