Can You Imagine a World Without Mobile Phones and SMS?

Various cellular phones from the last decade

As mobiles got smaller, so did individual human IQs

I happened to read an article on yesterday that pointed out the continuing growth of Short-Messaging Service or SMS.  It said that global SMS traffic will hit 8.7 Trillion in 2015.  WOW!  That is certainly a large number of calloused thumbs, worn-out keypads and touch screens.

I admit that at first I hated SMS.  Personally, I still prefer hearing another person on the other end of the line.  However, I am not most people.  If I am not mistaken, the Philippines remains as a leader in the growth of SMS traffic.  Pinoys are a talkative bunch and will always love to send word to anyone at any time.  Aside from the usual messages conveying love, anger and hate, there are also people who love to spam and scam using SMS.  We use SMS to check on our loved ones, how things are at work and in our places of business.  For me, aside from the usual use, I can simply send a short makulit message to anymone and just get a laugh out of it.  It’s certainly worth the send.

Multiply those thoughts above across a population of the Philippines desperate for communications and you’re certainly bound to make billions.  Intuitively speaking,  I think that the surge in demand for SMS in the 90s fueled the boom for faster acceptance of mobile phones.  Those without land-based phones, something common in the Philippines of old, decided to just use mobiles.  One can simply get a prepaid SIM card and slap it inside a cellphone.  It presented an unbeatable value to the Pinoy consumer — no need to wait anymore for the processing of applications and the long wait for the PLDT lineman.

With all the modern convenience of the current generation of mobile phones — mobile video calling and internet — texting still contributes to a majority of communications traffic.

I can say that some people are now too dependent on texting and the mobile phone, a tad bit too much.  It’s certainly irritating now that some people will consider using the loss of mobile service.  “I am sorry I couldn’t tell you that I broke something at home.  I had no cell phone load.”  Silly excuse, isn’t it?  There’s some paper and a pencil you can use to leave a note for us to read as soon as we get home.


Before mobile phones, there was the telephone.  Before the telephone, there was the telegraph.  Before the telegraph, there were…carrier pigeons and messengers?  There was also snail mail, which is still around to this day.  Before them were, I don’t know anymore — smoke signals, writings on cave walls?  Needless to say, people communicated with what’s on hand.

So imagine life without a mobile.

What excuses might have these people made?

“I am sorry I couldn’t send word to you regarding (insert incident here).  The pigeon died”?



  1. I still prefer to hear a human voice at the other end of the line, though I do a lot of texting too. I just don’t know why people call a lot, anywhere and everywhere they go, even while they are driving, which is a most dangerous thing. Why do people always need someone to talk to?

    1. Good question.

      Maybe we can also link having mobiles to having a form of addictive control over our lives. We can connect and disconnect as we please.

      Here’s another thought: People with lovely voices on the phone will probably get called up more often and will most likely also call more often than usual.

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