Knowing how to read a cell phone text message can be the difference between getting a message when you want it and having it leave with the recipient, or worse. Let’s discuss what this means in terms of real life situations.

Take the scenario where you’re having a phone conversation

with someone. You’re asking them a question, and while they’re taking their time to answer, another text appears on your phone. Your attention is lost as the sender sends another text, and you think the conversation is over.

Think again. Instead of sitting and waiting for the answer to arrive, you respond immediately. This time, the message arrives after you’ve finished talking. That’s because you also took the time to compose the message and send it.

Another scenario to consider is when you’re driving, or on the phone with a friend. You’ve both sent each other a short message to notify them of an upcoming event, such as an upcoming appointment or a mutual friend. The only problem is, both of you didn’t have the time to go through the entire message, let alone open and read it.

If you happen to pick up your cell phone at that time, you might not have the opportunity to read the entire message. It might also be that the call you were making was only interrupted a few seconds before the message appeared on your screen. In any case, that message appears a few seconds after you pick up your phone, and you missed the entire message.

You don’t need to worry about reading a text message if you have an iPhone. All you need to do is select the phone from the menu of your iPhone, and scroll to the bottom of the screen, where you’ll see a “Notifications” option. Clicking that will show you all the messages you have received or sent. When you scroll to the bottom, you’ll see a list of the messages you’ll receive. On the left side of the screen, you’ll see the number of new messages, and on the right, the number of old messages. Now you can decide whether or not you want to read the message before responding.

You can also easily sort the list of old messages, and the new messages,

by choosing the more “recent” option. Even more handy is the fact that you can set the “read later” options, so you’ll always be reminded that the message you need to read has arrived. Select the “all” option, and the message will be added to your Reading List, which you can either return to later, or discard.

If you find that the message wasn’t quite what you needed to respond to but still want to read it anyway, just tap the “read later” button again. This time, you can choose to read the message as long as you want, or immediately dismiss it with one tap.

If you’re really in a bind, you can even choose the “delete” option at the bottom of the screen. You’ll have to save the message by tapping the little white “x” icon, but you can then write it off as a complete waste of time.

If you’re concerned about leaving a message unanswered, it might be a good idea to have a friend send you a message after you send them a message.

  • When they get your reply, they can take a look at the new message and ask if they need to reply.
  • If you need help deciphering text messages, or if you’d like to see a message in a different format, you might be interested in a device called a text tracer.
  • Text tracers allow you to check the content of a message before sending it, so you know exactly what the message says, before even starting the sending process.