Questions

Cell phone capabilities - "Text messages" vs. "Instant messaging"?

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Cell phone capabilities - "Text messages" vs. "Instant messaging"?

CharlieSpencer
I have no practical reason to ask this question; I'm just seeking general knowledge.

I heard a cell phone ad on the tube this weekend. Among other features the ad mentioned "text and IM". Here's my stupid question, keeping in mind I've never used either (or a cell phone, for that matter):

What's the difference between text messaging and instant messaging?

Thanks.
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Pringles86
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The difference between text messaging and Instant Messaging are that you need the person's phone number for a text message. Whereas in instant messaging, you can sign in to a program (aol, yahoo, msn...) and send a message to their screen name with your screen name.

I believe that is the only difference between them when referring to cell phones.

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jmcguire
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Text messages go to a cell phone via the recipient's phone number. Does IM go to a cell phone also?

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ThumbsUp2
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if the recipient has enabled that feature.

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shiny_topadm
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would be that "text messages" are similar to email, in that you are sending a message to an inbox to be read later; "instant messages" usually have both parties connected "now" so a bi-directional link is established and you can have more of a conversation / dialog in real time.

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CharlieSpencer
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"'instant messages' usually have both parties connected "now" ... and you can have more of a conversation ..."

If I'm using a phone for this, what's the advantage of IM over making a voice call? It seems to me that would be easier than wearing out my thumbs.

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Pringles86
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If you are texting or IMing, you can do it in places where you shouldn't be talking. Library, meeting, class, work... You also have more of a chance to think of something to say. If you are on the phone and there is a long silence, the other person notices. If there is a long delay in responded to an IM or text, that is understandable for numerous reasons (the person is busy, they are slow at typing, or even lag time going over the air).

Voice calls are typically faster since most people can talk faster than they can text. I still prefer texting though since I can send a reply when I am not so busy.

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rkuhn
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Get back into the biz of technical advice. :)

Apparently, the world is passing you by...BTW, I agree, cell phones are a pain in the arse and I DEFINITELY don't want IM, texting, cams, etc.

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CharlieSpencer
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I don't understand the urge to be in constant contact. Maybe it's because I didn't grow up with the capability, so I don't miss what I never had. I was never a big user of the telephone to begin with, and e-mail is a tool I use almost exclusively at work. My only experience with IM was a trial installation within the IT department for the summer three years ago, and we couldn't find a use for it. I've never sent a text message, unless e-mail counts. Based on what little I know about them, I guess I don't see an application of either IM or text messaging that would benefit me either personally or professionally.

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carter_k
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I resisted cell phones for the longest because I didn't want an electronic leash around my neck that people could jerk. I have been successful in just not giving out my cell number to people I don't want to hear from. Now I love using a cell phone.

I have story after story where I tried some new technology and either adopted it or dumped it. In one case, I dumped it, came back and tried it again, and adopted it.

Once you dig in your heels and refuse to try anything new, you put yourself in a dangerous position of being left behind: by your employer, by your coworkers--friendly and not so friendly, by clients (if that applies), and possibly by your friends and family (in this case, in terms of communication with you). Think carefully about what that might mean.