Advertising

The 18 Unwritten Rules of Texting You Should Know

Advertising
The 18 Unwritten Rules of Texting You Should Know

Texting is practically the most common form of communication nowadays.

It also can be the best tool to use if you’d like to really, really annoy people.

Odds are, you don’t. So know how to text right with these tips!

1. Didn’t get a reply right away? It’s okay. Chill out.


replying

    Don’t keep texting until they respond. They’re probably busy. And if they’re not, maybe they just don’t feel like texting. Texting them over and over again is the perfect way to ensure that they won’t respond. Ever again.

    2. Always respond.

    That being said, don’t blow anyone off. Respond to someone’s text in a kind and reasonably-timed manner. (Unless the person is a stalker, in which case, please do not respond. I do so care about your safety here.)

    3. Keep the other person’s schedule in mind.


    early

      Of course, you generally shouldn’t text a person at 4 in the morning unless it’s your BFF, and even then, your BFF may want to kill you. However, also keep in mind the schedule of the specific person you’re texting. Is your friend at work? Then don’t text him or her a million times in a row in the middle of the shift. Does your friend enjoy sleeping in on the weekends? Don’t text him or her at 8:30. Be nice.

      4. Don’t text a novel…


      novel

        Advertising

        This is one that I personally break all the time, but it just makes sense: if it’s taking you more than thirty seconds to text it, you probably just want to take care of it over the phone. Don’t make it more confusing than it has to be.

        5. …however, don’t call in response to a text without asking.


        text

          Be kind to the introverts. If someone texted you, it means they didn’t want to talk on the phone. That might mean they’re busy, or they’re relaxing, but don’t call them in response. If you really think it would be something better covered via phone call, text them asking them first.

          6. Generally, avoid sarcasm.

          Unless the person knows you really well, sarcasm is best avoided via text. You can’t read the tone nearly as well, and you could end up getting into arguments or hurting someone’s feelings.


          confused

            And nobody wants that!

            7. Double-check your autocorrect.

            Unless the correction is particularly hilarious, of course.

            8. Double–no, triple–check who you’re sending it to.


            texty text

              If you’d like to lose your job quickly and with little effort, texting “hey sexy I miss you ;)” to your boss instead of your significant other is a great method.

              Advertising

              9. If you’re running late, text the person.

              It’s just good manners. Brownie points for including an ETA.

              10. Respond proportionally.

              If someone breaks rule number 4, don’t respond with just “k.” Unless you want to lose friends and alienate people. Or make them want to destroy their phone.


              ron swanson

                The same goes for the opposite case: if you’re composing novels to someone, and they’re texting you back with very short replies, take the hint.

                11. If you wouldn’t talk to them about this issue in real life, don’t text it to them.

                This can apply with so many different situations. Everyone knows not to use texts to break up, or to communicate grave injuries. But you also shouldn’t try to get really deep into conversation with an acquaintance / stranger. I recently had someone I barely know text me their life story, and it was more than a bit jarring.

                12. Do. Not. Hashtag. In. Your. Text.


                hashtag

                  It’s something you can only do ironically. And even if you do that, you have to make it really obvious that it’s ironic, or else you’ll risk looking like an idiot.

                  13. Don’t use chatspeak. Just don’t.

                  dont 4get this rule, b/c u will lose s0 much credibility rofl

                  There are certain abbreviations that are generally accepted, but make sure you know the meaning of them. Don’t text someone “lol” when they’re going through a crisis, thinking it means “lots of love.”

                  Advertising

                  14. DO NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS!!!!!

                  DOESN’T IT SEEM LIKE I’M SHOUTING AT YOU?!?

                  If you are really angry to the point where you feel like shouting, it’s probably a conversation that should be saved for another medium.

                  (Note: the only exception to the past two rules is while you’re live-texting the Game of Thrones season finale to a friend, e.g. OMG I HATE YOU CERSEI STFU WHY DO YOU EXIST.)

                  15. Use the right texting laughter.

                  Here’s a quick guide to laughter via text.

                  Ha: use when you don’t really find something funny, and you want to make that fact obvious.

                  Haha: use when you don’t really find something funny, but you would like to be polite.

                  Hahaha: use when their text made you smile.

                  Hahahaha+: use when you sincerely laughed.

                  HAHA+: one of the few exceptions to the no-caps rule. Use when you find something hysterical.

                  Advertising

                  Lol: Use when you want the sincerity of your laughter to be a mystery. Did you really laugh out loud? Nobody knows! You’re so mysterious!

                  16. Don’t bury your face in your phone when you’re hanging out with someone.


                  texting offended

                    Okay, let me preface this by saying that with some people, it’s cool if you text. I have a group of friends who are always responding to texts when we’re together, and we’re okay with it, because we hang out all the time.

                    But if you don’t know how the other person feels about texting etiquette, or you don’t know the person well, just don’t do it. It’s rude and it gives the impression that you don’t particularly care about the other person’s presence.

                    Another exception: if there’s something really pressing, like, I don’t know, your sister is expected to go into labor any day now, inform your company that you may be checking your phone every so often.

                    17. Don’t text while walking.

                    You might walk into a large parked van in front of a crowd of strangers. I may or may not be speaking from personal experience.

                    18. Above all: do not text while driving.

                    This is the biggest rule. Please. Please please, don’t do it.

                    Have any rules to add? Comment and let us know!

                    Featured photo credit: Henry Lockyer (AbsolutelyClever) via flickr.com

                    Advertising

                    More by this author

                    22 Common Words You’re Probably Pronouncing Wrong 17 Signs You Have The Coolest Mom In The World 10 Benefits of Lemon Juice You Never Knew 15 Relationship Lessons That Ted Mosby Taught Us 10 Quotes That Will Surely Motivate You When Facing Huge Challenges

                    Trending in Communication

                    1 5 Tips for Self-Care During the Holidays 2 15 Things You Don’t Need To Apologize For (Though You Think You Do) 3 10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character 4 10 Scientifically Proven Ways To Stay Happy All The Time 5 8 Signs That Your Current Relationship Has No Future

                    Read Next

                    Advertising
                    Advertising

                    Last Updated on November 18, 2021

                    10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

                    Advertising
                    10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

                    We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

                    A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

                    So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

                    • honest
                    • reliable
                    • competent
                    • kind and compassionate
                    • capable of taking the blame
                    • able to persevere
                    • modest and humble
                    • pacific and can control anger.

                    The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

                    1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

                    All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

                    Advertising

                    But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

                    2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

                    How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

                    I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

                    “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

                    Abigail Van Buren

                    3. How does this person take the blame?

                    Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

                    4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

                    You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

                    5. Read their emails.

                    Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

                    • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
                    • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
                    • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
                    • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
                    • Too many question marks can show anger
                    • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

                    6. Watch out for the show offs.

                    Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

                    7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

                    A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

                    Advertising

                    Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

                    8. Their empathy score is high.

                    Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

                    People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

                    9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

                    We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

                    “One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

                    Stendhal

                     10. Avoid toxic people.

                    These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

                    • Envy or jealousy
                    • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
                    • Complaining about their own lack of success
                    • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
                    • Obsession with themselves and their problems

                    Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

                    Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

                    Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

                    Advertising

                    Read Next