Skip to main content

16 Commandments of Proper Texting

16 Commandments of Proper Texting

If you're like most people, texting is an important tool in communicating with family, friends and even business contacts. Texting does have etiquette rules, but they aren't set it stone. In fact, most of these rules have simply developed over time.

Learn how to text properly and efficiently by following these 16 texting commandments.

1. Do respond to texts quickly.

Although there may be a case in dating for not responding to a text too quickly for fear you may appear needy or too available, some may take this as game playing. Of course you should not always feel obligated to jump back with an immediate response. But generally it is best to answer texts as soon as you have an opportunity. If you need some time to think about the answer, let the other person know you got the text and will respond shortly.

Not responding to a text is rude because it leaves the other person hanging. Even if the person didn't ask a question, you should still acknowledge the text.

2. Don't text more than twice without a response.

If the person you are texting doesn't respond immediately, exercise patience. The recipient is probably busy with something else. It's appropriate to send two texts in a row but no more than that. Otherwise, you are making a nuisance of yourself and possibly causing the recipient's phone to ding obnoxiously during a business meeting or other event.

Do not text a question mark when someone doesn't answer right away. That is just rude.

3. Do not respond to a text with a phone call.

Unless the sender invites you to continue the conversation on the phone, keep communicating via text. The person who texted you obviously doesn't want to talk. Forcing that person to pick up the phone is awkward.

4. Do carefully check your intended recipient.

Sending a text to the wrong person can result in anything from mild embarrassment to a personal disaster. Has this ever happened to you? Be sure to check your recipient before you push send.

5. Do use caution when mass texting.

Mass texting can be appropriate and helpful when setting up a meeting or organizing a party. However, it's just annoying when you send your text to someone who will not find it relevant.

There are probably lots of people in your contact list who barely know you. Your kid's science teacher from three years ago probably doesn't want holiday greetings from you, so don't text everyone in your list. Be selective.

Also keep in mind that group texts can confuse people. Other people might accidentally reply to the entire group with a personal message meant for you. Or they might think they are texting the whole group but are in fact only reaching one person. Be sensitive to this by reminding everyone that it's a group text and that they can choose to reply to everyone or just you.

6. Do be aware of auto-correct.

Autocorrect mistakes are often funny, but sometimes they are offensive and they may destroy your attempts at communication. Quickly proofread your texts before sending them.

7. Do avoid sarcasm.

Keep in mind that tone of voice and body language, important elements of communication, are not present when texting. Be straightforward in texts because your words are all you have to get your point across. A little misplaced sarcasm can cause huge headaches.

8. Do use correct grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Stop being lazy. It only takes a few seconds to use proper grammar when texting, and lack of punctuation can completely change the meaning of your message. Also, obvious misspellings and shortcuts can make you look like an idiot.

9. Don't text in all caps.

Texting in all capital letters might be easier for you, but it symbolizes yelling or anger. Sending texts in all caps is rude, don't do it.

10. Don't text at the movies.

Refrain from texting anywhere that is dark. When people are trying to enjoy a movie or live performance, the light from your phone is annoying and distracting. If you're attending live theatre, it can even be disruptive to the actors.

11. Do use emojis when texting with friends.

Emojis are a texting shorthand that can be fun when sending light messages to friends or people you know very well. And newer phones give you lots of options. However, they are not appropriate in a professional setting.

Also keep in mind that not everyone understands the meaning of various emojis. Don't use symbols if you aren't the sure the other person will know what they mean.

12. Don't text about sensitive topics.

Use good judgment when it comes to sending sensitive messages. Don't send a text to deliver the news that someone has died or to break up with someone. People deserve to hear that kind of news in person or at least over the phone.

13. Do sign your name when texting someone new.

If you haven't talked to the person in years or if you just met someone, you may not be on that person's contact list. Avoid an embarrassing situation by identifying yourself when you text.

14. Don't text during a face-to-face conversation with someone else.

When you're engaged in a conversation with a real live person, it is extremely impolite to conduct a texting conversation with someone else. If you need to answer a text because of an emergency, apologize and explain that to the person you are with. Otherwise, just put down the phone.

15. Do end texting conversations.

To avoid confusion, every conversation needs to have a definite ending. If you've been exchanging texts with someone and are done, always send a goodbye message.

16. Do remember that texts can be saved.

Never text something that you wouldn't want someone else to see. Texts are like writing on paper. They can be saved and pulled out later to be used against you.

Avoid telling secrets or criticizing someone over a text message. You never know when those words could come back to haunt you.

Texting can be a terrific form of communication, allowing information to be shared quickly and efficiently. However, not paying attention to texting rules can lead to hurt feelings or worse. Remember these 16 commandments of texting, and you can be sure you're handling your texting life appropriately.

Do you have any other rules to add to this list?

What things really gripe you with texts you receive?

Would YOU like to publish an article on Connecting Singles?

Would YOU like to publish an article on Connecting Singles? Are you an expert at something, have an interesting story, or a good lesson to teach... why not share with other members. If you have experience or expertise in a topic that will be of interest to CS members, you may submit an article to be published on the site.
Post your own Article »

Attention: Report Abuse. If this article is inappropriate please report abuse.
We use cookies to ensure that you have the best experience possible on our website. Read Our Privacy Policy Here