Text Messaging Etiquette for the Modern Day
Texting is ubiquitous with keeping in touch and while texting may in many ways make communication easier, there are a number of potential challenges inherent to the platform. We have put together a list of basic tips that will assist texters in avoiding some of the more common text etiquette faux pas.
Choose Your Recipients Carefully
There is nothing worse than sending a message intended for a paramour, to your boss or a client. While this example may seem extreme, it can and does happen. Pay careful attention to the recipients selected. Often in a group communication, you may not always see all the recipients included in the group, be careful what you choose share.
Know Your Audience
Acronyms, abbreviations, text slang, or emoticons may be lost on grandparents or the older generation. Cater your message to the individual or groups of individuals that you are communicating with.
Choose the Correct form of Communication
It is not appropriate to give sad news or to end a long term relationship via text message. Somethings are still better done in person. Many of us dread sharing bad news, and while it may seem easier to quickly send a text, it is very poor etiquette to do so.
Not During a Performance
If you are at a movie, play or musical performance it is not appropriate to text. While you may think it will not disrupt other patrons, the cell phone’s screen lighting can be very disruptive to others in attendance as well as the performers.
Some cellular phones and/or telecom carriers will break messages into multiple texts. The texts may not all be received in the order they were sent and intended, which forces the recipient to sort out the messages. If you are able, keep your messages short and to the point.
Lost in Translation
Keep in mind that text messaging often lacks emotion and the voice inflection that provides context for an individuals intent. The meaning behind a text message can often be lost when texting, do not automatically assume the worst, if you require clarification ask for it.
Measure Twice Cut Once
In other words double check your text messages before hitting the send button. Many fancy smartphones not only auto-correct spelling errors it seems they want to intimate what you are saying and they actually change the word, to what they think you want to say. That is not always helpful! Be sure to slow down and reread the text before hitting the send button. Save yourself some embarrassment and proofread texts before hitting the send button.
If you have someone’s phone number, but they may not have yours, don’t play games - simply identify yourself in the initial text to avoid any confusion.
If you are having a verbal conversation, it is really rude to text someone else. The person you are verbally communicating with deserves your undivided attention. In the event something critical arrives on your phone, make your apologies and excuse yourself, but it is not something that should occur on a regular basis.
In a professional setting or business meetings it is not appropriate to be on your cell phone. Eye contact is still the order of the day.
Dinner was once a sacred family meal, where families shared stories about their day. In today’s culture we have enough distractions and disruptions, consider keeping meals cell-phone free.
Using a cell phone and text messaging comes down to common sense and basic manners. As technology permeates all aspects of the modern world simply use good judgement and you will avoid the pitfalls and social blunders associated with text messaging.
About the Author -
Sharon Housley is the VP of Marketing for NotePage,
Inc. a software company for communication software solutions.