Texting étiquette

Texting seems to have changed the dynamics of my relationships with both my family and friends. According to Big Fish Media’s Canadian mobile industry stats, Canadians send 227 million text messages every day.

Things that I like about texting

I like to be able to communicate  with my daughter at any point in time (if she responds to my texts). When I was a teen my parents never really knew my exact whereabouts, but this was normal at the time. Being in constant contact seems to be the new norm. I don’t have to call people to check in with them, I can quickly send a text to say hi.

After I moved from a dumb phone to a Blackberry and discovered that my niece had one too, we BBM’d all the time. It was really neat to get to know my sister’s daughter outside of the family dynamic and gatherings. I attribute our close relationship to the Blackberry although we both have had iPhones for years now (we still text a lot).

I also like that I can get a quick response from anyone that is in my contact list and has a texting plan on their phone.

Things that I don’t like about texting

Texting can be a time suck.  Sometimes when I want to put something off that I should be doing, I text my friends or family members.

Or, if my friends or family members text me and I am busy, my attention span divides and I stop focusing on what I am doing.

Also, I don’t really call friends or family as much as I used to, and if a friend doesn’t have a smartphone then I seem to communicate with them less and perhaps spend less time with them.

And I feel like I check my phone many times in the day to see if someone has texted me.

Some odd things I have noticed about texting

When texting you may ask a question and can get an answer immediately, or it can take hours or even days. Or sometimes you don’t get an answer at all. If you are having an in person, face to face conversation, and you ask a question, there is body language, facial expressions and perhaps some words to let you know they don’t want to answer your question. However with texting it can be ignored and not answered at all. There may be other reasons for this like it came at a busy time and they forgot to respond. Maybe some questions shouldn’t be asked, or should be asked in person.

The text that keeps in touch and talks about getting together but it never happens. It might be more meaningful to have a voice conversation about getting together and perhaps making a date to meet up.

Etiquette

Like other things there is etiquette that could be followed in texting. Below is a list that I have started.

If you are busy, it is ok to say so and chat later

Stop texting when your kids are trying to talk to you

If you need an immediate reply, try a voice call

Don’t text while you are talking to someone in person

Don’t text something you wouldn’t say to someone in person

Don’t text while driving

Don’t text while walking

Don’t text while drunk

Check your text before sending it for both autocorrect and contact name

Consider the time when you text

Sometimes I wish for the simpler days when texting didn’t exist and being connected wasn’t top of mind. I think I need to turn off or ignore my phone more.