Social Media / Technology Committee
SOCIAL MEDIA / TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE
Please check out the BAMC on Facebook (Search "Bar Association and Bar Foundation of Montgomery County"), as well as Twitter and Instagram (@BAMC_Law). If you are a Committee Chair or a Section Chair, and you would like the Bar Association to promote something on social media for your Committee or Section, please contact Leslie Miller or Jared Sands.
BY PAT HOOVER
Mystery Texts, the Worst
Have you seen a sharp increase in the incredibly annoying text messaging issue, the mystery text? Call it the new sender issue or my fav, the “mystery text” problem. We’ve all seen this before, only never in such growing numbers. If you too have been bothered by those annoying mystery text messages that suddenly appear on your trusted smartphone or other mobile devices, I have a simple solution you can use when confronted by the dreaded mystery text phenom.
Sent by someone or some company1 you may know of only slightly (if at all), or by a person with whom you’ve never, or rarely ever yourself texted. I’m referring specifically to mystery text messages. Under my definition of the term, a mystery text holds no clue as to its sender’s identity. Text messaging was typically used by and between friends and colleagues who were known to one another. Not anymore.
Businesses and other actors have learned the skills needed to fully invade the text messaging universe. And too often, this sneaky tactic is being done by intentionally disguising some ad or promotion as an innocent-looking text sent to your phone. When you get an unsigned text message with content that makes no sense from an unknown sending number, beware. Is it merely a misdirected message meant for someone else? Or are you failing to understand the content of what may be an intentionally obtuse or vague message?
The worst, right? This frequently happens to me and is getting worse. Unless the mystery texter’s name and phone number or their email address already exist within the contacts list found on your smartphone or other SMS device, you’re screwed. You can, 1. Simply delete the mystery text and maybe learn too late it was sent to you by your now unhappy client or, 2. Reply with a brief message asking for particulars of the text sender’s name and further details (my solution), or 3. Engage in a text thread with someone or some business you’d otherwise never have allowed but for the mystery text phenomenon. Remember, the safest course is this - when in doubt, delete!
1What? You mean I can get a text message from a place? Yep, businesses, companies, even law firms can and do regularly communicate with customers by way of text messaging. Texting is growing exponentially across all demographic segments while emailing is experiencing a similar decline in use by all segments of the digital landscape where texting results in a 98% open rate vs. a small fraction of opened emails sent by business. Need proof? Check out zipwhip.com and extexting.com, among two texting for business providers.