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Tips for Using Cell Phones


While there are no specific, explicitly stated rules for how, when, and what one should text, there is undoubtedly an unspoken standard of what is appropriate and inappropriate to text. With texting's being an immensely popular and increasingly widespread means of communication, the value of understanding text messaging etiquette is growing increasingly important. In order to be a conscientious text messager, there are several factors one should consider:

Wait Time
Many consider it rude to neglect a text message for several hours without announcement. Since text messaging is a very casual medium and is often used to communicate with people while one is otherwise engaged, consistently instantaneous replies may make the person to whom you are talking feel spammed, obligated to respond more quickly and often than is convenient, or that you are too focused on the conversation. The amount of time it should take you to respond to a text, however, is ultimately loosely defined, and may also vary based on your relationship with the person to whom you are talking.

Volume
There is no universally agreed upon amount of texts that constitutes too many. This value tends to vary by case based on the relationship between the two people and how often each person texts. Therefore, it is best to determine the appropriate volume of text messages to send and receive separately for each person you text, and do so using your best judgment. As a general rule, however, if you find yourself initiating all of your text messaging conversations with one person, you may be texting them in excess.

Tone
Text messaging is a flat medium from which it may often be difficult to discern tone, particularly when sarcasm is used. Try to phrase messages in ways such that your meaning or tone is not easily misconstrued to avoid this problem. You can also use emoticons to make your tone more apparent.

Importance of Content
Obviously, it is not appropriate to propose marriage via text. Things that may be less obvious, such as especially important news, declarations of love, breakups, or even asking someone on a first date should not be shared, made, or done in text messages, either.

Occasion and Location
Common courtesy should extend to text messaging. Avoid texting while with other people, at the movies, or at dinner; it's rude.

Safety
Though many text while engaged in other activities, it is important to multitask wisely. Never text while walking, driving, or operating machinery; it is simply not safe!

Nothing Is Private
Keep in mind that texts, like emails, may not always stay private. Your messages could be forwarded to others or simply seen by others who may be with the person you are texting at the time. Do not text anything that is highly personal or that you otherwise would like to remain private.

Notification Tone
Most people take their cell phones with them just about everywhere. Though the apparent omnipresence of cell phones can be incredibly inconvenient, it may become frustrating if someone has a loud or obnoxious ringtone or notification tone. Keep your phone on silent or vibrate when texting in public so that you do not disturb those around you. If you must leave the sound on, set it to a low volume, and make sure you do not have a vulgar or particularly irritating or lengthy notification tone.

Timing
People operate on a wide variety of schedules. Even if you are a night owl, not everyone is; be mindful of the time and conscientious when sending text messages.

Misdirection
It is not unusual to select the wrong indivdual from a list of contacts or an inbox. It is therefore a good idea to double-check that you are texting the correct person so as not to disturb anyone you might otherwise inadvertently text.

Identity
If you text someone who does not have you in their contacts list, identify yourself. Otherwise, you may confuse the person you text or make them uncomfortable.

The increasing reliance of society on text messaging as a means of communication necessitates a growing need to know how use this medium appropriately. Be conscientious, use your best judgment, and, most importantly, remember that nothing said via text is necessarily private.

For advice on general cell phone etiquette, see our guides on the subject:
http://www.notepage.net/cellular-phone-etiquette.htm http://www.notepage.net/learning-center/cell-phone-etiquette-part-2.htm

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePageSMS and text messaging software http://www.notepage.net and FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts http://www.feedforall.com .

 

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