While many of us prefer to pick up the phone and talk to family and friends, these days, most communication is done via text message. The hustle and bustle of daily life has left little time for long discussions over the phone, especially for parents of younger children and the younger generations who are always on a device of some kind.
The great thing about texting is that it takes the least amount of effort, you can obtain important information quickly, is super convenient, and its accessible to most across an array of age groups. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 80 percent of Americans over age 65 own a cell phone and AARP research found that 86 percent of Americans over age 50 communicate with text messaging.
The pandemic has shed light on the importance of staying connected to family and friends and texting remains a great way to do just that. Here is a helpful guide to get the most out of texting!
If you have a smartphone, you’ve probably noticed those little yellow faces popping up called emojis. These can be found on your keypad next to the spacebar (in most cases) where you will see a happy face. Pressing on this will bring up all the emoji choices. Open it up and get familiar with all the ones you are likely to use.
Emojis are most used in text communication and can be very useful, and even funny sometimes, but if they’re not used properly, they can also lead to misunderstanding. Emojis are commonly used to add emotion to a sentence. For example, “Sorry I am running late. I am at the store and it’s taking forever .” This ‘mad’ emoji indicates that you are upset that it is taking so long. Or in some cases, emojis can even be used in place of words such as “Sorry, I can’t make it tonight, I am feeling 🤢” which indicates you are sick.
Some of the most popular are 😊 for happy and 😂or🤣 for laugh out loud or 😘 for a kiss (common between friends, family, loved ones). Using these emojis helps connect with grandkids especially and makes them feel like you understand their world. And given the convenience and accessibility, texting loved ones you don’t see often can be a great way to let them know you are thinking of them.
A few things to keep in mind when texting:
- You may want to increase the font in your phone to make it easier to type and read. You can find this in your phone settings.
- Try not to take it personally if you don’t receive a response right away. People are used to texting many people all throughout the day. Give them time to respond just like you would if you called them and left a voicemail.
- You will not be able to text a landline. It will only work with mobile devices.
- Texting is usually meant for short messages so try and keep it brief.
- If you have a hard time typing, you can use the dictation tool , talk into it, and it will type what you say. You will want to review it before you send it to be sure it captured what you said accurately.
- NEVER text and drive.
Staying connected with loved ones is important for so many reasons, especially with the ones we don’t see often. Pick up your phone and explore the wonderful world of texting to keep your relationships strong.
Visit Inter Valley’s blog at https://blogs.ivhp.com/blog-2/ for tips on health, lifestyle, Medicare Advantage and living a life full of vitality.