Texting is a quick and easy way to stay in touch. But its informal nature can lead to confusion over the appropriate “do’s” and “don’ts”. Here’s a quick rundown of important basics that will improve your text messaging etiquette.
You don’t need a reason to text
Sometimes just sending a quick “I’m thinking of you” text is a wonderful way to brighten someone’s day. Who knows? They may see it and phone you back to say, “Thanks, Grandma! I’m saving this text forever!”
Always! Unless they say otherwise, if someone texts you, they expect to hear back, even if it’s just a simple acknowledgement like, “Ok” or “thanks”.
Keep it short and simple
Texts aren’t meant to be emails. Get to the point. If you want to have a longer conversation, call them; after all, you do have their number!
Beware of autocorrect!
This is when the phone makes or suggests corrections for mistakes in spelling or grammar. A single word or letter can change the whole meaning of a sentence, so read your message over before you hit “Send.”
Be careful with abbreviations
Texting is meant to be a fast form of communication, so it’s common to use abbreviations and shortcuts such as “LOL” (laugh out loud), “np” (no problem), or “u” (you). But there is such a thing as an inappropriate abbreviation, so if you choose to use them, only use those that are widely known. When in doubt—spell it out!
Before sending the text, double check that you are sending it to the right person! A common mistake is to accidentally send a text to the person you are texting about; you don’t want someone to receive a text about the surprise party you’re arranging for them! This is also important when sending Group Text messages, but for an additional reason. Group Texts can be a useful tool to keep everyone in the loop but ask permission first. Responses go to everyone on the message, and some folks may not want to receive a message from someone they don’t know.
CAPS MAKE YOU LOOK REALLY ANGRY, SO AVOID THEM AT ALL COSTS. Unless of course, you are really angry; then go ahead and use them to make your point!
Always double check when using voice-to-text features
Smartphones allow you to speak your message, which the phone then converts to text. But a lot can be lost in the translation; make sure that what you said is what is showing as text before you hit “Send”. Voice-to-text software isn’t perfect and could be picking up stray sounds or conversations from elsewhere, altering your message in ways you didn’t intend.
Texting is meant to be simple, and fun. By taking a few extra steps and observing basic text message etiquette before you send them, you’ll make sure everyone will be happy to see your messages pop up in their inbox.