The use of Cellular Phones, in my opinion, is far more advanced in the Philippines than in the United States. In fact, the Philippines is really a huge user of cellular phones. As a matter of fact, I would have to go so far as saying that the Philippines is a World-Class user of cellular phone technology. It has been for years, in fact.
Texting has long been a major thing in the Philippines. You don’t know what “texting” is? Well, it is using a cellular phone to send a text message, rather than calling and talking to the person. Texting is also known as “SMS” which stands for “Short Messaging Service.” Did you know that the Philippines is credited as the only country in the world that has brought down a government through text messaging? It’s true, when President Joseph Estrada was pushed from office in January 2000, much of what happened was organized and encouraged from person to person via text messaging.
Over the past year or so, though, I am seeing a change in the way that cellular phones are used. A lot more people are using their cellphone to place voice calls, and texting less. This is really noticeable to me, because in past years, it was rare to get a voice call on my cellphone, not it is actually becoming fairly common.
When I first moved here, in 2000, I bought a cellular phone, because everybody had them, and it seemed to be the way to keep in touch. Getting a landline telephone is not easy, it can take months, in fact. But, if you want a cellphone, just go buy one, purchase a prepaid SIM pack, and you are in business within minutes. You can get an account where you can pay once per month, but that is rare for most people. Prepaid is what the vast majority of people use here. With prepaid, you simply purchase what is called “load” and that gives you credit on your telephone.
Anyway, I’ve written about cellphones and such before in this column. The main point that I want to make today is that as more Filipinos gain in economic status and each more of a “middle class” lifestyle, there is a definite upswing in the use of cellular phones to make voice calls. I think this is a good thing, it show that the economic power of the Filipino is increasing.
Funny thing is, I have come to the point where I prefer texting! I find it less obtrusive. I can reply when it is a good time for me. If I get a call, I have to stop what I am doing and talk right then. Text is more like e-mail, time shifting is easy. I like it. I am thinking that now, I need to shift my preference back toward voice calls, though!
Talk to you soon!