I've just returned from a vacation in the UK and was surprised by the number of people using text messaging. It seemed that many people had a cell phone in their hands - either talking or typing. I was wondering why text messaging isn't as prevalent here in the US - is it cultural or cost?

I'm probably not alone in feeling some annoyance when one-handed drivers throw safety to the wind for the sake of a phone call, someone disturbs the peace by shouting into a cell phone or a cell phone rings during a movie or meeting.

I do own a cell phone, but leave it with my wife unless I'm on a hike/climb and might need it in case of emergency. But it seems that, with text messaging, I might be able to compromise. Text messaging, like e-mail, is great for non-urgent messages that can be easily ignored until I want to check my inbox. The phone user interface is clumsy for anything but short messages but some phones use predictive texting to solve this.

Most phone calls aren't urgent, so I'm surprised that text messaging isn't more popular.