SMS and Chat Communication in Post-LDR Era

Episode 168 – Friday, July 14th, 2017 (7500)

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Last episode, I discussed about the communication between SMS and Facebook Chat where I’ve used both mostly thru cellphone. For many years, I usually used my cellphone for texting where it was the way to communicate and to connect my friends in a distance including the one who accidentally became my textmate and eventually my first ever non-deaf girlfriend. However, right after the end of long distance relationship (LDR), my text communication has been declined and lost its glory and dominance. But in exchange, I’ve now communicated with my beloved friends thru chat thanks to the free Facebook data that I’ve used thru mobile phone.

In the past two years of Post-LDR Era (after the break-up or post-June 2015), I connected all the data from SMS and Facebook chat messages that I have to compare these two ways of communication.

SMS Communication in Post-LDR Era

Right after June 2015, my text (short messaging service or SMS) communication was severely declined that went almost into extinction. From the three-digit mark (or hundred-mark) during the first 6 months of 2015, beginning July 2015, the text messages collected from my phone became so low. And within two years (or 24 months) of Post-LDR Era, there were only 7 times that SMS data collected reached more than 100 per month, including the times when they hit 300 or more in August and September 2016 because I had some potential textmates who, in the end, lasted so short. In those 24 months of Post-LDR Era, 14 times were reached only 50 SMS or less within a month.

Compared to 2015-16, the SMS data collected from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 was higher by 157%. I collected the total of 1,333 SMS from my phone alone. That’s good news because, during the duration, it reached 1,000-mark. However, it was still lower than those in 2010-11 (including pre-LDR times). And if I combined these numbers from the total of SMS collected from 2015-16, these were not even enough to match or surpass the total of SMS collected from the final 6 months of LDR (January to June 2015). These were still down by 47.1%.

The average SMS per day from 2016-17 was increased almost triple (3.65 text messages per day) compared those in 2015-16 (1.42 SMS/day). Thanks to my short-lived textmates in August and September 2016 and to some of my new friends from Feast SM Santa Rosa Singles that I met them during Love Life Retreat last February 2017. However, these averages were still lower than those back two years ago.

Within two years, most of the text messages that I received were from my friends in Feast SM Santa Rosa. They composed little more than half of total SMS that I received from my phone (54.3% or 562 out of 1,035 SMS). My long-time Feast friend, Sis Tess, got the highest number of her text messages that I received. She had 189 text messages from her mobile numbers on my phone contacts. But in the funny side though, that number was even match to the number of received text messages from my former textmate/girlfriend during the final month of LDR which was June 2015. Take note: the latter took only 25 days – June 1-25, 2015 to send 189 text messages to me compared to the former who took for two long years (July 2015-June 2017) to send the same number of text messages.

See the data charts and tables below for the complete details:

SMS facts mid-year 2017

Facebook Chat Messaging during Post-LDR Era

There’s an important note before explaining about collecting Facebook chat messages in the past two years.

While I was collecting and summarizing all the chat messages from most of my friends on Facebook, I had a hard time to figure out these due of some problems in coding especially for those that had special characters, emojis (emoticons), photos, GIF pictures, and some videos that were sent from my friends. These couldn’t be converted to the Excel file that I usually used to summarize all the chat messages (just like what I’ve done in SMS or text messaging from my phone) which left most of them into blanks. And because of these difficulties, I just decided to not count those blanks that might contain “Like” symbols, emojis, or photos which couldn’t be read on the Excel file. So, I only counted those that had alphanumeric characters, some special characters or symbols (including emoticons), and some photos that I inserted on the Excel file. (I will fix and solve these problems on the Excel in the future.)

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During the first year of Post-LDR era, my communication thru Facebook Messenger (chat) had been low due of limited access on my cellphone (weak 3G signal), and even I logged on Facebook during idle times at the office, I barely communicated with some of my friends thru chat due of their busy works. The only time where the number of Facebook chat messages was collected and counted into 100-mark occurred in October 2015. There were 125 chat messages collected. My chat conversation with my former officemate named Jonathan had the most exchanged chat messages that we had within the month (the total of 73). However, in the following months, it hadn’t become a big factor for me to stay connected with someone (there were even times when I hadn’t sent any chat messages within a month or so). The average of chat messages per day was only 0.68. But, beginning July 2016 or on the second year after becoming loveless, the number was unexpectedly increased to the highest level.

By August 2016, the number of Facebook chat messages collected had a huge jump. There were 397 chat messages collected, increased by almost 900% from July which were only 40. In late 2016, my new friend from Feast SM Santa Rosa came into my life, and we often exchanged chat messages as a form of our communication (despite that we hadn’t met personally in one place like the Feast until January 2017). Thanks to her, my Facebook chat communication became dominant. And the good thing was the 4G signal in most places where I used my phone to access free Facebook data, anytime, anywhere even without cellphone load.

Right after attending Love Life Retreat last February, my chat communication thru Facebook set a record regarding the number of chat messages that I collected. Within March 2017, there were more than 2,700 chat messages collected from my conversation with my friends on the said popular social networking website. Almost 54% of these were from my chat conversation with my new pretty friend, just called her “Miss M”, whom I met in the retreat. We had more than 1,450 chat messages within that month – the highest since my text communication with my former textmate/girlfriend in June 2012. Although the number was still lower than what I had five years ago, overall, the total of chat messages collected in the month of March surpassed the number of text messages collected in June 2012. Thanks to my new friends who exchanged chat messages with me to stay connected especially after I met most of them from Love Life Retreat.

Because of these situations happened during the second year of Post-LDR, my Facebook chat communication was boosted and sharply increased by more than 2,700%. From July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, I collected 7,111 chat messages compared to only 248 from 2015-16. (Note: these numbers have been unofficial for now due of conversion problems on the Excel.)

FB Chat facts 2015-17

The Comparison

Surprisingly, in the past two years, Facebook chat communication has outnumbered the text communication that I have collected from my phone (mostly). Although the latter had more messages collected from those from my Facebook account during the first year, the second year made my chat communication so dominant, might have been matching the domination of text communication that I had around 5-6 years ago.

It’s simply because I have only few friends that they have mobile numbers on my phone contacts while I have many friends on Facebook. That’s why my chat communication on Facebook has become dominant and has more number of chat messages collected than those text messages from my phone most especially the data collected since December 2016 where almost 92% were from Facebook chat messages.

FB Chat facts 2015-17

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I feel the times have been changed, and the way of communication has been changed too. From late 2000s up to early 2010s, SMS or text messaging was so dominant, making our Filipinos addicted to text. But since in the middle of this decade, chat messaging thru Facebook (or other social media sites) has become popular for those millennials like me (really?) even though text messaging has remained norm to connect each other. Thanks to the new technology where people don’t need to use personal computers to contact with someone. We’re now using mobile phones to access these social media and apps like Facebook (and Facebook Messenger) via 4G signal or free Wi-Fi zones in most public places like in the malls and public transportation like in the buses. Look at your surroundings. Most commuters use their phones to access Facebook, either free data or registered data promo, while being stuck in the traffic, and mobile networks have been promoting their promos for surfing thru mobile internet like free Facebook or other apps.

For me, that’s an advantage because I don’t even need an enough cellphone load to access Facebook for free. I don’t mind if I’m unable to see photos or videos from my friends, but the most important is to stay connected with them. However, there’s also a disadvantage because sometimes there’s no 4G signal on my phone at all especially inside my house mostly every evening. I might have faced the same scenario that I had from 2010 to 2013 where I must go outside to receive a cellphone signal (there was no Globe Telecom signal inside my house until late 2013).

I guess my chat communication with my friends thru Facebook will emerge into domination in the next few months or so while my text communication with them thru SMS has become declined and might be caused into near-extinction because nobody text me almost (sometimes, it wastes my cellphone load). But nevertheless, communication is the most important way to stay connected with someone either thru text, chat, call or the better – personal.

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750 and 7,500

Today is the 7,500th day of TENT, which was established on January 1, 1997. I know I’m just too crazy enough to create my own “world” because they think it’s just a non-sense. But I don’t really care what others are talking about this. It has been 7,500 days since the first day of 1997 – the best year in my childhood life which was also called “Era of Good Feelings”.

The other side, though, if you know mathematics, you may divide 7,500 into 10; it sounds “tent”, isn’t it? It will equals to 750 – that is the number of days that I’ve been single and no girlfriend. Yeah, is it coincidence? I’m happy that it has been 7,500 days since the establishment of my own “world”, but in my lonely side, it has been also 750 days since the end of a love (long distance) relationship which was also called as Post-LDR Era.

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