All Articles Tagged "text messaging"
Well, there’s an app for that. Actually, a few; an arsenal of tech tools designed to keep your communication safe and secure. Enter Invisible Text, an app that allows users to send messages to other customers that will self-destruct after a set amount of time, retract a text before its been read and send GPS locations, among other secure features. Not to mention, a user’s information (outside of his/her phone number) isn’t stored.
“With Invisible Text, your message is gone,” says founder Dez White. “Once it times out, it’s gone and that gives you the comfort of knowing that your message is not saved on a server; that I’m not logging in and looking at your message to your boyfriend or your grandma. It gives you a level of relief and that’s why we’re different. We like to do what we say we’re going to do.”
As the founder of celebrity gossip site MouthToEars.com, the 30-year-old entrepreneur was all too familiar with the need for secure messaging. For fear of leaving a paper trail, many sources refused to come forward, which prompted the mompreneur to get the ball rolling on her tech idea. She found a developer and investor, all while applying for multiple patents, and, nearly a year later, White launched Invisible Text.
The Southern California native has garnered the support of athletes, celebrities and business execs like Paris Hilton, Lamar Odom, Andy Milonakis, Gilbert Arenas and Dame Dash, who is White’s mentor. The app’s early adopters include Arenas, who’s an Invisible Text investor, Los Angeles Clippers player Matt Barnes and Halle Berry’s manager Vincent Cirrincione.
Since launching in 2013, Invisible Text has over 200,000 downloads.
The Howard University grad could’ve easily stopped there, but decided to unveil two more offerings: Invisible Call and Invisible Email. With Invisible Call (in beta), a user can make a phone call to other users without ever leaving any trace of a call log; Invisible Email allows users to send emails, documents, photos and the like, which disappears after being viewed by the recipient. This summer, the “email anyone” feature will be released, allowing Invisible Email users to email Gmail holders from their accounts. There will also be an Invisible Call addition; a feature that lets you pick the number that appears when you place a call to an outside line.
The busy mother of two, author and tech entrepreneur isn’t stopping there. She’s got several other ventures in the works. Later this year, she and rapper Camron are slated to release RapBattleLive. In roughly three months, expect the debut of Blind Debit, a payment platform that allows you to purchase with your fingerprint. Both are in partnership with Dash.
White, who may be the youngest female tech entrepreneur to develop a suite of apps, encourages other young women of color to become producers of technology. “I didn’t have to become Kevin [Systrom] from Instagram. I became Dez from Invisible Text.”
Based in New York City, Janel Martinez is a multimedia journalist who covers technology and entrepreneurship. She is the founder of “Ain’t I Latina?” an online destination geared toward Afro-Latinas. You can follow her up-to-the-minute musings on Twitter @janelmwrites.
You meet a guy, and you’re impressed with him for the most part. He’s handsome. He’s smart. He’s got a decent job and a great sense of humor, but what he doesn’t have, is a grasp of the importance of picking up the phone to call you. Texting is fine–when you want quick information. But when we’re talking about connecting with another individual on a deeper level, texting can be a long, drawn-out process that can make getting to know someone too much work.
I think we’ve all dealt with this guy at one time or another: He can send you either incessantly long text messages to see what you’re up to and how you’re doing, or he’ll send you a short message that drives you insane and leaves you to do all the hard work (examples include, “sup?” or the always hated, “Hey”). And while texting does seem to be the mode of interaction that many people are most comfortable with nowadays, it’s very impersonal, and can get annoying.
I dealt with a guy like this in the past. I thought my dating life was going to be a scene out of Sex and the City when I moved to NYC, but instead, I was left with a dude who lived too far out from me (he was in the Bronx), sending me text messages at the most inopportune times, talking about, “hey there.” That was it. He was incapable of speaking in detail about things, instead, he waited for me to make the conversation even though I was trying to finish my work. I could have told him that he needed to call me (and at a more convenient time), but I wasn’t feeling him via text or in person, so we didn’t continue the dating process and we didn’t need to do anything verbal over the phone. Nice talking to you. Or not.
On the other hand, I have a girlfriend who just won’t deal with men like this at all. She gives them a few chances to man up and do the old-school thing of dialing her number to actually get to know her, but when a week or two goes by and they haven’t done so, she stops answering their messages altogether. And while our male friends always look at her crazy because they don’t think she gives the guys a good enough chance, she stands firm on her belief that grown arse men shouldn’t be afraid to converse over the phone.
That all makes sense, but then I realize, she has never said whether or not she told the guys she was interacting with that they needed to call her. It was almost like something she assumed they would catch on to and attempt. But alas, men like to say that they can’t read minds, and man, they are NOT playing (And they don’t really try hard enough to if you ask me).
So yeah, the lack of real verbal communication relayed between men and women can be annoying, but I often wonder if we are being too hard on men with this. Many people have found themselves crippled socially by a dependence on social media and technology, to the point that they assume all parties involved in an evolving…thing…would prefer to chat via text, iMessage, What’sApp, or whatever messaging application you use. In my mind, the best way to deal with this issue if you’re actually interested in getting to know a guy is to just say what’s on your mind. Ask him to call instead of thinking that he should know what you want, and reiterate the importance of it to you if he says he’s a little leery of calling. Hey, some people are awkward. If he doesn’t follow this, then you have the right to move on from him. But before you gripe and cut off a guy completely, just make sure you’re being vocal. As they say, ‘Closed mouths don’t get fed.’
But how do you deal with dudes who can’t seem to pick up the phone? When is it a problem and how do you resolve it?
“Technology changes the pace, pattern and scope of human interaction, communication and behavior,” my professor proudly recited over the podium during the first day of my Media, Culture & Society class. Although at the moment, I rolled my eyes and released an exasperated sigh, mentally tossing the quote into my pile of hot air sayings that professors dish out on the first day of class that have little or no relation to the information that we will be covering for the duration of the semester, I didn’t realize that this exact quote would haunt me for weeks to come.
Allow me to start by saying that I love modern technology and new media just as much as the next girl. I swear by my MacBook Pro. My Samsung Galaxy may as well be permanently attached to my hand. I thank God for my tablet on the regular. I love the way that Facebook allows me to connect with friends and family members that I don’t get to see often. I enjoy sharing dialogue with new and interesting people on Twitter. I cherish my ability to offer pals a glimpse of the world through my eyes via my Instagram page. However, I’ve got to admit that when it comes to dating, the very inventions that I praised just seconds ago, I loathe with a passion. As an early 20-something-year-old woman, I can’t say that I’ve been in the grown-up dating arena for long, but I can say that in my opinion, these inventions have put a huge damper on the whole process and is slowly taking the the thrill out of getting to know someone new.
For one, I believe that the overexposure to a person that new media provides seems to make many of us lazy. We don’t really have to put forth the effort to get to know a person because their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram pages make snapshots of their lives readily available to us. His zodiac sign, birthday, alma mater, place of employment and so on can all be learned with the simple swipe of a finger. Remember the days when you had to actually call and ask your love interest how his day went? These days all you have to do is pull up his Facebook page or Twitter timeline, which will more than likely provide you with an instant play-by-play regarding all of the highlights of his day. If you’re lucky, while scrolling through your Instagram feed you may even be privileged enough to feast your eyes on a beautiful brightly filtered image of what he had for lunch.
Then, there’s the immediate access to a person that new media provides. Owning a cellular phone means that you’re never alone, never apart. When was the last time you missed your love interest? I mean sincerely missed him? Text messaging makes that nearly impossible! I don’t know who said texting a person all day was romantic, but I’d like to meet that person and give them a piece of my mind. If we’re constantly shooting back and forth SMS messages about the menial details of our days, what’s left to talk about on the phone? Or better yet, in person? Where did mystery and excitement go? Text messaging also greatly diminishes the emotional connection that usually comes with communicating with a person. Call me crazy, but I sort of miss the days of not being able to speak with someone all day and anticipating getting home so that I could call them. I even miss calling a person’s house and hearing that they’re not home. The immediate access the new media provides has left me feeling rather smothered to be quite honest. Too much, too fast, too soon.
I met someone recently and I can honestly say that he was one of the most interesting people that I have met in a very long time. I looked forward to getting to know him. Following our initial colorful and mentally stimulating conversation, I eagerly anticipated that more would follow, but after just one date we fell into the never-ending text conversation. You know, the one where you fall asleep, wake up and pick up wherever the conversation left off? After a few weeks I was totally over it and had to ask myself how something that showed promise of being so exciting got dry so quickly? As I scanned through our text history, I instantly felt cheated. Information that would’ve taken weeks worth of phone calls and a handful of dates to learn about looked back at me from my cell phone’s illuminated LCD screen. I fell into new media’s sticky web… again!
Technological advancements, especially when it comes to communicating, have made life so much easier in various different ways. But when it comes to human interaction, just maybe they’ve made life too easy.
What do you think? Has new media helped or hurt us when it comes to dating and relationships?
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @jazminedenise.
Technology isn’t all bad. Plenty of happy couples met thanks to it! Long distance relationships survive because of it. And if it weren’t for technology, we wouldn’t know any better when the person at the American Airlines desk told us the extremely pricey flight price. But, once you have used technology to your advantage to meet and/or become closer to somebody, you may want to keep your texts to “Let’s meet a x place at y time” and your emails to funny article shares. Beyond that, technology can end up driving you and your guy further apart, instead of making you closer.
If you are dating someone who has a strong preference for textual communication, you know how frustrating it can be when all you want to do is hear his voice on the other end of the phone. Thankfully, YourTango Experts is here to help.
In this video, dating coach, matchmaker and YourTango Expert Julianne Cantarella offers advice about what to do when your man opts to text you even when the occasion warrants a more personal form of communication.
“The way you get it to stop is by setting precedence from the beginning for no texting,” says Julianne. “Texting can create a false sense of intimacy allowing you to believe that you’re in an exclusive relationship when you really aren’t.”
Watch what this expert has to say about this subject at YourTango.com.
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No teen wants to talk to their parents about sex, but is a Planned Parenthood staff member the next best thing? The Denver affiliate of the national organization seems to think so. As part of the Denver Teen Pregnancy Prevention Partnership, Planned Parenthood has launched a text-messaging program called In Case You’re Curious that will allow teens to text their questions to the organization. The texts will be intercepted by a Planned Parenthood staff member who will answer within 24 hours—using 160 characters or less.
“We always encourage youth to have conversations with their parents, but we also recognize that not everyone has that ability,” says Alison Macklin, director of community education for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. “We’re not trying to take the place of those conversations, of them providing firsthand knowledge, but rather we’re providing a way to help answer questions.”
So far, about 500 messages have been received and Macklin says they hope to double that next year.
While the idea of a young teen getting an answer to a question that could potentially be quite serious in such a short way seems a little scary to me, Macklin says it allows the organization to be of immediate assistance on some topics.
“Our goal is to arm youth with medically accurate, age-appropriate information about what might be going on with their bodies,” she said. “We’d rather have them have access to that information than wondering or relying on common myths, like ‘It’s better to use two condoms rather than one,’ when the reality is that doing so will actually increase the risk for an unplanned pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease.”
In Case You’re Curious is slated to run for a year and could potentially be expanded to other cities after that.Keith Mason, president of Denver-based Personhood USA, which aims to end abortions in Colorado, hopes that doesn’t happen. “It’s just another extension of their abortion-marketing plan. Just like restaurants use texts to give out coupons, this is their way of driving young people to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in America.”
How do you feel about this idea? Is Planned Parenthood overstepping their bounds by offering this service or could it potentially be beneficial?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Let’s be real, at this point in most people’s lives (unless you’re old school), you’re probably doing way more texting than you are calling. That is unless you’re a telemarketer, because you need to stop calling! Scratch the sweet birthday calls, the congratulations and more, you’re going to get any and all information these days from folks outside of your job and the folks you pay/owe bills to by text. But there are some things that just can’t be done through text message–it would be tacky.
Our friends over at HelloBeautiful compiled a list of the unforgivable text follies that you should not be making unless you’re a high school student. Stop hiding behind technology to avoid confrontation boo, pick up the phone and dial somebody! To see the whole list, click over to Hellobeautiful.com.