As a subscriber to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s text service, I received a Valentine’s Day text that read: “Put UR heart into it! Take our quiz about heart health.” By replying “heart,” I received another text testing my knowledge of how often American have heart attacks.
dominate discussions centered around how organizations can make effective use of social media to reach larger audiences. On some some levels, text messages can seem almost dated. No geolocation function? No sharing or posting?
But the power of a text message lies precisely in its simplicity — and I don’t think we have even begun to see texting’s full potential. Just consider the way text messages were used to rapidly raise millions for the recent Haiti humanitarian crisis. It’s unfortunate that there will always be humanitarian crises, but it’s heartening to think that the ways for people to globally support relief efforts is expanding in innovative ways.
And what about personal finances? Can text messages save me bill-paying time in the future? I’d rather send a text to pay rent than write out a check, find an envelope and drop the whole thing off.
Back to heart health. I think the text I received shows that the CDC is trying to maximally leverage its text messages—this time, incorporating a little user interactivity. For the record, I texted in the correct answer to the quiz question. Do you know whether Americans have heart attacks a) every 25 seconds b) 10 times an hour or c) 200 times a day? If you said a), nice work on matters of the heart.