You won’t see most teens, and some adults, all over the country actually talking on their cell phones. Instead you’ll see them “texting” or typing messages to communicate with friends and loved ones. Do you have text messaging know-how or are you woefully behind the times?
Text messaging is a short form of typing, usually using less than 160 characters. If you’ve ever seen Twitter on the internet, this is the cell phone version of that. This capability is one of the functions you can have added to your cell phone service. The costs will vary depending upon your cellular contract and your location in the country.
Your cell phone doesn’t have to have an actual keyboard in order to be able to text, but it makes it easier. Since you are limited in the number of characters, including spaces, that you can send at one time, texters generally use abbreviations or a text message shorthand. These are similar to those used in chat rooms and on forums on the internet.
One thing is for sure, texting has become the “in” thing among teenagers and young adults. As a parent, it might be a good idea to learn more about this activity and the shorthand used so you can understand your teen when they start speaking it.
Unfortunately, texting can also be used for not-so-honest reasons. There have been many teens using their texting function for cheating at school. This phone capability has also been used for political reasons to share information with many people at once. Some police departments have used it to help them locate missing persons.
Another aspect of this phenomenon is the development of what is being termed “Blackberry thumb.” This is a form of repetitive stress injury similar to carpal tunnel syndrome for the thumbs.
Unless you have unlimited text messaging with your cell phone service, it can be quite expensive, especially if you use it a lot. There are many plans, so do your research and find the one that meets your texting needs.
One reason so many people like to text is because your phone can turn the ringer off and not bother anyone around you. Texting is also more private than talking on the phone. You can also contact more than one person at a time which definitely isn’t possible while speaking.
There are many good reasons for using text messaging. In fact, it’s one of the easier forms of communication to learn. While there is more to learn about text messaging know-how, you can ask your favorite teen to give you a hand. Who knows, this might be the perfect way to start communicating with your teen.