Texting Etiquette: LOL, It’s About Time

December 31, 2012    |    By +
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We all text. It’s a part of 21st century life that is pretty much on par with say, breathing. But, there are some rules that need to be set so that people know when texting is appropriate and when it does more harm than good. The time that we spend with each other is a gift and texting can be an important part of that. But, it can also hurt feelings when texts take precedent over say, dinner. So, here are some tips to get your texts working to help your relationships, not hurt them. Comment below to add your own rules that you wish people would follow when texting!

If you are running late, text to let the person you are meeting know that you’re on your way. You get bonus points for giving an estimated time of arrival.

Always double check your text before hitting send. We have all seen some tragic auto correct mishaps that can easily be avoided by taking 2 seconds to proofread.

Do not text while eating or drinking with someone else…
…unless the people you are with are also waiting to hear from that person.
…unless it is an emergency. In which case, you should excuse yourself and handle the situation.

You should never text while another person is talking unless it is extremely important. If you do have to emergency text, make sure you let the person you interrupt know that you are sorry for not paying attention with a brief explanation immediately so that you don’t hurt their feelings. But, be aware that you may have to elaborate on your emergency in that case. So, consider excusing yourself if you don’t want to share your private details.

If you are waiting to hear about something pressing, let your guest know so that when you check your phone regularly you don’t seem rude. And, let them know when the situation is dealt with so that they know that they now have your full attention.

Texting a “thank you” note is not ok. You should always either call, send a physical card, or a faux card through a site like paperless post.

Never text, ‘let me get back to you’ when someone asks you to do something within the next 24 hours. They may be waiting for you to make a decision before they make their own. Don’t be wishy washy. It’s best to decline if you aren’t sure. You can always try to join up later if you change your mind.

Don’t send an invitation for an event via text unless it is impromptu and happening within the next 24 hours. Invitations should be sent via mail or online invitation, and followed up with a phone call to confirm closer to the date.

Don’t send multiple texts without giving time to answer. There is nothing more frustrating than having two conversations going on at once via text. Texts are supposed to be short & easy so that people can go about their business. If you have that much to say…call.

Don’t use LOL and other text slang when it doesn’t make sense or after every sentence. Many people don’t have a clue what ROTFL or SMH mean. And, let’s be honest, every little text is not LOL worthy. So, be aware of who you are texting when tempted to throw in a lot of slang.

If you are going to text while walking, don’t. Step to the side and text out of harms (and other people’s) way.

Don’t text somebody you KNOW is driving. You do not want to be responsible for them getting in an accident. And, for that matter, don’t text while YOU are driving!

Don’t text at the movies. The light on the screen interferes with other viewers’ experience just as much as a ring tone. Just turn off your phone when you sit down and turn it back on when the lights go up to avoid temptation.

What other rules would you add to this list?


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Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at Gifts.com. She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at Gifts.com. In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.