Text Etiquette: Rules for Using Texts the Right Way

Text Etiquette Rules for Using Texts the Right Way

Texting is a recent phenomenon that has made communication faster and easier for everyone. However, sometimes the convenience of texting can cause common sense to take a back seat. Consider these rules and guidelines the next time you text someone.

Remember your grammar.

Texting is not an excuse for forgetting the rules of grammar. While shorthand and abbreviations may be fine when you are shooting the breeze with your friends, be careful not to fall into a habit you can't break. Use proper grammar, including punctuation, when you are texting something important or communicating with someone like your boss or teacher. Improper punctuation or a misunderstood abbreviation can change the whole meaning of your message.

Follow phone time rules in most cases.

In general, do not send text messages at times when you would not make a phone call. If you wouldn't call your friend after ten at night, don't text her then either. Some people keep their phones on when they sleep and don't want to be disturbed.

Don't use all caps.

All caps is considered yelling. It's also harder to read.

Keep it short.

The beauty of the text message is that you can quickly get information across or express a quick thought. If you need more than one or two sentences to make your point, consider an email or phone call instead.

Check and recheck your recipient.

It's easy to send your mom a text meant for your boyfriend (yikes), or one friend a text meant for another. Avoid this by checking your recipient before you press the send button.

Send two texts, and then stop.

If the person hasn't responded after two texts, he or she is either busy or just doesn't want to talk to you. Leave it alone until you get a response.

In-person conversations are more important than texts.

It is rude to check your phone for a text when you are having a conversation with someone who is sitting right in front of you. If there is an important reason you need to check your texts, excuse yourself and explain the situation.

Respond to texts as soon as possible and when appropriate.

You should return a text message as soon as it is appropriate. Even if you don't have an immediate answer, do respond to let the person know you got the text.

Respond text to text.

When someone sends you a text message, respond with a text message. Don't call them back.

Don't ignore a call and then respond with a text.

Do not reject a phone call because you didn't want to talk to the person and then immediately respond with a text. If you can't bring yourself to return the call, at least wait a while before texting.

Don't be sarcastic.

It's very easy to misunderstand sarcasm when it comes in the form of a text. Avoid It when you can.

Do respond to texts accidentally sent to you.

When someone sends you a text that was meant for someone else, be polite enough to respond and let the sender know you aren't the intended recipient.

Use group texting appropriately.

Group texting makes sense when you are trying to set up a time to meet with friends or want to get game information out to your softball team. However, sending a personal message to your entire contact list is just annoying (or could be embarassing). Don't include someone in a group text unless you know them well or it's for a specific purpose. Also remember that when you respond to a group text, you are responding to everyone in the group.

Use emojis sparingly and only sometimes.

Emojis are fun for light conversation with your friends but don't go overboard. If you are using more emoticons than you are words, it's time to cut back.Also, refrain from using emoticons when you are having a serious conversation or interacting with someone like your boss.

Don't text vague.

Don't text vague statements meant to illicit curiosity or a worried response. Give information. Especially don't do this via a group text.

Don't text about very serious topics.

Some statements require a phone call. Don't break up with someone via text or text someone that her grandmother just died. Use common sense.

Remember texts can haunt you.

Sending a text is like writing something down on a piece of paper. The recipient may delete it or just might keep it forever. You have no control over what happens to it, who sees it or when it will resurface. Don't text something that could potentially be held against you in the future.

Texting can be a great way to network, communicate and even flirt as long as you know the rules. Keep these guidelines in mind, and you will become a texting expert.

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