Women text more than men

Now, I’m not sexist but I do recognize that there can sometimes be a huge difference between men and women.  One of the ways this difference can manifest itself is through how men and women approach texting.

In light of that, I thought it might be useful for both sexes to discuss the reality and reasons behind why women text more than men.

Simple Biology

A recent study suggests that women have more of the “language protein” known as Foxp2.  The study found that among a  sample tested among male and female children that the females had 30% more Foxp2 than the males (although the sample was admittedly small).

This biological hypothesis helps explain the notion that “women speak about 20,000 words a day – some 13,000 more than the average man.”  Women, generally speaking, are simply more verbal than men, so it makes sense that they would text more than men.

Texting for Social Connection

Pew reports that “79% of girls say they spend time texting their partner daily, compared with 66% of boys.”

Similarly, the American Psychological Association while teenage girls use texting as a means of connecting with people socially, boys mostly use texting to communicate information.  This difference between boys and girls surely carries over into adulthood.

What to Do with This Information?

Recognizing the differences between how men and women use texting can help us know how to better communicate with each other.

Men need to recognize many women’s need for language and communication, and women need to recognize that men aren’t always wired the same way they are.  With all of this information on mind, we need to learn to be more patient with each other and recognize the needs of the other sex.

For example:

Women, just because a man doesn’t text you back right away doesn’t mean there is something wrong.

Men, just because a woman may feel the need to text you more often than you feel the need to text her doesn’t mean that she is being “needy.”

 

We all need to recognize and appreciate our differences.  A wonderful thing about the human race is that we all have our own preferences and unique needs.  May we continue to learn and appreciate each other as we communicate with friends, family, and associates every day!

Mobile surveys is a feature that can be added on to your Mobile Text Alerts services.  Once we enable mobile surveys for your account, a new link will appear when you log in to your Control Panel.  Clicking on the “Send a Survey” link will take you to a page that allows you to create your survey.

This tutorial will explain how to navigate the “Send a Survey” page.

mobile surveys navigation bar

 

Send Message to a Group

send a message- to a group

From the “Send Message to a Group” box you can designate whether or not you want your message to go out to all of your subscribers, or if you want your message to go out a specific group on your account.

If you would like your message to be sent to every single subscriber on your account, you can check the “Send Message to All Subscribers” box.

If you would like your message to go out to members of a specific group that you’ve set up on your account, you can type the group’s name in the text box and then select the group’s name from the drop-down menu that appears.

(You can click the “Manage Groups” link on the right side of the screen to add, edit, or remove groups from your account.)

If you want to specify which individual subscribers receive the message (rather than sending to an entire group or sending to all subscribers), you can skip this box and scroll down to the “Send Message to Individual Subscribers” box.

 

Send Message to Individual Subscribers

manage subscribers- viewing subscribers

The box that says “Send Message to Individual Subscribers” allows you to manually select specific subscribers to send your message to.  Click the “Send Message” checkbox of every subscriber that you want to receive their message.

You can sort the subscribers by clicking any of the column headers at the top of the table.  For example, if you want to sort the list alphabetically by first name, you can click the “First Name” column header and the list will sort automatically.

You can change how many entries from your subscriber list are shown by clicking the arrow (above the table) that says “Show 10 entries.”  Then from the drop-down menu that appears, you can select 25, 50, or 100 entries.

You can also search through your subscriber list by typing a search query in the text box above the table.

 

Survey Question

mobile surveys survey question

In the “Survey Question” text box you can type out the question that you want to ask your subscribers.

 

Survey Responses

mobile surveys survey responses

This is where you will generate the responses for your survey.  In the “Response Text” box you will enter the response option, and in the “Response Value” box you will enter the text that your subscribers need to respond with in order to select that option.  (See example screenshots below.)

Clicking the “Add a Response” button will generate additional response choices, and clicking on the trash icon will delete a response choice.mobile surveys survey responses2

Inputting the information in the examples above and clicking “Send Survey” will send the following message out to your recipients:

mobile surveys text

use text alerts to coordinate ministries in your church

Church activity is something to get excited about.  What church wouldn’t want to see their ministries thriving and activity increase?  But with growing activity comes more difficulty managing and communicating with all the different ministries involved.

Using a text alert system is an effective way to keep things organized and to help coordinate ministries in your church.

Organizing subscribers into groups.

One helpful feature of a text alert system is the ability to organize your subscribers into different groups.  This is extremely useful if you are a trying to coordinate ministries at a church.

From the “Manage Groups” page when you log in to your Control Panel, you can set up a different group for each ministry, such as:

  • Children
  • Middle School Youth
  • High School Youth
  • College
  • Women
  • Men
  • Singles
  • Music
  • Staff

And the list could go on!  Any ministry your church offers can be included.  People who belong to each ministry can add themselves to the appropriate group from your sign-up page, or the numbers can be manually added to the correct groups from the “Manage Subscribers” page when you log in to your account.  You can also add subscribers to the appropriate groups via a spreadsheet.

Setting ministry leaders as administrators.

Another step you can take to coordinate ministries with your text alert system is to assign different ministry leaders as administrators to the appropriate groups.  You can do this from the “Manage Administrators” page of your Control Panel.

Setting ministry leaders as administrators will enable those leaders to send messages to the members of those groups by logging into the Control Panel or by texting in to the system from their own personal phones.

In this way, each ministry leader can be responsible for communicating with their own group.  The worship leader can focus on messaging the musicians, the high school youth pastor can handle the high school students, the administrative pastor can communicate with the staff, and so on.

Adding more keywords.

Your account automatically gets one free keyword, but if you want to get even more organized you can add “Group Keywords” for your account.

Group keywords allow your congregants to text into the system a keyword that will add them directly into a specific group.  For example, you might set the word “Musician” as a group keyword for the “Music” group.  Then if any of the church musicians want to be added to the system they can text the word “Musician” to be added directly to the “Music” group.

Adding these keywords can really help coordinate ministries and make things simpler for both congregants and ministry leaders.

Getting group members to sign up.

All of this may sound great in theory, but how do you get the members of the congregation to actually sign up to receive the text messages?  Here are some ideas and tips:

  1. Make sure your ministry leaders are fully informed.
  2. Encourage ministry leaders to really push the members of each group to sign up.
  3. Create a short PowerPoint presentation that ministry leaders can present to group members.
  4. Generate a paper sign-up sheet that ministry leaders can pass out.
  5. Have a pastor announce the text alert system from the pulpit and explain to congregants how to sign up.

 

We would love to hear your ideas for how you use text alerts to help coordinate ministries in your church!

4 ways to personalize your text message marketing

Most businesses and organizations are always looking for new ways to bring in more customers or members.  What’s so great about text messages?  We’ve already discussed reasons and ways to get started using SMS text message marketing.

(For more reasons why you should use SMS text message marketing, read this from Huffington Post.)

Building on that, I wanted to elaborate on ways you can use text message marketing to personalize and connect with your target audience.  MediaPost.com has some great ideas on this, among which include the following:

  1. Use your subscribers’ location

If you know your subscribers’ location, you can incorporate that in your marketing texts.  For example, if you have subscribers in a certain area of the country that is having a lot of higher temperatures, you can send out a message referencing the heat and letting them know about a sale on swimwear.

  1. Collect information on special occasions

Have your subscribers submit information regarding their birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasions and then send them messages on those dates.  Sending them a text message with a special deal and a simple “Happy anniversary, Sam!” can really go a long way in increasing member loyalty.

  1. Follow up on inactive subscribers

You can use text messages to follow up on customers that haven’t been active in a while.  Keep track of all your subscribers who haven’t used your service in the past several months and send them a text message enticing them to return. Consider this example from MediaPost.com: “We miss you.  Come back and take $10 off your next purchase.”

  1. Keep track of what categories subscribers prefer

If you have subscribers set their preferences or if you can find some other way to keep track of what categories they prefer in regards to your service, you can use this information to your advantage when it comes to personalizing marketing.  If they enjoy a certain flavor of your ice cream, you can send a discount on that flavor, for example.

 

These are just a few options (see the MediaPost article for more ideas).  There is so much personalization that can be done, and the fact that these messages go straight to your subscribers’ phones automatically makes this medium infinitely more personal than other means of marketing!

Don’t be afraid to experiment and spend time thinking about new ways to engage with your audience through text message.  SMS is the language everyone is speaking these days!

If you have Phone Alerts (mass voice messages) added on to your Mobile Text Alerts account, then you can use the “Phone Messages: Send a Message” page to send out your pre-recorded messages.  This tutorial will walk you through how to navigate that page.

Phone Messages- Send a Message

When Should the Message Be Sent?

send a message- when should message be sent

From this box you select the timing of your voice message.  You can choose to have your message sent out immediately (“Send the Message Now”), or you can choose to set up a day and time for the message to go out later (“Schedule the Message to be Sent at a Later Date”).

If you choose to “Schedule the Message,” then the following screen will appear:

send a message- scheduled message options

From here you will be able to select a specific date and time for your message to go out.  You can also designate how often you want your message to repeat (if at all).

 

Send Message to a Group

send a message- to a group

From the “Send Message to a Group” box you can designate whether or not you want your voice message to go out to all of your subscribers, or if you want your message to go out a specific group on your account.

If you would like your message to be sent to every single subscriber on your account, you can check the “Send Message to All Subscribers” box.

If you would like your message to go out to members of a specific group that you’ve set up on your account, you can type the group’s name in the text box and then select the group’s name from the drop-down menu that appears.

(You can click the “Manage Groups” link on the right side of the screen to add, edit, or remove groups from your account.)

If you want to specify which individual subscribers receive the voice message (rather than sending to an entire group or sending to all subscribers), you can skip this box and scroll down to the “Send Message to Individual Subscribers” box.

 

Send Message to Individual Subscribers

Send a message- individual subscribers

The box that says “Send Message to Individual Subscribers” allows you to manually select specific subscribers to send your voice message to.  Click the “Send Message” checkbox of every subscriber that you want to receive your message.

You can sort the subscribers by clicking any of the column headers at the top of the table.  For example, if you want to sort the list alphabetically by first name, you can click the “First Name” column header and the list will sort automatically.

You can change how many entries from your subscriber list are shown by clicking the arrow (above the table) that says “Show 10 entries.”  Then from the drop-down menu that appears, you can select 25, 50, or 100 entries.

You can also search through your subscriber list by typing a search query in the text box above the table.

 

Select Message to Send

select message to send

From this box you can select the message that you want to send.  Click on the row of the message to highlight it.  Then click “Send Phone Message” and your message will be sent.

To make sure that you have the right message before you send it, you can hear the pre-recorded message by clicking the “Preview Message” arrow.  You can also search for messages using the search bar.

(For information on how to record a phone message, see this tutorial.)

Wexting2

 

Adding to the discussion regarding the invention of the phone-brella, girls falling into manholes, and the government giving out millions of dollars to prevent texting injuries, we now come to the next chapter in the “people love texting so much” series: the creation of the word “wexting.”

Yes, people are actually using this word to describe the cultural phenomenon that is walking while texting.  (It certainly is much easier to say “wexting” than to say “walking while texting” over and over again!)

Canadians too are getting caught up in this DANGEROUS pastime – so dangerous that 2,700 pedestrians get injured from wexting in British Columbia each year.  The Canadian website The Loop describes some of their nation’s efforts to help eliminate the problem:

If you’re crossing select intersections in Vancover and Victoria with your eyes glued to your cellular device, you’ll receive a banner ad on your phone that says, “If you’re texting while walking, have a word with yourself.” It’s embarrassing, but it seems like it’d be pretty effective.

The act of wexting has come under fire from many different camps.  It has been described as causing people to behave antisocially and has even been compared to a zombie apocalypse.  But the word itself keeps popping up.

Will the word truly catch on?  That’s debatable.  One Star Tribune contributor seems to think that it’s likely, but they make the legitimate point that “one thing might blunt its adoption — the very act of typing the word while wexting probably will make your phone autocorrect it to ‘texting.’ You can’t win.”

Others have called wexting a “nasty word.”

Regardless of people’s opinion on the word, one thing is clear: the fact that this word was even created at all proves that people really love texting!

What are your opinions on wexting (both the word and the act)?

 

Image from Stressipedia

27 Technology Life Hacks

Life hacks are all the rage right now, so I thought I would do a little digging and find some technology life hacks to make you feel organized and awesome!

 

PopSugar has some great life hacks, including the following:

  1. Using the hands of Lego characters to hold cords and wires
  2. Putting your phone in a cup or drinking glass to amplify volume
  3. Using an old, deactivated iPhone as an iPod Touch
  4. Switching your phone to Airplane Mode to help it charge faster
  5. Refraining from sending emails that are only half finished by keeping your recipient field empty until you are completely done typing out your message (this is one that I need to follow more often!)
  6. Using Instagram images as artwork by turning them into DIY canvas prints

 

Another blogger lists other useful technology life hacks:

  1. Snapping an image of your fridge or pantry to remind you of what to buy when you go to the store
  2. Charging your phone in a TV’s USB port when outlet space is limited
  3. “Refreshing” your phone’s signal by switching your phone to airplane mode and back
  4. Using different colors for the right and left tips of your earphones so that you can tell them apart
  5. Taking a screenshot of directions from your navigation app if your phone’s battery is running low, so that you don’t need to keep the app running while you’re driving

 

Here are some life hacks to help you save space on your phone:

  1. Keeping an eye on the apps that use up a lot of space on your phone (manage this by going to the Storage section in your Settings)
  2. Deleting apps that are generally unused
  3. Using Spotify instead of saving a lot of music
  4. Deleting old text messages
  5. Using the app Dropbox to keep information online rather than your phone
  6. Clearing history and cookies from your browser

 

And finally, some hacks to help keep your battery running longer:

  1. Disenabling some apps from using data
  2. Keeping your phone face down when not in use (doing this will prevent some phones from lighting up as text messages and notifications come in)
  3. Turning brightness down and switching auto-brightness to “off”
  4. Switching “Reduce Motion” to “on” (for some phones this will reduce the phone’s animation, thus causing the battery to run down slower)
  5. Changing from color to grayscale
  6. Disenabling notifications completely
  7. Reducing the length of time that your phone waits before it auto-locks
  8. Getting connected to Wi-Fi whenever possible (Wi-Fi runs the battery down slower than data accessed on your phone’s cell network)
  9. Disenabling “Location Services”
  10. Disenabling automatic updates for your apps

 

What are some great technology life hacks that you’ve found work well for you?

If you send out a message and subscribers reply to your message, you can view these replies from an inbox on your Control Panel.  This tutorial will walk you through the “Message Replies” page.

messages replies- navigation

The Inbox

Your Message Replies Inbox looks like this:

 

From this page you will be able to see a detailed report of the replies you have received to your messages.

  • The “Read” column shows you whether or not you have viewed a particular reply.  Unread replies are darkened and have bold text; once you click on a reply to view it, the text and the icon for that reply are lightened, indicated it as “Read.”
  • The “From” column shows the name, phone number, or email address of the person who replied.
  • The “Date” column shows the day and time that the reply was sent.
  • The “Message” column shows the content of the reply.

If you click on one of the replies you will be able to see the history of messages and replies to and from that particular subscriber, and you will also be able to quickly type in another message to that subscriber:

Other Features

You can change how many entries from your subscriber list are shown by clicking the arrow (above the table) that says “Show __ entries.”  Then from the drop-down menu that appears, you can select 10, 25, 50, or 100 entries.

You can search through your message replies by typing a search query in the text box.

 

Have you ever thought about using mobile surveys to interact with your group?  Curious about your subscribers’ opinions on a particular topic?  Trying to get a head count for an upcoming event?  The ability to generate and send out mobile surveys is a new feature that is available for your Mobile Text Alerts account.

With this feature, you are able to ask any question of your subscribers and compare the results of their responses.

How Does It Work?

Once we enable mobile surveys for your account, a new link will appear when you log in to your Control Panel:

mobile surveys navigation bar

 

Clicking on the “Send a Survey” link will take you to a page that allows you to create your survey.

First you will select the recipients for your survey just as if you were selecting them for sending out a normal text message from your Control Panel:

mobile surveys select recipients

 

You can then scroll down to the “Survey Question” box, in which you can type out the question that you want to ask in your survey:

mobile surveys survey question

 

On the bottom of the page is the “Survey Responses” section:

mobile surveys survey responses

 

This is where you will generate the responses for your survey.  In the “Response Text” box you will enter the response option, and in the “Response Value” box you will enter the text that your subscribers need to respond with in order to select that option.  (See example screenshots below.)

Clicking the “Add a Response” button will generate additional response choices, and clicking on the trash icon will delete a response choice.

mobile surveys survey responses2

 

Inputting the information in the examples above and clicking “Send Survey” will send the following message out to your recipients:

mobile surveys text

 

The recipients can then respond with the number value that corresponds to their answer, and then they will receive a confirmation message back:

mobile surveys text2

 

After you have sent out a survey, you will be able to keep track of the results by going to the “Survey Results” page:

mobile surveys navigation bar2

 

From this page you will be able to see the details of all the surveys you have sent out:

mobile surveys survey results

 

Pricing

Pricing options are as follows (based on how many surveys you will be sending out per month):

  • 500 Mobile Surveys – $20/Month
  • 1,000 Mobile Surveys – $40/Month
  • 2,500 Mobile Surveys – $85/Month
  • 5,000 Mobile Surveys – $150/Month

Please contact us if you have any questions or are interested in getting this feature set up for your account!

Whats a Parent to Do with Sexting-3

Technology can be a parent’s worst nightmare.

Don’t get me wrong; I love smartphones, laptops, tablets, and all that jazz.  But if not monitored correctly, these useful tools can become a source of much grief for families as more and more teens and pre-teens (and even adults!) engage in potentially destructive behaviors such as “sexting.”

Am I exaggerating?  Am I blowing the issue out of proportion?  Maybe, maybe not.  All the time I see stories such as this article involving a 31-year-old man texting inappropriate images and messages to a 15-year-old student, or articles describing high school and middle school students spreading nude photos of each other on their phones.

These kinds of reports lead me to think that the issue is very real.  I am sure most parents would agree that they do not want their teenagers and middle schoolers sending or receiving sexually explicit text messages (especially if predatory adult men are thrown into the mix).

GuardChild reports that 39% of all teens, including 37% of teen girls and 40% of teen boys have “sent sexually suggestive messages via text, email or instant messaging.”  In addition, 48% of teens report having received sexually suggestive messages.

On top of all of that, teens have their own texting lingo that can make it impossible to decipher what they are actually communicating when you look at their messages.  What is a parent to do?

  1. Don’t freak out!

There is no need to turn into a paranoid psycho-parent.  Just because a lot of teens are doing it doesn’t mean that your teen is doing it.  Take a deep breath and make informed, rational choices.

  1. Check what your teens are up to on their electronic devices.

School Resource Ofc. Casey Frazier of Lafayette, Indiana, says, “You’re allowed to search your kid’s cell phones, their tablets, their rooms. You need to do that. … Do that as part of parenting, especially since we live in a digital age.”

Don’t feel guilty checking up on your kids.  You are the parent and you are responsible for their behavior.

  1. Be as informed as possible.

Use the resources in front of you.  There are dozens of internet sites (such as noslang.com and netsmartz411.org) that help you understand texting lingo and answer any other questions you might have about your teenager’s means and methods of communication.

  1. Keep communication open.

Have open dialogue with your kids and make sure you listen with an understanding ear.  Let them know you love them and do your best to always be available to them, and warn them about the potential dangers, as well as the legal ramifications, of sexting.  (But never be their “friend” at the expense of being their parent.)

  1. Maintain correct priorities.

Remember that the priority is not to “save face” or to avoid conflict or embarrassment.  Your priority and mission should be to parent your child – not to protect yourself from unpleasant situations.

 

Navigating the world of technology with your teens can be stressful, but your kids need guidance.  Don’t you want to be the one to give them that guidance?

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