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"Texting" is the practice of sending (short) messages via a cell phone. There are basically three kinds.
  • Standard message sent to another cell phone at a normal number.
  • A message sent to a "shortcode" number, typically 5 or 6 digits. These are sometimes used for television or radio contests.
  • A message sent as e-mail using a typical address.

The receipt of text messages in TV and movies is usually shown via a close-up of the phone's screen, showing the actual text. (For reasons of visibility and intellectual property, this may be a special effect, rather than an actual use of the phone's texting software.)

A notable exception is the TV show Sherlock, in which receipt is shown via a shot of the receiver looking at his or her phone, with the message superimposed over the shot via special effect, floating in the air. Although it's not the earliest or only example.

Relevant is the issue of "sexting" where teenagers participate in cybersex over text messages, as well as texting while driving.
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