For long distance communication with family and friends, many older adults still prefer the good old fashion phone and email to text messaging. However, this is not the case for the younger generations. Studies show that most millennials (individuals born after 1980) prefer text messaging over emailing or speaking on the phone. In addition, more and more businesses are resorting to text messaging as appointment reminders or other forms of notifications in lieu of emails or voice messages. While the average open rates for email hover around 15 – 22%, the open rates for text messaging is around 98%. No wonder, text messaging is now the most common non-voice application.
Benefits of Text Messaging include:
- It is immediate. According to some statistics, 90% of text messages are read within 10 minutes.
- Text messaging doesn’t require an Internet connection or access to a Wi-Fi signal.
- Through your cellphone service provider, you can receive unlimited text messaging for free.
- Many phones allow you to attach photos, videos, and audio files to your text messages. This can make texting more enjoyable.
- It may be the only way for you to connect with your teenage grandchildren or other folks under the age of 35.
- It is popular to use. Most smartphones and some basic devices have text messaging capabilities. Over 75% of adult cell owners use the text messaging function on their phone.
It’s easy to understand why an increasing number of people are using text messaging. Your messages are waiting whenever you have a chance to take a glance, they’re easy to answer and it’s faster to skim texts than listen to voicemail.
If you’re an older adult newer to text messaging, here are some guidelines on navigating the texting world:
- You don’t have to have a reason to text. Sometimes just sending a quick “I’m thinking of you” text message will get your granddaughter or loved one to phone you up to express their excitement at receiving your text. I know if I saw a text from my grandma, the first thing I would do is phone her up and say, “Awesome job, grandma! I’m saving this text forever!” And I really would save it, because it priceless.
- There is no fixed deadline on responding to a text, though same day response is pretty much expected and if you wait longer than two days, people will think you dropped off the face of the earth.
- Many companies include unlimited texting plans. You can always increase or decrease your texting plan to accommodate your actual usage.
- Texting an address, a save-the-date, or phone number is a great way to create and save a memo on your phone for future reference.
- If you don’t particularly enjoy texting but do want to send messages, downloading an app like Voice Actions can help you dictate your voice into text making it that much easier to keep in contact with your loved ones.