By Ana Perez, 10th Grade
Have you ever been told by someone that you have poor texting etiquette? Or perhaps you’ve been told that you sound too ‘indifferent’ or ‘dry’ over text. Or maybe you’ve wondered what good texting etiquette even is? What are the do’s and don’ts of texting? Here are a few ‘texting etiquette’ tips and tricks to avoid unnecessary grief and stress for yourself and others.
- Replying to messages isn’t mandatory, but acknowledgements are nice.
Sometimes, you just don’t have the time to reply to someone’s message – and that’s alright. However, leaving someone wondering if you’ve received their text for hours is not alright. This doesn’t mean you can leave them on read, though. Send a short text explaining that you’re busy and will reply when you have the time instead.
- Don’t ghost someone.
Ghosting others is rude – sure, you might be mad at them, but leaving them on read for days on end is uncalled for. And, you can’t just dip if you’re bored around someone. If you’re angry at someone, try telling them that and that you’ll talk to them when you’re ready. It’s important to take the mental and emotional impact ghosting has on others into consideration. Communication skills are essential to have healthy and long-term relationships with others.
- Good grammar isn’t necessary.
You don’t need to have perfect grammar when texting anymore – if you want to use it, that’s alright, but don’t chastise someone for not using proper grammar while texting. That ship sailed a long time ago.
- Don’t be a wet blanket while texting.
Has someone ever been annoyed at you for only replying with “k” or “alr.” Then you might be a wet blanket while texting. It’s important to be engaged when in a conversation with others, and sending one-word replies tells the other person that you are uninterested in the topic at hand. If you’re unsure of what to say, maybe try using emojis or stickers to sound a little less “dry.”
- Don’t send ominous texts.
Have you ever received a “hey can we talk” or “call me please” that has freaked you out? These messages are a bit too ominous and can worry the person you are texting. Try to find another, less ominous way, to get your point across. It’ll avoid lots of problems in the long run.
- Don’t get too serious.
While texting is practically a default form of communication at this point, that does not mean texting should replace face-to-face communication. Delivering bad news such as someone’s death or a breakup is unfair to the other person. These conversations should happen face-to-face.
- Don’t text in inappropriate places.
Texting while in line at the grocery store or while on public transportation is alright. However, don’t text in inappropriate environments – that is, during class, while driving, during meals, at a cinema, and while someone is telling you something important – it’s rude to those around you.
- Don’t send too many attachments.
Try to stick to sending the necessary pictures or links. Sending too many can get annoying and overwhelming – it can also occupy too much space in a person’s phone. You don’t want to overwhelm others with information they might not necessarily be interested in.
- Don’t text too early or too late.
Unless you know the other person is available at that time, try not to text someone at 12:00 PM or 3:00 AM. Since some people have a tone that goes out every time they receive a text, you might wake them up by accident. To avoid that, make sure you’re not sending texts too late at night or too early in the morning.
- Texting is just like any other form of communication.
Texting has become so prevalent that it’s basically just like any other form of communication – with a few key differences here and there. If you wouldn’t do it over email, a phone call, or face-to-face, maybe you shouldn’t do it over text.
- Texting Manners. (2021). Emily Post. Retrieved April 14, 2023, from https://emilypost.com/advice/texting-manners
- Hunter, T. (2022, April 14). Are you bad at texting? Here are the new rules for 2022. Washington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2023, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/04/14/texting-etiquette-101/
- Texting etiquette: The 10 do’s and don’ts – Chatelaine. (2014, August 18). Chatelaine. Retrieved April 14, 2023, from https://chatelaine.com/living/texting-etiquette-10-dos-and-donts/