In Egypt, there's another way cell phones can give you a big headache: divorce by SMS.
Here's the story of a Cairo woman whose husband divorced her by ... text message!
She and her husband, an Egyptian army officer away on duty, had just hung up after quarreling on the phone. She ignored his return call, not wanting to continue the argument, the woman recounted in an interview this week.
The electronic chirrup of an incoming message signaled his response. "I divorce you," her husband had written. "That will teach you not to answer my calls."
Reconciliation followed, only to be broken by another quarrel, this one over the woman asking her family to mediate the couple's problems. "I divorce you," her husband wrote in another message. "Don't ask other people to interfere in our business."
Another reconciliation. Another argument. And another declaration of divorce from her husband, this time face to face, late last year.
Islamic law can make the act of divorce stunningly simple for men, even if the ensuing financial settlements often are not. A husband has only to declare to his wife, "Inti talaq" -- "You are divorced" -- three times, and mean it, to end their marriage.
The couple wants to reconcile, but it's unclear whether they're actually divorced:
Her husband wants her back, the woman said, but the religious scholars she consulted tell her she is divorced in the eyes of God and would be returning to him out of wedlock.
But if she refuses to return, and the courts rule the text-message declarations invalid and her marriage intact, she risks losing her claim to her young son.
With the text messages, she said, "the doors of hell have opened on my life."