Advertising

The 18 Unwritten Rules of Texting You Should Know

The 18 Unwritten Rules of Texting You Should Know
Advertising

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 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 2 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 3 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 4 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People 5 13 Simple Habits of Happiness To Change Your Outlook on Life

                    Read Next

                    Advertising
                    Advertising

                    Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
                    Advertising

                    You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                    Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                    Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                    Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                    1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                    According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                    “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                    Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                    Warming up

                    If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                    If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                    Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

                    Advertising

                    1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                    2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                    3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                    Stay hydrated

                    Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                    To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                    Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                    Meditate

                    Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                    Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                    Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                    Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                    2. Focus on your goal

                    One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                    Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                    Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

                    Advertising

                    Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                    If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                    3. Convert negativity to positivity

                    There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                    ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                    It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                    Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                    Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                    Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                    4. Understand your content

                    Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

                    Advertising

                    However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                    “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                    Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                    Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                    One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                    5. Practice makes perfect

                    Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                    In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                    Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                    6. Be authentic

                    There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                    Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

                    Advertising

                    Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                    To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                    With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                    Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                    7. Post speech evaluation

                    Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                    Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                    We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                    You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                    Improve your next speech

                    As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                    Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

                    Advertising

                    • How did I do?
                    • Are there any areas for improvement?
                    • Did I sound or look stressed?
                    • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                    • Was I saying “um” too often?
                    • How was the flow of the speech?

                    Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                    If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                    Reference

                    Read Next