If you’ve known me for a while, you probably know that I have a soap box. This soap box has “STOP USING SMS” written on the side in red Sharpie.

It’s true. I hate SMS/MMS. The protocols are terrible and like hunting whales for oil. (Sure, you could do that, but why would you when there are so many better technologies out there?!)

The Pain Points


Text messages are slow to deliver. Seriously. I often experience delays of several seconds (or tens of seconds!) waiting for text messages to send. This is especially true if I’m in my work’s office building which has many areas where cell signal is weak.

Good conversations are impeded by a several-/many-second delay for every message! ARGHHH!


Texting is unreliable. It’s not uncommon for messages to go the way of the fucking dodo: bye bye.

And you have no way of knowing whether your message was dropped like a brick or if the other party just hasn’t had a chance to reply yet.

Welcome to “Did you get my message?” hell.

Downgraded Images & Videos

You know that nice picture you took of the the city. Yeah, the one you sent to your significant other.

SMS doesn’t give a shit. Welcome to the pixelated hell when your shitty carrier downsamples your image to save bandwidth.



No Delivery or Read Receipts

You know how SMS likes to sometimes drop your messages on the floor? Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew when it did this?

You can’t, because it doesn’t have delivery confirmation or a way to tell you the other person has read your message!

No cellphone access? No texting!

In an area with no cellphone service? (Read: your company’s concrete dungeon known as a bathroom which has no cellphone service.)

Good luck sending a message in there.

Texting internationally? Welcome to charges!

Carriers love to charge you for texting internationally. Yech!

Out of Order Messages & Duplicate Messages for Free

I often get duplicate messages (i.e., the same message twice) or see messages delivered out of order.

It’s really frustrating to not be able to trust that your messages will reach the other person exactly as you typed them.

Not End to End Encrypted

Text messages are not end-to-end encrypted. So don’t go texting sensitive information or passwords ‘cause it isn’t secure.

Can’t Add or Remove People from Groups

Group texting? Sure, it’s possible, but you gotta get everyone into the group the first time because there’s no adding or removing people later on.

This is exactly why I have 10+ group texts with extended family members because somebody’s always been forgotten or wants in.

So, What’s the Solution?

Good news! There are a ton of solutions to these problems and they all involve the same medicine: NOT USING SMS.

There are so many great chat clients out there which solve all (or most) of these issues.

Here is a list of the more popular ones.

  • iMessage
    • iPhones only, but you can use it with anyone else who has an iPhone.
  • WhatsApp
    • It’s free, fast, and polished.
    • And if you live in LATAM, you probably already have it.
  • Telegram
    • Wonderful. Fast. Free.
    • Not end-to-end encrypted by default (but you can optionally enable it for some chats.)
  • Signal
    • All messaging is end-to-end encrypted by default. Yippee!