Texting Rules for Grown Ups

Everyone is texting.  Nielsen Mobile research recently has shown that the average American with a cell phone sends more texts than places telephone calls.  Teenagers send and receive and average of 1700 text messages a month.  Teenagers are now not the only ones sending texts.  Grandparents and business people are using texts to communicate more often, and those numbers continue to grow.   As more and more adults use texting to communicate, whether for social or business purposes, it’s important to also learn the rules of texting etiquette.

Texting is considered a very casual way of communicating.  In many types of business fields, this type of casual communication simply is not feasible.  An attorney should not text with clients, or a doctor with his patient because of the lack of confidentiality involved.  Business contracts should not be finalized via texting.  Never text your boss unless you receive one from him first, and keep the texts you send short, clear and on point.  It’s also never a good idea to use a text for anything formal, like a business invitation or the initial customer contact.

However, texting works very well for other types of businesses.  A busy real estate agent can use a quick text to meet with potential buyers or a contractor can text his crew manager instructions while he is out in the field. It’s a good idea to check with your company’s policy on texting, whether it is to clients and customers, or to co-workers.  Before you send a text, make sure to proofread!  Because it’s hard to judge the meaning behind a lot of texts without any prior context, an innocent typo can cause a huge misunderstanding.

Socially, text messaging is a great way to keep up with friends and family, especially for a busy person.  It’s nice to let your friends know your thinking of them even if you don’t have time to talk.   A busy mom can use text messages to arrange schedules quickly and keep in touch with her kids.  Texting etiquette still applies, however, even if it’s our best friend we are texting.  Try to keep your texts short, and avoid excessively texting.  If you have that much to say, why not just call your friend?  Again it’s important to not use texting to deliver any important news.  Sending condolences by text is considered in bad taste.  Dating and texting can be a tricky situation.  First dates and initial conversations are best done by a phone call

Basic texting rules of etiquette include such things as not capitalizing the letters in a text because that tells the other person you are yelling at them!  Avoid sending texts at odd hours, and always check to see your sending the text to the right person.  A burgeoning rule of texting etiquette is to never text while driving, which has been shown to be similar to driving while drunk.  Stay alive so your friends can always hear from you!  And finally, always be considerate of the person your texting and use your best judgment.
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