Use Your Smart PHone, Instant Messaging (IM) or Text Messaging properly with consideration for the person on the other side.
The concepts that apply to email apply to Smart Phone use and Texting / Instant Messaging as well. The key is courtesy and clarity in your communications.
- First and foremost, always be cognizant about when and where is the most appropriate time to use your Smart Phone and IM. Doing so during meetings, while on the phone with another person or at activities where your attention is expected is inconsiderate. There is a time and place for everything — and this applies to IM (and checking email on all portable devices) as well!
- Start by always asking if the person you are IMing is available and if it is a good time to chat. If the person you want to IM is busy, ask them when they will be free. You do the same – if you are busy and cannot chat, let the other person know and advise them when you can connect at a later time so that they can have your full attention.
- Practice communicating briefly and succinctly. Clarity is a skill that needs to be worked on in email in general let alone when it comes to the short messages generally sent on Smart Phones and via IM. Texting is meant for brief communications – not your manifesto on the day’s events. If the topic is that long winded or complicated ask when would be a good time to give them a call to discuss the topic further. Anything that cannot be communicated effectively in short blurbs should be discussed via regular email or telephone.
- If you are not a smooth multi-tasker, do not continue multiple sessions and leave folks hanging while you communicate with others. If you cannot give someone your full attention, schedule another time to hook up.
- Word of Caution: As with email, text messages can be saved and sent to others. Once you send it – it is gone. If you are upset, sign off until you cool off! Don’t type what you would not want to be passed around.
- A Word to Business Folks: Be professional even though your Smart Phone is by nature a more casual environment, keep in mind the quality of your messages will reflect on your perceived credibility, professionalism and tech savvy.