Let’s Talk About Text

For starters, common courtesy still applies.

Did your Mama raise you to start another conversation while someone else is talking? It’s typically rude to text while having a face-to-face conversation, unless of course you’re texting your home girl about the guy that won’t stop talking about himself long enough to even realize that you are texting.

If you must text, excuse yourself first. Otherwise you’ll end up annoying the people around you for being inattentive.

Remember that texting is still typically informal. Don’t dump people via text. Or attempt to hold any serious relationship conversation via text. They write songs about those that do. Are you trying to make the remix?

Also, avoid discussing major events, critical work decisions, and other serious matters via text. If something is that important, call. You know you have daytime minutes, or maybe not.

Keep your messages relatively simple. Use of common abbreviations like “LOL,” “OMG,” “BRB,” and “BTW” are OK. Other, more unique shorthand should be avoided if you’re over the age of 17. Basically: You will look like a fool if you’re 25 and hitting someone up like “H3Y I L<3 |_|” (Hey I Love You).

Also, be aware of your tone. It’s difficult to discern tone via text. Before you assume someone got out of pocket with you in a message, get clarification. You can cause an end to a perfectly good relationship by mistaking her sarcasm for seriousness in a text. Then again, if someone does get out of pocket via text, can you really take them seriously, a text gangster? Where they do that at?

Speaking of sarcasm, unless the person you’re texting knows your personality, you may want to steer clear of it. There’s nothing like the repercussions of a misunderstood “dumb a$$,” and trust …it isn’t pretty.

Don’t text and drive. Period. Not only is it a crime in many cities, but the almighty Oprah has already demanded that you stop, enough said.

Try to avoid texting in theaters and cinemas, unless of course you actually went on a date with the same guy who wouldn’t stop talking about himself earlier.

As for business text etiquette, don’t treat it like personal texting. Your boss is not your BFF or the homie; he/she is the person who decides whether or not you get a paycheck. So, if you text him or her, be mindful. It’s best not to use any slang with your supervisor, however, business shorthand may be useful.

Business text messaging is really only appropriate for brief communication that doesn’t require much detail. Anything else needs to be communicated via e-mail.

But, be sure to respond to or acknowledge text messages of co-workers. The clap back for an ignored text from a supervisor could be as bad as that one time you ended up sexting your Mama instead of your Boo…it could get ugly. Speaking of “sexting”, those of you sexting from your work issued phone are strongly encouraged to stop, uh, yesterday. Also, see our past article (Throw Some STD’s On It).

Check your spelling and grammar — with work colleagues more thoroughly than you do personal texts, and it’s best not to text at all when at meetings or work related events.

Most of all, remember that while texting is a great way to communicate with your friends and business associates, face-to-face meetings and phone calls > texting. U DEFINE SUCCESS