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   How To Text Teens

Here's how to contact teens by texting messages to their cell phone by using your computer. Sending a text message from an email account to cell phone is as simple as typing. Teens always seem to read their text messages, but seldom answer phone calls. Anyone who wants to contact a teen must learn to text messages.

Senior Boomers sometimes have a difficult time using the more traditional method of trading text messages by using a cell phone because the buttons are too small. However, any parent or grandparent who can type, can also “text" from their computer email account. 

You need to know:

Child’s cell phone number 
Child’s area code for cell phone number 
Name of child’s cell phone service provider, i.e. Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, etc.
The Secret email account for that provider (see below)

To Send Text Message from Email:
1) Open your email browser on your computer. 
2) Type in your teen's cell phone number in the TO: field 
          (including area code, no dashes or spaces)
3) Follow the phone number with the traditional "@" character (no spaces)
4) After the "@", type in one of the following email accounts based on which cell phone service provider your teen is using:

Verizon - 
AT&T - 
T-Mobile - 
Nextel - 
Sprint - 
Qwest -

Here is an example of how text messaging looks for a teen with a Verizon cell phone: (no embedded spaces).

Some Text Message rules to know
1) Keep it Short - you only get 125 characters (not words) per message.
The technical name for text messaging is Short Message Service (SMS), and it is a protocol designed exclusively for cell phones. After 125 characters the message will be truncated, meaning that it will get cut off. This varies among different phone plans, but children and teens are more likely to read a message if it is short. So keep it short.

2) Neat trick to help send longer text messages is to start your message in the Subject Box instead of the Body Box of your email. When you run out of room in the Subject Box, continue your message in the Body Box. The character count restriction is for the Body, the Subject doesn't count against the limit.

3) Cost to Send Text Message from Email
A text sent from a computer is (usually) free to you. However the teen may incur a charge for any text message (s)he receives, sends or replies to. The cost is usually 10 cents or 20 cents per message, but with the quantity of messages most teens trade in a single day, most teens are on some form of unlimited texting plan with the phone company (or they soon will be, now that you are texting them!).

4) Test Your New Found Power!
Here’s a fast and fabulous way for grandparents to test if they are texting messages properly: Type this into the subject line, then type nothing more, "Bobby do u want a present or money 4 ur birthday? Love G-ma" You'll know right away if the teen received your text message!

Texting messages to teens is often better than phoning. Teens react better to text messaging and will read messages and respond if they are kept short.