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Calling vs. SMSing

It seems there is a great divide about what people prefer – calling or messaging. People’s attitudes and preferences in this regard vary greatly from country to country and even region to region. Take the case of the US. Neilsen mobile recently announced that in the last quarter of 2008, the average US cellphone user sent and received 447 texts in comparison to just 195 calls. The situation in other countries is far more skewed. A recent survey found that Filipinos have not made or received a single call in a period of three months. Instead, they preferred to SMS, while 86 per cent of Indians had made or received a call in the same period. The reason behind this could be economic as well as cultural. In this part of the world, an SMS costs as much as a call, (Re. 1 for local and around Rs.1.50 for STD), add to that the fact that as a people, we prefer to talk. Heck we love to talk so why not make a call when it’s going to cost the same?!

Calling also differs when it comes to gender. You might be right to think that women would much prefer to call than SMS. This same study also analyzed non-cell phone calling patterns. It found that attitudes of women differ between countries too. Pakistani women, for instance, hardly ever use public phone booths, while women in India are more confident about public spaces. Stranger still is the mobile culture in Africa. There it is common to have one phone, but many SIM cards. One card is kept for SMSing, one card is good for receiving calls, while another may be used for calling one place and one card is reserved for a particular coverage in a particular area.