This paper reports on an exploratory study investigating factors associated with use of Short Message Services (SMS) on mobile telephones. Of the 337 participants (243 males, 94 females, average age 41 years), only 49 did not use SMS, with over half using SMS between 1 and 20 times per month. Repeated measures analysis of variance suggested that the drivers for SMS use were characterized by practical and informational purposes compared to friendship or romantic reasons. Participants were also asked to indicate their level of agreement to statements about reasons for using SMS, which were written to reflect motives of habit, convenience and introversion/extroversion. Factor analysis of responses to these statements revealed two factors only and indicated that privacy and avoiding personal contact were important motives in SMS use for this sample. Furthermore, multiple regression analysis showed that, together with age, these two factors accounted for 23 per cent of variability in reported SMS use per month. In particular, higher SMS use was negatively related to age and positively related to a desire for privacy and avoiding personal contact. These results provide insights into the motives for SMS use and its function as a communication tool.