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Appearing on our cover this week is Nirosha, modelling an outfit by Purnima Abeyratne. Her hair and makeup were by Surangi Silva. Pic. by Anuruddha Medawattegedara


SMS is here
What is SMS?
Short Message Service is a method to communicate using your mobile phone.
How to send a SMS:
Scroll your Menu to Messages and select Write/Compose/Send menu and press Yes/OK. Type your message using your phone keypad. Press Yes/OK and enter the phone number you wish to send and press Yes/OK. Your SMS is on its way.

By Ruwanthi Herat Gunaratne and Vidushi Seneviratne
Imagine a scenario where you are thoroughly engrossed in a book at the library. And your cellular phone goes 'Ring, Ring'. Ooops, embarrassing, isn't it? Especially if the librarian is not the patient type. Wouldn't it be so much easier if you could receive all those messages but not cause any noise pollution?

SMS or Short Message Service would undoubtedly come in handy at moments such as these. For it is short, precise and relatively quiet!

Welcome to the world of SMS. For, this new technology seems to have taken over the lives of the younger generation completely.

Here's your guide to SMS jargon:
ADN Any day now
AISB As I said before
AKA Also known as
AMAP As much as possible
ASAP As soon as possible
AYT Are you there
#:-0 Ahhhhhh
:-II Angry
B/C Because
B4 Before
BOL Best of Luck
BZY Busy see you later
CB Call back
CIO Cut it out
CU See you
%-) Confused
DIY Do it yourself
x) Dead
:-1 Disgusted
@;-) Flirt
:'''-) Flood of tears
G2G Got to go
(;( Ghost
Hz Has
:-~1 Has a cold
:-R Has the flu
[] Hugs
:-V Shouting
(0)(0) Surprised
:-) Smile
:-( Unhappy

Ever since its introduction a few years ago, SMS has grown in popularity. It's not only used among friends, but also between parents and children, banks and their clients and even to request songs on the radio. It's no longer the 'Coca Cola' culture but the SMS culture.Life now centres around SMS. It's quite 'normal' to SMS people a foot away from you and even at the theatre or whilst walking along the road.

According to Eroshan Meewella, a specialist in Business Development at Dialog GSM, over 80% of their subscribers have already registered and actively use SMS.Why is it that SMS is so popular? Says Anusha (20), who has been 'SMSing' for a few months now, 'It's practical.' She feels that unlike a phone call one doesn't have to bother with the formalities. It's precise and to the point. It gets the message across without any hassle.

But on the other hand, isn't it impersonal? "Maybe so. But it's effective and that's what counts."For Dilan (18), another avid fan of SMS, the fact that it is impersonal is what is so fantastic about it. It's brief and effective and you can be 100 per cent sure of not disturbing the receiver. You are bound to be replied whenever time permits.

But some tend to exploit this facility too,by forwarding unnecessary messages to unknown people.Mobile phone companies have introduced various new features to make SMS all the more user-friendly. For example, picture messaging, Sinhala SMS service, ring to me exchange facility, cricket information, horoscopes, foreign currency, World Cup soccer updates, stock and bill information are a few of the new additions.

Another novel concept that has been introduced is SMS games.

"SMS leads to minimum embarrassment," says Sarah (19) laughing. "It's extremely annoying when the phone starts ringing continuously in places like buses and there's no way to answer." But when it comes to SMS, she finds that since it's just a single beep - she gets her message without being embarrassed.

When a new craze is introduced, in most instances it's only the younger generation that gets caught up in it. But with SMS, it has taken on a slightly different angle. For amongst the enthusiastic fans of SMS, are not just teens and twenties but the thirty-somethings as well.

Krishan Senaratne says in an article in the LMD of March 2002, 'SMS remains generally unexploited, even though it rates high as the communication medium of choice for the lucrative 16-40 year-old market sector.'

Let's face it, SMS hz taken over!

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