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An Introduction to Text Messaging

Written By: Deryck Richards

Why Text?

Text messaging is a quick way to stay in touch with people for personal or business purposes. With text messaging, you can chat with a partner by typing on the keyboard and reading what they write to you on the screen. Many text messaging products can work with cell phone text messaging (aka SMS or Short Messaging Service) so you can chat with people who arent in front of their computer. So, why not just pick up the phone and talk?

Its faster than e-mail and phone calls. And you dont have to pay anything to text. If you need to chat with someone briefly or ask a quick question, its much less intrusive than calling someone. As with most developing technologies, several types of text messaging are available and each one is incompatible with the others. But dont let that keep you from trying it out. The main text messaging products are ICQ (www.icq.com), MSN Messenger (www.msn.com), AIM (www.aim.com), and Yahoo Messenger (www.yahoo.com).

btw (By the Way…)

Each one is free and simple to download, install, and sign up. You can locate your buddies by searching in an online directory by their screen name, e-mail address, name, or telephone number. Once you get the hang of it, text messaging can be extremely addictive. As you continue to use text messaging, you will find yourself learning to abbreviate words and sentences. When you leave an online chat, you might say BRB (Be Right Back), Im afk (away from the keyboard), or TTYL (Talk to You Later). See glossary below.

Some text messaging products are beginning to offer voice and video chat. The future of digital communication is an integrated product, since voice, video, interactive text messaging, and e-mail are all effective means of communication. In the future, you will be able to switch between text, voice, and video with ease. Until then, we will continue to use different methods for different communication needs :-(

Glossary

:-) Smiley face. Means that someone is happy

;-) Smiley face with wink.

:-( If someone sends you this in an e-mail, theyre probably not having a good day

BTW – By the Way

FYI – For Your Information

FWIW – For What Its Worth

IMHO – In My Humble Opinion (or IMO)

TIA – Thanks in Advance

WRT – With Respect To

LOL – Laughing Out Loud

ROTFL – Rolling on the Floor Laughing

AFK – Away From Keyboard

TTYL – Talk To You Later

CYA – See You Later

Deryck Richards is the founder and managing partner of Desktronix. With an extensive educational background in computer information systems, Deryck currently manages hosting and data center operations for Desktronix. He also provides system administration and technical support directly to small businesses as he has since 2000. His areas of expertise include networking, Windows, Linux, and Macintosh systems and he is the author of The Guide to Technology for Small Business. For more information on Desktronix, visit www.desktronix.com.

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