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Friday, August 24, 2012
Fifteen Texting 'No-No's' That Should be Avoided at All Costs!
1. The multi-part ramble
Keep messages short and simple. Texting is meant to be a quick form of communication, and there's a limit to what you can send for a reason. Send a picture or video with a sentence or two of description — but even in a text without media, keep things under two sentences as often as possible. Exceptions obviously exist, but if your messages are constantly being broken up and sent as two files, you are probably missing the point.
2. The misdial
Make sure you know where your text is going. Save numbers to your phone, and be careful when selecting from your contacts. Everyone makes mistakes, but they can be embarrassing. If you send an affectionate mid-day text meant for your girlfriend to your boss, you could end up in an awkward situation.
3. The joke that's not funny
Texts don't convey subtleties of tone. For that reason, you should always reread messages before you send them. Sometimes what you mean to sound sarcastic sounds rude to your text's recipient. When in doubt, don't send it.
4. The autocorrect gaffe
Be aware of your autocorrect settings. Many phones have text settings that will fill in words for you or insert the closest word as you type. This might mean sending "me" instead of "mr" — or it could mean your message includes a much more embarrassing alternative, such as the messages at Damn You Auto Correct. To avoid any embarrassing autocorrect mistakes, always reread your text before you send them.
5. The text flood
This is not your Twitter feed. The recipient doesn't need to know your every move. Compare your texting habits to the number of phone calls you make. It is probably all right to text up to twice as often as you may call. If you wouldn't call 40 times in a day, perhaps you are sending too many texts at 80.
6. The dead inbox
While it is rude to over-text, it's also rude to ignore incoming messages. Respond to texts. When people text you, let them know you have received their texts, and answer any questions they may have asked. There is no need to text "bye" if it's implied, but continue texting the sender until it is clear the conversation has ended. If you happen to receive a wrong number text, politely text back to let the sender know you aren't the person they meant to text.
7. The social chicken text
Texting is not the way to invite people to your wedding, break up with your significant other, or send an important business message. If someone has died, don't send a text. If there had been an accident, don't send a text. If it is something that could affect your life or another person's life in any kind of way, don't text it.
8. The social addict text
Don't text when you are out at dinner, in a movie, in a church, at a wedding, in class, or any place where your attention should be on something or someone else. When you go into these places, turn your phone off. The people with you deserve your full attention and shouldn't be made to feel as though they are less important than whoever is texting you. There is nothing that can't wait a couple of hours. If you can't honestly turn off your phone and spend time in the real world, then you may want to consider a 12-step program.
9. The night owl text
Texting is not email. Just because you get a thought at one in the morning doesn't mean you can text it. Not everyone turns their phone off when they go to bed, and your text message notification could wake them. Assume recipients have left their phones on, and be respectful. If it's too late to call, it's too late to text.
10. The hurry-up text
While text messages do go to recipients' phones, they're not actually phone calls, nor are they instant messages. Be patient, and wait for a reply. When in doubt, allow one full business day for recipients to reply. If your message is time-sensitive, call instead.
11. The language mangle
Use correct grammar and spelling. When texting friends, you can get away with short forms and abbreviations; however, when you're texting an acquaintance or business associate, leave the obscure shorthand out. Not everyone is up on texting lingo. When in doubt, write out the word as you would in any other formal correspondence.
12. The grammar police ticket
If someone makes a grammar mistake, especially if the texter is a business associate, don't correct them. As long as you can gather the meaning of the message, let the mistake go and respond as if it were written correctly. If you honestly can't understand what the sender meant, then politely ask for clarification.
13. The drunk text Drunk dialing is not a new phenomenon, long predating the cell phone. The term generally refers to making a phone call while intoxicated that would otherwise be considered a bad move, such as telling someone off or calling an old flame. It's a bad idea to drunk dial, and it's a bad idea to drunk text for the same reason. Things can't be untexted, even if they were sent under the influence. If you're going to drink, don't text.
15. The indiscreet text
Text messages are not the way to reveal your deep, dark secrets or confront others about theirs. Don't text anything confidential, private, or potentially embarrassing. Texting is meant for quick, simple messages. If you need a long conversation, call, make a coffee date, or if you must, send an email. Whatever you do, don't text.
Are your text habits making you look bad?
If you approach texting with the same care and respect you would give to a phone call or an email, your technique is likely fine. However, if you are guilty of any of the above missteps, you may be in danger of offending the people you're messaging or the people around you.
When in doubt, err on the side of caution. If you find yourself wondering whether to text or not to text, then set down the phone and walk away. Your phone will still be there when you get back!
Good Advice for this relatively new form of communication