Textiquette [text-i-kit, -ket]: system of rules and conventions that regulate social and professional texting behavior. Texting is either for you or it isn’t for you, but everyone I know has an idea of what is appropriate texting behavior, whether it be an immediate response from a friend, partner, coworker, acquaintance, fully spelled out words, little emoji emoticon extras, or anything in between. There are different rules for different people on the phone list. We all know that. You wouldn’t text your boss the way you would text your friend with benefits, but where’s the line and how do we draw it? Depending on your relationship with varying arrays of people, I’ve developed a flow chart to help make the decision a little simpler for you. Click to Enlarge Or Click Here for a PDF version As most of us know by now, texting at its best helps us eliminate extended conversations with people when we are busy trying to get other stuff done. We can easily connect with others: plan meet-ups, cancel plans, gossip, send stupid pics, have full conversations under the table when we should be working, paying attention, etc. The problem with texting is that sometimes it creates more conflict and confusion than intended. Have you ever had that moment where you sent out a text you thought was funny, but your receiver got angry because it didn’t sound like a joke? Well… it didn’t sound like a joke because it didn’t sound like anything. Words in a text don’t have the tones and inflections only your voice can send across. I personally believe there should be a whole different font in texting that signifies sarcasm because I’m known to throw in a snide remark or two with friends, which I of course always end with a good LOL to make sure the reader of the texts gets that it’s supposed to be funny. IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY! Have you ever ended up completely misunderstood by the end of a text conversation because #1. You thought you said something during the text that you didn’t and or you accidentally texted a key piece of information to a friend that you were simultaneously texting? #2. You texted something to them that was actually meant for your other friend. #3. Autocorrect messed with your shit but you didn’t notice until it was a little too late. Though most people are shying away from calling these days because texting just seems to make sense, sometimes for those “real” conversations you need to just dial that phone with the numbers and put your ear on the head piece. This will help you avoid unnecessary confusion as well as reconnect you with some loved ones you haven’t heard the voice of in a while. I will be making a tutorial for those of you who have forgotten how to dial. Texting Courtesy:
- If you get a question via text that even slightly resembles a high importance level – answer it within an hour. Even if you can’t answer the real question, let the sender know you received it and you will get back to them later. If you had time to check it, you have time to text back something like “busy, will respond later.”
- Don’t fight via text message. These fights never end well. Your fingers furiously fly across your screen texting back and forth about what’s wrong with that person and not with you, but it’s really difficult to get things resolved this way because it’s so impersonal. Just make a phone call or wait to do it in person.
- Set boundaries with people. If you have someone that is blowing up your text inbox, it’s okay to let them know that you would prefer a little less communication. Or let them know that you really can’t respond to all of their messages because you’ve got a busy life going too. People that “blow” up text message boxes are usually the same people who need immediate responses back in order to not feel jilted. Just let them know that you’re not the kind of person that reciprocates texts the same way; knowing this will usually keep them a little calmer and make them back off on texting you so much.
- You know your friends and family best. There are some people that you need to be more attentive with and some you don’t. If you know you have a friend that hates shortened spelling like, “u r gr8” then don’t text them that way.
You can’t control other people’s texting, but you can control your own. Go forth and be merry with your texty self! Forthcoming: Sextiquette: why everyone needs to understand it.