Why Do People Still Text



  • Ran into a new one today... battery was getting low and just before being able to plug in the phone, the charging port got wet. With many modern phones, charging, at least my normal means, requires that the port be completely dry. Towels, a hair drier, a really dry environment, tissues, etc. can all assist in drying out the port. But often it will take hours at best to be able to charge again. Even with absolutely nothing going wrong with the phone, normal usage can cause text messaging to be unavailable for many hours. And if I were, say, camping somewhere humid it might be days without being able to start charging the phone.



  • And at the same time @mary had her phone run over in a parking lot and because it was the weekend, it took a few days before she was able to get texts again. Minor issue, but highlights the risks in the real world. That meant that for those days, any 2FA requiring her phone was unavailable to her as well.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Why Do People Still Text:

    And at the same time @mary had her phone run over in a parking lot and because it was the weekend, it took a few days before she was able to get texts again. Minor issue, but highlights the risks in the real world. That meant that for those days, any 2FA requiring her phone was unavailable to her as well.

    All quality solutions that require 2FA also provide one time use codes or similar to get in. It is your responsibility as the user of 2FA to know how to get into your systems when the main 2FA key is gone.



  • There is only one option besides texting, and that's email.

    The reason for that, is because there is not another single platform everyone uses where personal preference is not a factor.

    For example, with phone and email, it does not matter your provider. You can send a text from t-mobile and receive it on any other carrier really, or send an email from yahoo and receive it on Gmail.

    This is not the case with anything I can think of without putting much thought towards it. If you send a message from Facebook messenger, the other person HAS to have it as well.

    I know there are some things like message to text and whatever, but that's besides the point.

    I did not read all 360 replies, if this point was made already, I don't care.



  • @JaredBusch said in Why Do People Still Text:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why Do People Still Text:

    And at the same time @mary had her phone run over in a parking lot and because it was the weekend, it took a few days before she was able to get texts again. Minor issue, but highlights the risks in the real world. That meant that for those days, any 2FA requiring her phone was unavailable to her as well.

    All quality solutions that require 2FA also provide one time use codes or similar to get in. It is your responsibility as the user of 2FA to know how to get into your systems when the main 2FA key is gone.

    Problem with that approach is that you would need your backup codes to be as quick and easy to use as your 2FA system. This does a lot to heavily defeat the safety of 2FA if you are always carrying and having access to static codes.

    In this case, she was traveling when it happened. So carrying codes with you when traveling makes them super risky. You don't want them on paper in your pocket, for example.



  • @Obsolesce said in Why Do People Still Text:

    There is only one option besides texting, and that's email.
    The reason for that, is because there is not another single platform everyone uses where personal preference is not a factor.

    SIP technically works that way, but almost no one enabled it. But yes, this is effectively true. Email is the universal tool here. Even SMS requires that you go through a carrier, so it is more like Facebook in a lot of ways, than like email. You can't host your own SMS and talk to other people with SMS. It's actually a closed system, whereas email is open to the entire Internet.

    With email, you can get access from any device, anywhere. At least optionally you can. With texting, you have to have your provider (like Facebook) agree to provide you access. And they can give away that access as they often do. There are multiple SMS companies, but they all share a closed backbone (PSTN) together, but you are tied to them. The Internet seems comparable, but it really isn't. You can use any provider, not just the one that you are currently tied to, and it's a democratized system, and you aren't tied to a device or account, and what small centralization is necessary is controlled carefully (domain and DNS systems.)

    SMS is also unencrypted, email is optionally encrypted.

    Nothing is perfect, but email has some significant advantages over SMS.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Why Do People Still Text:

    @JaredBusch said in Why Do People Still Text:

    @scottalanmiller said in Why Do People Still Text:

    And at the same time @mary had her phone run over in a parking lot and because it was the weekend, it took a few days before she was able to get texts again. Minor issue, but highlights the risks in the real world. That meant that for those days, any 2FA requiring her phone was unavailable to her as well.

    All quality solutions that require 2FA also provide one time use codes or similar to get in. It is your responsibility as the user of 2FA to know how to get into your systems when the main 2FA key is gone.

    Problem with that approach is that you would need your backup codes to be as quick and easy to use as your 2FA system. This does a lot to heavily defeat the safety of 2FA if you are always carrying and having access to static codes.

    In this case, she was traveling when it happened. So carrying codes with you when traveling makes them super risky. You don't want them on paper in your pocket, for example.

    That would be stupid. Backup codes are not needed to be quick and easy access. They are for backup access purposes, not consistent access.

    Most of mine are in LastPass stored as a note with the account password, as you need that information also when you try to log in, and I sure as fuck don't know most of my passwords.

    Backup access to LastPass is available multiple ways if the 2FA device is gone.

    Once you gain access, you disable 2FA until the device is replaced.



  • @JaredBusch said in Why Do People Still Text:

    That would be stupid. Backup codes are not needed to be quick and easy access. They are for backup access purposes, not consistent access.

    Exactly. So in cases where you lost a phone temporarily, it creates a problem, like it just did, where you may not have access to backup codes with you.

    As a production admin, having access to systems at a moment's notice is a pretty big deal. Going even half a day without access can pose a bit of a problem. But always being prepared to work around failed 2FA at a moment's notice is also a problem.



  • Texting also poses problems for anyone that has a personal assistant or needs to hand work to a team. If you have a secretary, email and other modern communications generally have mechanisms where they can work with your email, respond on your behalf, pre-filter for you. To do this with normal texting mechanism, you would need to have your secretary have your phone rather than getting your messages on his computer, phone, or whatever.

    For a lot of professionals, that's a big deal. They need someone to handle their messaging for them. Sure, you can simply give out someone else's number as your own and have texts go only to someone else, but that's not a good solution either for almost anyone. Button line, the normal, expected options that you use for business communications generally break when you use texting.



  • We used a texting service with a SIP trunk recently for a business texting line. The service was expensive to make SMS available via a web console. But because the customers could not identify to whom they were speaking, and because we could rarely identify the customers, and because we could not identify who on our side was speaking to customers, and because customer responses just went blindly to "the company" so no one was sure what they were responding to or about, we had to stop it as it was crippling our ability to support anyone that texted us. It had its handy moments, but basically once you scaled past a team of two or three people it rapidly become impossible to use.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Why Do People Still Text:

    Texting also poses problems for anyone that has a personal assistant or needs to hand work to a team. If you have a secretary, email and other modern communications generally have mechanisms where they can work with your email, respond on your behalf, pre-filter for you. To do this with normal texting mechanism, you would need to have your secretary have your phone rather than getting your messages on his computer, phone, or whatever.

    For a lot of professionals, that's a big deal. They need someone to handle their messaging for them. Sure, you can simply give out someone else's number as your own and have texts go only to someone else, but that's not a good solution either for almost anyone. Button line, the normal, expected options that you use for business communications generally break when you use texting.

    First things first - I Don't consider SMS a business solution, and I'm guessing many people don't either.. though, sadly some do, nothing I can do about those people.

    Second - if you buy into the apple ecosystem, you can get SMS messages from a single number on multiple idevices, it's not great, but it would be a solution.

    back to your point - I definitely agree that email is the solution for a real business solution in this case. No chat app has solutions for this specific problem that I'm aware of either... Perhaps there is one that allows you to forward/BCC a second party to a stream for a given time period, but that will definitely not be as flexible as email is.



  • @Dashrender said in Why Do People Still Text:

    Second - if you buy into the apple ecosystem, you can get SMS messages from a single number on multiple idevices, it's not great, but it would be a solution.

    Google does this too, but it's extremely anemic and requires that the receiving device still be active. If the device turns off, loses signal, or gets damaged.... it appears that you still have service, but it stops working and you don't know that people can't reach you.



  • @Dashrender said in Why Do People Still Text:

    First things first - I consider SMS a business solution, and I'm guessing many people don't either.. though, sadly some do, nothing I can do about those people.

    Business and personal are not really dramatically different use cases. Personal is more "forgiving" of bad design, but is still affected by it. If it's not a good business solution, it's not a good personal solution. And that you need two solutions is itself a problem (business people are still people.)





  • @IRJ said in Why Do People Still Text:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2019/12/01/text-message-leak-millions-americans-might-be-at-risk/4346711002/

    In that case, it was a third party system that just happened to use SMS somewhere. It's the database that was the exposure, not the mechanism.

    Although I've worked places where scorpions were deployed so that all texts were recorded without permission, including those from other companies. Anyone working at GE headquarters, for example, had their phones compromised over the wireless.



  • Do I expect an 8 - 24 hour response

    email

    Do I expect a 5 min - 2hr response

    text

    Do I need to talk to someone this instant

    call

    Do I want to see if casual acquaintances want drinks

    Social media message

    I feel like the platforms are used to communicate unspoken expectations.



  • @jim9500 said in Why Do People Still Text:

    Do I expect a 5 min - 1mo response

    text

    I don't agree here. Not isolated, anyway. It's "do I expect a quick response if I get a response, but am okay with no response at all or waiting weeks as it can't be critical if I chose those channel.*"

    I say this as I regularly see this as the "channel that gets ignored" unless communications is already coordinated through a more robust channel, and easily a quarter of people who respond this way to me take weeks or months to get back (for real) because it's not taken as a serious methodology.

    I also find this to be the channel that people silence because it's seen as trivial communications.



  • @jim9500 said in Why Do People Still Text:

    I feel like the platforms are used to communicate unspoken expectations.

    I agree....

    Text... because someone in the communications channel is confused and pushing a poor method because they never consider how to communicate well.

    Email... when something is important enough to communicate well.

    Call.... when it's an all out emergency that doesn't require communicating any amount of information or the caller is just rude and inconsiderate.



  • @jim9500 this is how i see it as well and and is also how others behave in regard to communications with me.



  • Probably just depends on how others you usually communicate with use that certain technology in the end.



  • @jmoore said in Why Do People Still Text:

    @jim9500 this is how i see it as well and and is also how others behave in regard to communications with me.

    Pretty much everyone I talk to says that's how they see those channels, but it is almost never how they behave when using them.

    It's also a bit weird, since typically email seems to be reliably faster than texting. People don't tend to look too closely, but I pay a lot of attention and email seems to regularly be equal or faster than texting. It's extremely rare that I see an email delay over say two minutes. But not unheard of for texting delays of an hour or two.



  • @jmoore said in Why Do People Still Text:

    Probably just depends on how others you usually communicate with use that certain technology in the end.

    That's the key thing, with communications, you are often "stuck" with the choices of the least capable, least thinking party in a scenario. If you can convince grandparents to only talk on Facebook, suddenly everyone has to have Facebook because that's what your grandparents use and you can't change them no matter how good or bad it is.

    This is how texting seems to have taken hold. There was a huge marketing push to get certain groups to use it and force charges on people who didn't want it and couldn't turn it off, so those people were forced to pay for it, and they've continued to encourage it as a lock in mechanism.







  • @jim9500 said in Why Do People Still Text:

    Do I expect an 8 - 24 hour response

    email

    Do I expect a 5 min - 2hr response

    text

    Do I need to talk to someone this instant

    call

    Do I want to see if casual acquaintances want drinks

    Social media message

    I feel like the platforms are used to communicate unspoken expectations.

    This is why I like Slack. It fits for them all plus more in the enterprise. Everyone has it, so you don't need to worry about that part of it.



  • This post is deleted!


  • @Obsolesce Yeah I love Slack for that reason too. Slack is always a better experience for all involved from my viewpoint.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Why Do People Still Text:

    That's the key thing, with communications, you are often "stuck" with the choices of the least capable, least thinking party in a scenario.

    Yeah I'm sure that's a factor as well. For example, anyone that i text will get back to me in less than an hour on a regular basis. Most of the time its within 5 min.



  • @Obsolesce said in Why Do People Still Text:

    This is why I like Slack. It fits for them all plus more in the enterprise. Everyone has it, so you don't need to worry about that part of it.

    I don't actually know many people with Slack. Almost none, in fact. As a company, we have only one person with access to it for clients and they relay messages for the rest when needed. So even as an IT company, it comes up rarely... and now that Teams has passed it (in usage, not quality) it seems to be fading.



  • @Obsolesce said in Why Do People Still Text:

    This is why I like Slack.

    What literally everyone says about their primary pet message platform. Some people want everything encrypted on Signal, some people want to be dudebros with slack, some people want to email me which I never respond to unless it's important (& just hope it goes away), then some people message me on hangouts, some people message me after realizing my voicemail is full (on purpose)

    How long until managers decide to use snapchat for the morale boost of being able to use cat ears? My voicemail is full & I leave it that way, I don't respond to emails, I am getting to the point where I just let people walk into my office if they need me.

    When everyone picks a method, literally don't care if it's damned messenger pigeons, I will pay attention to on demand communication methods again. Until then I have no doubt we'll go from dozens to hundreds, probably speakers at our computer yelling at us, webcam lights blinking different colors depending on AIs evaluation of importance, geeks preferring morse code via phone vibrations etc