Texting 101

Texting, or text messaging, has become a very popular form of communication, allowing people send short text messages to each other via their mobile phones. Although most messages are sent using Short Messaging Service (SMS), which is a standard communication protocol that enables the interchange of plain text among different mobile devices and across different cellular networks, new technologies are emerging.  Today’s text messages can also include audio, video, or graphics.

Texting is a great way to interact with others when cell phone conversations aren’t appropriate, such as in public places where voice chat may be disruptive to others around you.  It is also ideal when you want to quickly share a brief comment or idea – it’s much faster to send a short text message than it is to make a phone call.  And, text messaging is the perfect venue for receiving alerts and information updates in a convenient and timely manner.

In most cases, the delivery of text messages will be immediate.  However, it is possible for delays to occur, particularly when traffic is high and carrier networks are congested.  For example, a large percentage of American Idol votes are collected via texting.  Which means that when the voting process begins, millions of people begin sending messages simultaneously. Peak volumes such as these can cause it to take longer than usual for messages to be received.  The size of a message, such as those that contain pictures, can also delay its delivery.

All the major cellular service providers like AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint offer texting services.  Rates vary from one provider to the next, so contact your own carrier for more information on fees and how to get started.  Additionally, while all brand new mobile phones, and most of those purchased within the last two years, are capable of sending and receiving text messages, if you have an older model you may need to speak to your service provider about upgrading.

Texting can be an expensive activity, if not managed properly.  Service providers typically impose fees both on those who send a message, and those who receive it.  Paying a per-message fee can add up quickly.  If you’re one of those people who text frequently, it can be quite hard to keep track of how often you’re sending messages.  And, you can’t control how many times people send messages to you.  All carriers offer package plans, which provide you with a “bundle” of messages for an affordable monthly charge.  The larger the package you sign up for, the lower the per-message charge.  Review each plan thoroughly and pick one carefully based on how often you think you’ll be using the service.

RememberItNow! utilizes text messaging to send reminders about upcoming appointments, pending medication doses, and other important activities.  This allows you to receive your alerts at any time, even when you’re away from your computer.  All you need is a text-enabled cell phone to get RememberItNow reminders. Carrier fees are paid by us each time the system sends a message, and you’ll incur costs from your service provider for each alert you receive.

To help control texting costs, we combine messages that happen at the same time into as few 160 character or less messages as possible. 

For more information about text messaging, and how RememberItNow! uses text messaging services to send alerts and reminders, visit RememberItNow!

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RememberItNow! is an online health care management service where you can set and send reminders, create a private care community, and take control of your health.

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