Saturday, December 26, 2009

My own take on Texting Help for Dummies (Over 50)!

A website I recently visited had some information about texting aimed at the over 50 crowd, so I thought I'd post the link here.

Texting Help for Dummies (Over 50)!
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Do I text? Yes, moderately.
I find that texting is the best way to contact some members of my family at certain times and to reach some people while they are at work. It seems to be the best way to contact some friends who may not be able to look at emails during meetings, for example. I only text people who want me to text them, and I'd never knowingly text anyone who was driving! I know lots of boomers who constantly text their kids at college.  And I know some who have never gotten the hang of it. So this blog post could be of use to them.

What the Texting for Dummies article doesn't address is how to begin texting. On the iPhone (and other phones) there is a menu item called messages.  You go to that item and there will either be a little icon that looks like a pen and paper, or a listing that says compose or something similar. Different phones use different language (write, compose, create) or icons. Nevertheless, if you select the pen and paper on the iPhone or one of these synonyms, the text message form will come up. You select the person you want to text from your contact list, and their phone number will be added in the "To:" field.

At times, I've felt stuck in this contact field! I couldn't figure out how to get out of it to actually create and send the message. On the iPhone there is a little field box above the keyboard. If you touch the field box you can begin typing your message in it. When you are finished typing, hit send.

Of course, one of the problems with texting for those of us used to typing is the little keyboards we must use. On a regular phone, we are faced with trying to use the phone's keypad. The Blackberry and other smart phones have better keyboards. On the iPhone, I can use a pretty efficient touch screen QWERTY keyboard. It's not the same as typing on a computer, but it's doable.

Many cell phone packages come with unlimited text messaging. If you decide give texting a try, please, please get an unlimited package or at least a big enough package to accommodate your needs. Text messages cost cell phone companies pennies to send, yet they are a huge part of their revenue, and individual text messages without a package deal can cost up to 25 cents each.  Most people at one time or another underestimate how much messaging they do and get hit by a big bill. Don't let this happen to you.

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