The way we communicate is changing, and fast. The majority of millennials are now adults, and they’ve brought their texting habits with them. As a result, new technology like virtual assistants and chatbots has sprung up to meet this new demand for digital communication methods. Ironically, however, these innovations are threatening the existence of one of the most popular methods of digital communication: texting. That probably sounds crazy if you’re currently reading this on your phone while waiting for your Uber somewhere or another (or maybe that was just me). But as it turns out, there are lots of reasons why text messaging is dying as a preferred form of communication. Read on to learn more about why texting is dying – and why that’s not necessarily a bad thing…
The Rise of Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants, such as Siri and Cortana, have been popular for business use for a while. However, the popularity with individual consumers is growing. This is in large part due to the fact that they are much more conversational than the traditional method of entering a command and pressing “enter.” As a society, we’ve become accustomed to socializing with people who aren’t actually in the room with us. And in the digital space, we’ve gotten used to conversing with bots and AI-based tools like you would another person. As an example, let’s say that you have a friend whose birthday is coming up. You can simply ask your virtual assistant to remind you of the birthday, and it will send a notification at the appropriate time. This is in comparison to texting the same person, where you would have to enter the birthday date and time into a text message, and then press “send.” The rise of virtual assistants also means that more people are starting to use voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home. As a result, the amount of texting is actually dropping among younger demographics.
Chatbots and AI-Based Communication
This is essentially the same as the above entry. However, it’s worth noting that an increasing number of companies are now using chatbots for customer support. As an example, let’s say that you’re looking for a new cellphone plan and you have questions about the various options. Instead of having to call the company and wait on hold for 30 minutes, you can simply type your questions into your phone or computer and receive a response. These companies are creating virtual assistants that are programmed to communicate in a way that mimics actual conversation. They’re able to respond to natural language, which means that you don’t have to remember specific commands or keywords to get help. This is in contrast to the traditional method of calling the company and talking to a customer support agent, where you would have to remember to be patient while the person reads from a script, and then type your own information into a separate form.
Millennials Don’t Use Texting as Much
As noted above, the amount of texting among millennials is actually decreasing. That’s because more and more people are switching to instant messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. To these people, texting is something that your grandparents or parents do. It’s worth noting that this shift isn’t unique to millennials. In fact, people of all ages are increasingly choosing to use these alternative apps instead of texting. These apps are gaining popularity because they offer more functionality than standard text messages. You can send photos, videos, and even make video calls using these apps. Plus, many of these apps offer end-to-end encryption, which makes them a popular choice for people who are concerned about privacy.
Texting is Dying Because of Augmented Reality
If you’re like me and you grew up playing Pokémon Go, then you’re probably familiar with the concept of augmented reality. But if not, let me bring you up to speed. Augmented reality is essentially a digital interface that is laid over a real-life environment. In the case of Pokémon Go, that real-life environment is your neighborhood. The app uses your phone’s camera to overlay virtual creatures onto the streets and buildings around you. There are a number of apps that have sprung up because of augmented reality. For example, there is a “walk with a friend” app that lets you virtually walk with a friend while they’re thousands of miles away. There are also apps that let you try on clothing before you buy it and apps that let you virtually decorate your house. Once augmented reality reaches the level of adoption that some people are predicting, we won’t even have to go out in public to use it. We’ll simply be able to use AR to send our friends virtual birthday cards and decorate our virtual homes. That means that we’ll no longer have to rely on text messaging to stay in touch.
Ultimately, the rise of new technologies that allow us to communicate without using text messaging isn’t a bad thing. It simply means that people are finding new and more efficient ways to communicate with one another. That said, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that text messaging isn’t dying because people don’t want to communicate. It’s dying because it’s being replaced with something better. Ultimately, this is simply a sign of progress.