The 9 Rules of Texting Etiquette

There are two groups of people when it comes to texting: those who love it and those who hate it. Most people who hate texting lack a smartphone and text with T9 and can’t stand the fact it takes 12 minutes to text: “ya i like pie 2.”

Recently, I became part of team smartphone and while I’m enjoying its many features, my biggest fear is becoming those who have driven me absolutely crazy: rude over-texters. To be clear, I think texting is great. My problem is not with texting, but over-texting and texting at the wrong time and in the wrong way. So with that said, I’ve created this post both as a reminder to me of who I never want to be and to those who already suffer from over-texting. This is a lesson in texting etiquette.

#1 If you’re out with a friend for coffee, a beer, or for dinner, do not check your texts. So you’re out with your good friend, Bort. What texting in the middle of a conversation says to Bort is that despite Bort sitting right across from you, in the flesh, he is still not a priority. Bort thinks you’re rude and you’re being an asshole. If something is really important, people usually call, not text. Wait until Bort uses the can before you check your super important text messages and Facebook/Twitter updates.

Exception: The only time texting in this scenario is acceptable, is if you’re waiting to hear back from someone who is going to be joining you and Bort or if you’re waiting on some urgent news, and in this case, you should tell Bort ahead of time that you’re expecting an urgent text.

#2 Don’t leave the phone on the table so it can beep, ding and create distractions. Because if your phone is on the table, then it’s within the reach of Bort, and Bort may have had enough of you texting Claude your favorite ways to finger your own butthole and decide to throw your iPhone across the room.

Exception: Again, if you’re waiting for an urgent text, then tell Bort why you’re leaving your phone on the table.

#3 Don’t text and drive. I don’t have to explain this one do I?

#4 Don’t text every single thing you’re doing all the time. If you do it now and then, it’s ok. But too much is too much. Bort didn’t care you ate Rice Krispies for breakfast on Twitter or Facebook and Bort doesn’t care over BBM either. P.S. Everyone thinks you’re desperate for attention. Yup, Bort thinks that too.

#5 If the question you’re texting requires a complicated answer, just pick up the phone and call. You know that texting device in your hand? It’s also a phone! Amazing. Pick it up and use it, jackass.

#6 Texting all the time makes you look like a 13 year old girl. That’s right, you don’t look important thumbing through your Blackberry during a penalty shot in overtime. The truth is, even if you’re a guy, you look like a 13 year old girl. Never again will Bort invite you to a sporting event with him.

Note: If you are a 13 year old girl, then don’t worry, you’re expected to be texting every second of the day. In a few years, read this post again and hopefully you’ll come to the conclusion you don’t want to look like a 13 year old girl anymore.

#7 If you work in an office, turn off or turn down the sound of notifications. Within a few days of having a smartphone I realized just how annoying and unnecessary it was to hear a ding every time someone replied to my status update on Facebook. I can only imagine how annoying it was to my co-workers, especially Bort, who continually glared at me. I’ve since turned off audio notifications for both Facebook and Twitter and I suggest you do the same. Look, people like you again! Amazing.

#8 Do not drunk text someone that is or was someone you either have dated or want to date. I think everyone knows the perils of drunk texting either first or second hand. Bort gets all sorts of creepy drunk texts from the ladies and it’s not helping them one bit.

Note: Feel free to drunk text friends and your significant other if you’re in a good mood, but never drunk text them when you’re angry.

#9 Use your emoticons wisely. Some people are nuts and might misinterpret a compliment like:  “you’re a pretty cool chick” as an insult like: “you are cool, but not overly cool, just kind of cool and sort of a skanky hoebag too.” Throw a winky or smiley face on that compliment to minimize misunderstandings.

If you can’t follow these simple rules, never leave the house and just hang out with your phone all day.

Please share this on Facebook, Twitter, (using the buttons below) and especially over text messaging so your over-texting friends can get a much needed texting etiquette lesson.

  • Thanks for the tips. If I ever succumb to getting a cell phone I will take this to heart.

    • They didn’t need cell phones in the 80s, why would we need them now? Heck, I ride a horse to work. Cars, buses, subways: who needs ’em?

  • I’ve been debating the smart phone thing but this just reminded me how having a smart phone will make me more crotchety. ‘What the damn hell young people is this beep for?’

    • They’re nice for checking sports scores, tweeting, texting, and playing games, but aren’t necessary. A regular phone is fine too.

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  • iGeek

    according to this i’m a 13 year old girl, but i love me some iphone.

    • I don’t like your lack of etiquette, but I do like your honesty.

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