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Mobile phones have come a long way since their inception in 1973. Once a device used solely for making and receiving calls, the modern-day phone is all about instant communication and 24/7 availability.

However, despite the often overwhelming developments of mobile technology, it also has its benefits – with evidence suggesting instant messaging can combat loneliness and help us stay in touch with our loved ones, no matter the distance.

If you’re a senior and new to smartphones, here are some guidelines to help you navigate the text messaging world:

  • Try and not leave people on ‘read’ – According to a recent study of 1,000 people, 42% of respondents claim that being left on ‘read’ (they’ve read but not replied to you) was their biggest pet peeve. Urgency is key when it comes to modern communication so, while it may be annoying, always ensure you send a brief reply to texts you’ve read – even a simple ‘will take a look later’ will suffice!
  • Text-speak is not always a good thing – Although text-speak has almost become a universal digital language, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people like it. There is no harm in prolonging your sentences for example: ‘wuup2’ to ‘What are you up to?’. So, think again before you fire those unnecessary abbreviations from your phone.
  • Texting is a great way to make plans – One of the great things about text-messaging is its instant, non-interfering nature. Sometimes, people are too busy to take a call due to meetings, driving etc. However, a text message allows them to see the message without interrupting their day, and a simple reply back is all that’s needed to arrange a simple dinner or lunch.
  • Check that your texting plan is right for you – If you’re not a regular user of instant-messaging then a cheaper, limited plan might be just for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy texting your loved ones frequently, perhaps consider a plan that offers you unlimited texting. Reviewing your texting plan could mean the difference between paying additional charges if you go over your texting limit.

As the use of smartphones has influenced the way we communicate, it is essential to adapt our lifestyles in order to keep up with the ever-evolving digital age. The benefits of mobile technology is widespread, not only helping us to connect with family and friends but also decreasing the likelihood of feeling lonely.