Texting is something that is here to stay. It doesn’t matter if you’re using Whatsapp, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, or good old fashioned text messaging because they all rely on the same premise–conducting conversations with text over a messaging service. Unlike calling or emailing, texting has its own set of rules that you should follow to have the most effective conversations.
Keep it short
In the standard text format, a single message can be between 140-160 characters. Sometimes you run a little long and you have to send multiple texts. However, if you find that you’re texting so much that it turns into a multimedia message then you should probably just call or email the other person. Texts are short communiques designed to relay details quickly. They’re not meant to be novellas.
Flutter texting is a somewhat new term that describes the practice of sending a text at the end of every sentence. This may not seem so bad, until you have someone sending you five or six sentences. That’s five or six texts that come floating in. This causes phones to vibrate and shoot off the ringtone a bunch of times. It’s highly obnoxious. You should put the whole message in a single text because people may not appreciate their phone going off that many times all at once.
Text to confirm plans but not to cancel
When you confirm a plan, people are expecting you to get a hold of them so they are more likely to be paying attention to when they get a message. On the other hand, if you decide to cancel, they may be on their way to the event or be setting up. That means they’re not paying attention to their texts. Cancelling at the last minute deserves a phone call so they know that it’s happening.
Don’t end a relationship over a text
There are just some things a person should never do. Ending a relationship over a text message is one of them. That is a serious life change for most people and the person you are breaking up with deserves to have the news delivered to them face to face.
In fact, don’t deliver bad news ever over text
Don’t tell someone a relative or a friend has passed away over a text. Don’t tell your parents you crashed the family car over a text. Anything that could be considered bad news on practically any scale should be delivered either in person or in a phone call. Sending a text to someone to deliver any bad news is a cop out. They deserve the news face to face.
Don’t keep texting if someone doesn’t reply right away
This one can be hard to do because impatience is a thing that we all have to some degree. However, people are not married to their phones 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Sometimes they may be in the bathroom, at work, or driving. Before you freak out and think that they’re ignoring you, give them a while to get to you. Sending texts over and over again looks really bad and it’ll do nothing but irritate the other person.
Use proper grammar and punctuation
Unless you’re in high school it isn’t really en vogue to send butchered, shortened texts that barely anyone can understand, especially if you’re texting your boss, coworkers, or people who are older than you. Your grandmother doesn’t know the lingo and most business people consider it unprofessional. It’s good practice because we could all use a little brush up on our grammar and spelling every now and then.
There is a time and a place for everything.
If you know someone is sleeping, then you probably shouldn’t text them. The notification may wake them up and then you’ll just be dealing with one angry friend or relative. People at work should be receiving short messages so it doesn’t affect their productivity. Don’t text people when they’re driving because it could be dangerous for them. There is a time and a place to send certain texts.
Double check the auto-correct
There is absolutely no reason why you should be one of those people who sends ridiculous texts. It’s just laziness. It has been documented repeatedly that auto-correct can turn an innocent text into something terrible. Make sure you read the message you’re sending before you hit Send. You don’t need your boss receiving some inappropriate text because your auto-correct turned a totally innocent word into a dirty one.
At the end of the day, people will text how they text. Just because you follow these rules doesn’t mean that other people will too. That said, you can serve as a role model to others and influence them to text more like an adult.
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