As convenient as they are, SMS---or short message service---text messages have, as with all forms of communication, a few drawbacks when compared with other forms of communication. Reliability and versatility can be compromised when using SMS, and text messages are far from the most economical way to communicate.
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SMS text messages are designed to be short, so if you're trying to send anything of importance, or anything lengthy, think again. SMS text messages are limited to 160 characters. Each letter, number, symbol and space used counts as a character, significantly limiting the room you have to type.
Text messaging is currently supported by several languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Arabic. The downside is that in some languages---such as Chinese---only 70 characters are allowed.
Rich Media Content
SMS text messaging does not support sending media, including videos, pictures, melodies or animations. An alternative application, such as an EMS---or Enhanced Messaging Service---must be used to counter this issue. EMS is much less widely supported on wireless devices than SMS; therefore, even if you use SMS combined with an EMS, the person on the other end might not be able to read the media being sent.
A disadvantage for SMS text messaging is that it is not free. Every mobile carrier charges for the service. Most sell bundles of text messages, such as bundles of 200, 500, 1000, as well as unlimited, for different monthly fees. Once you go beyond your text message limit, you'll be charged a small fee per message, which can sneak up on you. If someone sends you a message that goes beyond the 160 character limit, the message will count as two rather than one; therefore, monitoring SMS texts becomes a necessary economic chore.