Be Smart with Your Cell Phone
Kids use cell phones in different ways than adults. It's time for adults to learn to text and kids to learn some safety tips.
Most adults I know use their cell phones primarily to make calls. But ask any teenager and you’ll soon find out that that’s only one of many things they’re doing with today’s cell phones.
One thing they’re doing is texting. That’s where they’re using their thumbs to type out messages to their friends. The technology, known as “SMS” or “short message service, has been around for years and it’s long been popular among both adults and teens in Europe and Asia.
Text messaging started catching on with teens in the U.S. a couple of years ago and today it’s pretty common to see kids thumbing their way through multiple messages wherever they are. Texting is also starting to catch on with American adults, though mostly young adults. It seems that the majority of mature Americans don’t feel like learning yet another way to type.
Still, if you have kids, texting may be the best way to stay in touch. The method of sending text varies by type of phone but typically you’ll find a messaging icon on the phone’s main menu, and sometimes you can send a message from the phone’s contact list.
If you have a Blackberry, Treo or other type of smart phone with a regular (QWERTY) keyboard, you may be able to use that keyboard to send text messages.
Texting using an ordinary cell phone keypad isn’t hard but does take some practice, since each numerical key is shared by three or four letters. To let the phone know which letter you want, hit the keypad once for the first letter, twice for the second, and so on. For example, to text the word “Hello” – you’d press the 4 key twice (to get H), the 3 key twice (to get E), the 5 key three times (to get L), then the 5 key three more times (to get the next L), and finally, the 6 key three times (to get O, and not zero).
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