Text Messaging Tips That Avoid Data Plans

Learn how to use text messaging instead of web searches to avoid data charges

Close up of young woman texting on smartphone, Lake Como, Como, Italy

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You can do more with texting (or SMS) than send brief messages to friends. If you pay for a text messaging plan or texting is included in your plan, you may not need the mobile web, which consists of browser-based internet services that are accessed from mobile devices such as smartphones, and affects data usage. Instead, use text messaging.

Texting from a mobile phone is part of a cellular call system's Short Message Service (SMS). Sending a text doesn't use data allowance, but unless SMS is included in a monthly plan, there may be a small fee for each text.

01
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Update Your Facebook Status by Text

Close-up of man texting with girl friend on phone.

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What We Like

  • Don't need an internet connection to update Facebook status.

What We Don't Like

  • Must set up Facebook texts and add a mobile phone number.

If you’re part of the ​social-networking craze and Facebook is in your repertoire, don't be tethered to your computer to update your status for friends and colleagues. Rather than access Facebook in a browser to post an update, post a status update by text. Sign up for the free Facebook texts service, and you're set.

02
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Mobile Microblogging on Twitter

High Angle View Of Text On Wooden Blocks Over Table

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What We Like

  • Add a mobile number to access more security features.

What We Don't Like

  • When multiple Twitter accounts are linked to the same phone number, can't choose which account can edit notification settings.

It's hard to talk about the internet without Twitter popping up on the radar. The site, which started as a free microblogging service for computer users, has expanded into text messaging, so users can send and receive tweets by SMS. Sign up with Twitter for the service, then text your tweets.

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Enter Sweepstakes

Quality Achiever Award Ribbon

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What We Like

  • It's so easy!

What We Don't Like

  • Don't know if contests are legitimate or secure.

Text messaging is one of the most popular ways to enter sweepstakes. You don’t have to be on a computer or use a smartphone's mobile web browser to enter sweepstakes. If you’re out and about and a contest strikes your fancy, text to enter. Some contests let you know within seconds if you’ve won.

04
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Email a Mobile Phone

E-mail icon made out of paperclips next to a phone representing email attachments

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What We Like

  • Fast and easy way to send a quick email.

What We Don't Like

  • Must know which carrier the text-email recipient uses.

Even if neither you nor the person you're contacting has email configured on your mobile phone, your mobile phone has an email address that begins with the phone number. Text to it from your phone just like you would send an email from your computer. You can also forward emails to the address.

An email sent in a text message is split into several short texts.

05
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Shop for a Mortgage

Couple on meeting with financial advisor

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What We Like

  • Potentially save with lower rates and fees.

What We Don't Like

  • It may be harder to get help.

Many web services offer alerts through SMS messages. If you're 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.