What’s More Sustainable? An SMS, An Instant Message Or An Email? The popularity of instant messaging applications is skyrocketing around the world. More than 1.2 billion people use WhatsApp every month, which continues to rise.
Besides WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and Google Hangouts all rank among the most downloaded apps.
The use of text messages (SMS) is declining as these messaging apps gain popularity. Personal messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook may be widely used, but businesses still rely heavily on email.
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To be fair, it’s reasonable to assume that the means of communication have no bearing on the natural world.
All forms of communication require energy to process the constant flow of data. The truth is that the messages you send emit carbon dioxide.
How much depends on the message’s content and the form of communication you employ.
Why Does Texting Have Ecological Impact?
It’s reasonable to assume that, because they’re transmitted from a smartphone, text messages, instant messages, and emails all negatively affect the environment.
As a result, the sole environmental impact of a smartphone is the electricity it consumes.
However, the truth is that everything from managing to transporting and storing this data. This include actions like uploading WhatsApp Status, changing Whatsapp Dp, or sending a text via Instagram—requires energy.
Because they employ distinct technology, the effects of various forms of texting on the environment vary.
While internet-based communication like email and IM relies on data transfer, short messaging service (SMS) texts rely on the frequencies used in traditional telephone service.
The Effects of Texting, Instant Messaging, and Email on the Environment
Defining “carbon footprint” is the first step toward comprehending various communication forms’ ecological effects.
As a unit of measurement, it helps determine the extent to which a given factor contributes to global warming using a carbon dioxide equivalent meter.
Using a common metric, one can use this parameter to compare the environmental impact of various manufacturing and usage processes.
Berners-Lee estimates that sending an email generates 4 grams of carbon dioxide while sending an SMS generates only 0.014 grams.
According to another source, the carbon dioxide emissions from sending an SMS message of 140 bytes is 0.00215. In light of this, it is safe to say that text messages have a much smaller effect on the environment than emails do.
However, there is a lack of hard information about the environmental impact of instant messages.
The environmental effect of instant messaging is greater than that of SMS since, like email, it relies on the internet’s infrastructure for data transmission.
SMS Are More Sustainable
Even if text messages are more long-lasting than email and instant messaging, the message’s substance must be considered for an accurate assessment.
For instance, a text message of up to 160 characters can maintain itself. However, the energy consumption of the SMS increases dramatically if the number of characters in the message is greater than 160.
It’s also important to remember that the environmental impact of texting is exacerbated because of the ability to send various attachments via platforms like instant messaging and emails, which take up additional megabytes.
Even with SMS, it’s the same deal. When an SMS is enhanced with media, it is transformed into an MMS and sent via alternative networks.
Therefore, the substance of the message is more relevant than the manner of texting employed when evaluating the carbon footprint.
It’s just simple math that the more information there is to transmit and store, the more energy will be required, and the more carbon dioxide will be released.
How Should I Send a Text Message?
So, what’s More Sustainable? An SMS, An Instant Message Or An Email? Sending short messages using SMS is a great way to reduce your environmental impact and live a greener lifestyle.
Email and IM can be used interchangeably for all other purposes. It’s important to remember that the sort of gadget you’re using to read a message sent to you also matters.
For instance, the smaller the screen size, the less energy is used when reading a text compared to larger screen size. The annual carbon dioxide emissions from texting are 32,000 tons, and we can all do our part to lower that number.