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Alternatives to texting for all users (dumb, smart, or no phone):
1) Email
Simple enough. Email is actually my preferred method of contact. Most people don't know this, but almost every mobile carrier gives you an email address. That's right, for example Verizon customers will be (phone#)@vtext.com. Your phone will actually text to emails if you type an email address instead of a phone number in the "to" field.
2) Google voice
- unlimited, searchable history of text messages (no more memory full)
- send messages from your computer
- supports blacklisting/blocking for annoying people who don't know how to take a hint
- backs up contacts (never have to send out a "new phone, send me your numbers" message   again)
cons: currently doesn't support MMS (photo and video messaging)
3) facebook
- mobile friendly
- instant chat system
- tells you if someone is "online"
- "everyone" has it
- people keep the same account for years if not forever
cons: crashes constantly, messaging system doesn't work properly, missing messages often, difficult to keep track of friends, spammy, lack of control, slow, advertising
 
4) google+/google talk
- mobile friendly
- send emails or SMS alerts
- real-time text chat
- group chat
- video chat/hangouts
- full control over sharing and information
cons: google+ is still new with limited mainstream adaption and no API (update: read-only API was released)

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