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How to Text Message From Your Computer to Call Kids & Grandkids

by Christina Gregoire

Here's how to phone your children or grandchildren by texting messages. To send a text message from your email account to a cell phone is as simple as typing.

Text Grandkids From a Computer

It's easy to "phone" children by texting messages. You just send a text message from an email account (from your computer) to a cell phone. Children always seem to read their text messages, but they seldom answer phone calls.  So, if you want to contact a child, a teen, or a twenty-something you must learn to text.

Seniors and Baby Boomers sometimes have a difficult time sending text messages from their cell phones, because the buttons are too small. However, any grandparent who can type, can also “text".  It is necessary for you to know:

  • Child’s cell phone number
  • Child’s area code for cell phone number
  • Name of child’s cell phone service provider, i.e. Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, etc.
  • If the child has a smart phone or a regular cell phone.

To Send a Text Message to a Cell Phone from Email

Sending a text message is just like sending an email. From an email account, the grandparent types the child’s “text message” address into the address box (i.e. “To”____). Here is an example of how address looks for a grandchild with a regular Verizon cell phone:

  • 1234567890 @vtext.com

[ The "1234567890" represents the child's area code, then the child’s phone number with no separation between numbers or the "@vtext.com". All cell phone carriers have a similar format.] Here are the most common ones:

  • Verizon - xxxxxxxxxx@vtext.com
  • AT&T - xxxxxxxxxx@txt.att.net
  • T-Mobile - xxxxxxxxxx @tmomail.net
  • Nextel - xxxxxxxxxx@messaging.nextel.com
  • Sprint - xxxxxxxxxx@messaging.sprintpcs.com
To Send Text Messages and Videos to a Smartphone (MMS): You use a similar format. The difference is that the following addresses allow you to send photos, sound, and video, as well as texts. But, you can use these (MMS) addresses for texts exactly like the same old-school way as above.
  • Verizon - xxxxxxxxxx@vzwpix.com
  • ATT&T - xxxxxxxxxx@mms.att.net
  • T-Mobile - xxxxxxxxxx@tmomail.net
  • Nextel - xxxxxxxxxx@messaging.nextel.com
  • Sprint - xxxxxxxxxx@pm.sprint.com

Keep Your Texts Short With Regular Cell Phones

The technical name for text messaging is Short Message Service (SMS), and it is a protocol designed exclusively for cell phones. A specific number of characters (letters and spaces) may be sent, otherwise the message will be truncated, broken up into separate chunks, or not sent at all. If there is a question, check with the child’s service provider.

Verizon Wireless will send up to 160 characters and most cell phone providers have similar limits. This varies among different phone plans, but children and teens are more likely to read a message if it is short. So keep it short.

Cost to Send Text Message from Email

A text sent from a computer is free for you. (There may be expenses in some situations, so double check.) The child can send a text back (reply) for free if the child has a phone plan with unlimited texting. Otherwise, there may be a charge for the child, usually 10 cents or 20 cents, to text back. Alternately, the child could call you back by phone.

A Test Text Message from Email

It is easy to remember to keep a text short if you always type the text message into the “subject” box of the outgoing email. Here’s a fast and fabulous way for you (and other grandparents) to test if you are are doing everything properly: Type this message into the subject line of your test text to your grandchild. Then type nothing more, "Do u want gift or money 4 ur birthday? Lv, G-ma" You will know right away if the child received your text message.

Texting messages to children is often better than phoning. The two most important things to remember: Know the child's cell phone service provider and keep the text message short.  And, if your message doesn't go through, make sure that your grandchild's service provider hasn't merged with some other huge conglomerate.  Also, this technology stuff changes quickly.  If my methods don't work, let me know and I'll update this article.

Who knew... back in the days of card catalogs and rotary phones... what the world would become?  Well, I guess Dick Tracy had something like a cell phone, but his version looked easier to operate.

More Articles for Baby Boomers:

How to Make the Print Larger on Your Computer Screen

Cheap Hostels in Europe for Baby Boomers

Eight Tips for Looking and Feeling Younger

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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