Text Messaging Newsbyte: Treating Asthma With Text Messages And Autism With Social Media, Mobile App Helps in Weight Loss Program, Using Mobile Phone Technology to Ensure Fair Voting in the Middle East

Treating Asthma With Text Messages And Autism With Social Media

By using a simple text reminder, asthma sufferers are reminded to take care of their condition and take any medicine if they need it. This little reminder also makes sure that anybody with asthma isn’t left without their inhaler. Social media is also being used to help those with autism by slowly integrating them into social environments through controlled social websites like groupMe. This is proving to be very handy for those with types of autism like Asperger’s syndrome that limits a persons wants or needs to involved socially.

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Text messages and peer mentoring help the college transition

By allowing students to contact each other for help through text messaging, peers can mentor other students on how to keep up with the transition to college. Text messaging is usually a private ordeal so it allows students to talk to people who they may feel uncomfortable talking to in person when on college grounds and this gives space for students to discuss issues with peer mentors and then hopefully feel more comfortable with living in the environment they study in.

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County to expand texting program for mothers

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Mobile App Helps in Weight Loss Program

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Using Mobile Phone Technology to Ensure Fair Voting in the Middle East

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Texting News: Texting preferences for mHealth, Text Messaging to Improve Teen Health, Payments by text message service

Texting preferences for mHealth are just another thing teenagers are picky about

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Text Messaging to Improve Teen Health

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New text message based customer loyalty reward program

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Payments by text message service to launch in UK in spring 2014

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Customer’s text message stops robbery attempt

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Text Messaging News Update: Texting Could Help Spread the Word on Teen Health, Customize Customer Service, Success of Text Message Diabetes Intervention

Texting Could Help Spread the Word on Teen Health

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Miami Children’s Hospital Receives Award for Its Web-based Marketing of Texting Services

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How Mobile Apps Can Customize Customer Service

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There’s A Simple Way For Stores To Insantly Improve Customer Service

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WSU researcher to evaluate success of text message diabetes intervention

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Expert Q&A: Text Messaging for Teen and Young Adult Health Services (Stephanie Kline and Alice Bacon, Scarleteen)

According to a new report by Nielsen Company, US teenagers have been cited as the fastest growing audience enamored of mobile content. While that might not seem like a huge surprise to many reading this, a popular reason we get calls from helplines and hotlines about integrating text messaging into their services is decreasing phone call volume. Scarleteen is one of the most popular teen and young adult services online, so we asked Stephanie Kline and Alice Bacon to answer a few questions for us regarding mobile technology and text messaging as it relates to teen and young adult health services.

* Hi Stephanie and Alice, thanks so much for your time. Tell us a little bit about yourselves and what you do.

Scarleteen is an online comprehensive sexuality education resource for teens and young adults. Like many of the others that work with Scarleteen, we are volunteers at the site. Between the two of us, we work the text-in service, answer questions at the boards, answer questions in the Sexpert Advice column, and have written articles. Alice also works outreach at a local teen shelter.

* How do you see text messaging helping teens and young adults learn about health and sex education?

Text messaging can be especially helpful for teens and young adults because it reaches them at their level. This generation is more mobile than in the past, reaching them individually on their cells is a good way to keep their attention and also keep them in proximity to important info. It also means a way of finding answers to questions quickly, and knowing it’s from a source they trust rather than just trusting what they might have heard somewhere.

In general, other places embracing text as a way of outreach can be helpful in its own, as it allows us to reach generations in ways that they feel more comfortable communicating.

* What got you started in texting (personally)?

Alice: What got me started in text personally…. I was finding that with a busy life I didn’t have a lot of time for answering in depth questions on the boards, so when we started doing text I saw it as an opportunity to scatter my Scarleteen work into small portions throughout the day and night.

Stephanie: Actually, I was a little reluctant, as I didn’t do much texting myself. But I had some time free when they were offering the webinar, so I figured I might as well get trained in case text was ever short handed. But I also found it fit better into my always hectic schedule – so now I love working that area.

* How have mobile phones and texting changed how your organization offers support?

Text messaging can offer real-time support where a teen or young adult may otherwise not have a way to get that. It’s especially handy for a teen or young adult who is out in the world, away from their computer, and needs advice or guidance regarding purchasing a pregnancy test, obtaining emergency contraception, reporting or getting services regarding a rape, etc.
* Advice you’d give to organizations considering implementing text messaging or mobile technologies?

Offering a text service can be really helpful, and it’s really pretty simple. As you go along, you’ll see what questions tend to come often, and what responses you give more than others. Setting up template answers saves a lot of time, and having an idea of what boundaries you’ll expect from users ahead of time helps things run smoothly.

* What kind of mobile phone do you have? If you are able to download apps to it, which is your favorite?

Alice: I have a Blackberry Curve, and my favorite two applications are Pandora Radio and Yelp.

Stephanie: I have a Sony Ericsson MP3 phone, so no apps but love the music.

* About the Experts:

Alice: I am a hard working single mom of a wonderful 4 year old boy named Nolan. I reside in the Seattle area where I am a full-time college student and a part-time worker of many assorted jobs. I have an intense passion for sexual health, domestic violence prevention and supporting pregnant and parenting teens. I also love reading, writing for fun, baking, blowing bubbles and hanging out with close friends.

Stephanie: I’ve spent most of my time for years working with children and adults with special needs. After 4 1/2 years of hard work and studying, I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. Now I teach for an alternative education school. It’s a wonderful challenge. I continue my work with Scarleteen and sexual education, as I remember what my sex ed classes were like and hope for much better for the students going through those courses today. When not in my classroom I’m usually found with friends and family, continuing writing, reading, exploring and traveling.

Scarleteen: Sex Education for the Real World

Donate to Scarleteen: help more teens and young adults

Sex and Health Education for Teens and Young Adults via Mobile Text Messaging – Private, Personal, Anonymous and Effective

Mosio: Text Messaging for Health Education Services

Mosio’s Mobile Text Messaging Solutions for Health Services

There are a number of reasons health centers on campus and in the community are looking into new methods of communicating with Gen-Y, and it makes sense. In order to stay current and connected with teens and young adults, it is imperative to explore the technologies they are using the most.

Mobile text messaging is one of the best communication tools an organization can use today. Numbers tell the story:

  • 4.1 billion text messages are sent each day in the U.S. (CTIA Wireless)
  • Americans overall send and receive twice as many text messages as phone calls per month. (Nielsen Mobile)
  • U.S. Teens (ages 13-17) sent and received an average of 1,742 text messages per month in Q2 2008. (Nielsen Mobile)
  • Text messaging has overtaken email and instant messaging as the main form of communication for college students. (Technology Marketing Corporation)

Text messaging isn’t a fad and it isn’t a new social networking site that will be outdated for a new one in a matter of years. It’s not just growing by leaps and bounds. Texting has quickly become the preferred method of communication for the average American.

160 characters may not seem like enough to convey a question, answer or thought, but the nature of text messaging is quick and to-the-point interactions. In addition, there are new technologies enabling web-to-phone text messaging and conversation “threading”, so a person using a computer online can receive and respond to another person who is sending messages from his/her phone.

Organizations that are adopting these new “textnologies” are seeing a quick return on their investment simply by being able to reach more students, patients, guests, customers and young adults.

9 Reasons to use Mobile Text Messaging for Sex and Health Education for Teens and Young Adults

1. It’s everywhere they are. Phones are in their pockets and in their purses, everywhere they go. Text messaging offers a quick, discrete method of communication whenever and wherever advice is needed.

2. Text messaging technologies exist that provide anonymous interactions, allowing conversations to be private and confidential.

3. It is difficult to get over the hurdle of calling or coming in face-to-face for advice or help. Starting the conversation via text messaging can lead to more personal interactions (phone or appointment) once a level of comfort has been reached.

4. 80% of 18-34 year olds report cell phone as “lifeline” in a recent survey conducted by Sprint.

5. “Sexting” is a real problem. Utilizing the same medium to educate students can make a positive impact on negative behavior. They are obviously communicating about sex with their peers through text messaging & mobile photos, so this channel is open for healthier conversations.

6. 71% of teens and 90% of college students own a cell phone (Pew Internet and Student Monitor, respectively).  Not all own computers or have the privacy at home to be able to consult health professionals and sex education specialists.

7. Young people already understand texting can be used beyond peer-to-peer interactions. American Idol and youth-targeted marketing campaigns have done this for years, so there is no obstacle or major challenge for them to understand how a text messaging service works.

8. Quick, immediate, real-time availability by health services/information specialists can help prevent delayed, long-term issues.

9. It is a lot easier than you may think to implement a text message service and information helpline to reach more teens and young adults.

Need more information on how you can get started? Visit Mosio’s Mobile Text Messaging Solutions for Health Services page or contact us for a free live demo.

Case Study: Scarleteen