Text Messaging Tips That Avoid Data Plans

Here's how to maximize your texting while avoiding the mobile web

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Text messaging from your cell phone is part of your cellular call system's Short Message Service. It doesn't use any of your data allowances, but unless the SMS service is included in your monthly plan, there may be a small fee for each text you send. 

You can do much more with texting (or SMS) these days than simply sending brief messages to your friends. If you’re already paying for a text messaging plan or it’s included in your overall plan, perhaps you’re not in need of the mobile web, which consists of browser-based internet services that you can access from mobile devices like your cellphone—and which can affect your data usage. Use text messaging instead.

Close-up of man texting with girl friend on phone.
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If you’re on board the ​social-networking craze and Facebook is in your regular repertoire, you needn’t be tethered to your computer to update your status for friends and colleagues. Rather than accessing Facebook in a browser to post an update, you can post a status update using a text message. You have to sign up one time with Facebook for this free service.   More »

High Angle View Of Text On Wooden Blocks Over Table
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It’d be hard to hear a thing or two about the internet without having Twitter pop up on your radar. The service, which started as a free microblogging service for computer users, has expanded into text messaging, so you can send and receive updates via SMS. You'll need to sign up with Twitter for the service, but after that, you can text in your tweets from your ​cell phone. More »

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If you’re a lover of contests, your cell phone can help via your text messaging. In fact, SMS is one of the most popular ways to enter sweepstakes these days.

You don’t have to be on your computer or use your cell phone's mobile web to enter sweepstakes. If you’re out and about and one strikes your fancy, you can just text to enter. Some contests even let you know within seconds if you’ve won. More »

E-mail
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Even if you don’t have email configured on your cell phone or the person’s phone you’re sending to, your mobile phone still has an email address that begins with the phone number. You can text to it from your phone just like you would send an email from your computer. You can also forward emails to it. Keep in mind that an email sent in a text message will likely be split up into several short texts. More »

Couple on meeting with financial advisor
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Lots of web services offer alerts through SMS messages. If you are looking for favorable mortgage rates, sign up for daily text updates from Quicken Loans. You'll receive a text message every day with current mortgage rates, promotions, and sweepstakes. More »