Tech-Savvy Daughter

U can txt 2!

Last updated: Nov 18, 2010

Senior woman with a mobile phone relaxing on bed

In the past couple of weeks, I've had three different friends tell me how excited they were that their mom or dad had "finally" started texting. Text messages have become an extremely popular form of communication, particularly among young adults and teenagers. If you're looking for a way to connect with your children or grandchildren, I suggest giving texting a try!

Most cell phones on the market today are able to send/receive text messages. Although the exact steps will vary from phone to phone, the basic steps are the same.

Sending a Text

  1. From the main menu of your phone, select the "Messages" item, using the "select," "OK," or "enter" button on your phone.
  2. Select "New Message" or "Create New."
  3. Type your message (see detailed section below about the different ways to type on a cell phone).
  4. Specify the recipient's phone number. You can either enter the phone number directly or acesss your "phonebook" and select the recipient's number.
  5. Once you've typed your message, hit "send" (if you don't see a "send" option, look in the "Options" menu).


Depending on the type of phone you have, there are different ways to type alphabetic characters. The three most common ways are described below.

  • If you have a basic, numeric key pad, you'll need to press the key that corresponds to your desired letter repeatedly until the letter appears. For example, if you want to type the word "dogs", you'd need to press the number 3 key one time for the letter D, then the number 6 key three times for the letter O, then the number 4 key one time for the letter G and then the number 7 key four times for the letter S. If you need to repeat a letter (or type two sequential letter that's on the same key), simply wait until your curser moves to the next spot or use your phone's right or down arrow to move the cursor forward. Once you're done with each word, press the number 0 key to insert a space.
  • If your phone has a basic, numeric key pad but also has predictive text capabilities (also called T9), you only need to hit the key that corresponds to your desired letter once per letter. Your phone will progressively recognize the word that you're typing. In this case, to type "dogs," you'd simply need to type 3-6-4-7. Once you're finished typing each word, press the number 0 key or use your phone's right or down arrow key to move the cursor forward. At this point, a suggested word will appear based on what you've typed. Press "yes" or "ok" to accept the correct word.
  • If you have a smart phone with a full QWERTY keyboard, typing is straightforward.

Want to further impress your family and friends with how text-savvy you are? Try these common shortcuts: r = are; u = you; ur = your; 2 = to, too, two.

Caution: Although most cell phones have the ability to send/receive text messages, check with your cell phone provider regarding text messaging fees.

If you have specific questions about how to type or send text messages using your particular phone, reference your user manual. Can't find your user manual? Read my post about how to find user manuals online.

Happy txting 2 u!