People have love/hate relationships with messaging Read Receipts. If you're not familiar with them, they're those little alerts below messages that indicate that they have been seen or read by the other party.
When Read Receipt is turned on, people will be notified when you read the messages they've sent you. Vice versa, if it's turned on on their side, you will be notified when they read your text.
It depends on how you look at them.
Some people like these notifications because they give a sense of an immediate and urgent connection with others. Others hate them because they seem intrusive.
The common denominator is that Read Receipts force people to reply back as soon as possible and it depends if you see this as a good or bad thing.
Either way, it definitely has its worthwhile uses for keeping virtual conversations flowing. Parents can even use Read Receipts to keep tabs on their kids and have that assurance that each message sent is seen and, hopefully, replied to.
Tip within a Tip: Worried that your kids have secret online accounts? Click here to learn how to protect them.
Here are ways to turn on (or off) Read Receipts so you know if your text messages are being seen on iMessage, Android, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
iOS iMessage for iPhones, Macs and iPads
Apple gadget users are most likely familiar with iMessage, the default text messaging app for iPhones. Read Receipts have always been a feature for iMessage to iMessage text messages (signified by the text bubble's blue color) and it lets a sender know if a text message has been read.
(Here's a fun fact: Green text bubbles in iMessage mean they were sent from non-iPhones and these do not support Read Receipts.)
To turn Read Receipts on or off for all your text messages (meaning senders won't be notified when you read their iMessages, head over to Settings >> Messages then toggle "Send Read Receipts" to On or Off.
Starting with iOS 10, they can also be enabled or disabled depending on the contact you're receiving the text message from.
To enable Read Receipts for a particular sender, launch your Messages app then open an iMessage thread with the desired contact. Now, tap the little "i" icon in the top-right corner of the thread then toggle "Send Read Receipts" to On or Off.
Tip within a Tip: Do you want to save your iPhone text messages instead? Click here to learn how.