“There are 4 billion cell phones in use today. Many of them are in the hands of market vendors, rickshaw drivers, and others who’ve historically lacked access to education and opportunity. Information networks have become a great leveler, and we should use them together to help lift people out of poverty and give them a freedom from want.” ~ Hilary Clinton
Hilary Clinton has very eloquently summed up the importance and power of these little mobile devices . The power of the little machine that lives in my pocket and makes noise at me, is to say the least: AMAZING. We can now reach people that we could never have reached before, and we should use this ability to help people make improvements in their lives and in their health.
This week as we explored text messaging campaigns, I choose to look at smoking cessation text messaging from the California Smoker’s Helpline, 1800-NOBUTTS. Smoking cessation has always been the mystical unicorn of my practice, so illusive and hard to implement. Aside from the fact that nicotine is one of the most additive substances on earth, I struggle to understand why some people have the mental fortitude to quit cold turkey and never blink an eye, and others struggle to quit for months but are always sucked by in.
The idea of this type text messages campaign make me hopeful. Maybe for some people who are struggling to quit these text messages will help provide the additional support needed. Maybe by reaching out and communicating with a device so close to them, so easily accessible, texting will make in needed impact to get them over the hump. However I was disappointed by what I received. I see plenty of places for improvement with this campaign. Especially with the prevalence of texting services such as rapid sms and eztexting, I expected better depth and user interaction from this campaign. From what I gather, the emphasis is to call the hotline number and speak to a real person. Certainly there are benefits to speaking to a live person and setting goals, etc, there is still room for improvement with this texting campaign.