Many of the concepts that apply to email apply to Texting, Chat and Instant Messaging (Desktop, Laptop, Tablets, Smart Phones) and vice-versa. The key is courtesy and clarity in your communications.
You should only Text with consideration for those around you and the person on the other side.
Personal vs. Business?
Yeah, there is a difference. A huge difference between how texting should be used in your day-to day personal life vs. your professional business communications. I have a popular article on my Business Technology Etiquette website for those considerations: Business Texting Etiquette: 10 Tips for Professionals.
Today I’m going to cover the 5 basic considerations for your personal texting activities.
Every Day Personal Texting Etiquette
- Always be cognizant about when and where is the most appropriate time to Text. Doing so during a meal with others, while on the phone with another person or at activities where your attention is expected is simply inconsiderate.
- Do not Text while walking around in public — most us of are tired of having to get out of your way or ask you nicely to get out of ours. And, never ever Text while driving!
(If you are reading this in your email program and the video doesn’t display, click here to view.)
There is a time and place for everything — and this applies to Texting (and checking email on portable devices) as well!
- Start by always asking if the person you are Texting is available and if it is a good time for them. I receive emails from folks who get frustrated by others who think they should be available 24/7. They receive Texts at all hours of the day and wonder why those who send Texts at 11:30 pm think that is okay.
If the person you want to text is busy, ask them when they will be free. You do the same. If you are busy, let the other person know and advise them when you can connect at a later time so that they can have your full attention.
- Don’t text nasty, accusatory or insulting comments to those you disagree with. Be better than that and speak in person or not at all. Use Texting for casual topics. Serious topics are not best served via Text. Can you believe I received a condolence Text when my father passed away? Not appropriate!
Certain topics and situations require a face-to-face hookup or at the very least a phone call or card stating your feelings. Texting is not the place for serious topics, emotional or confrontational issues.
Word of Caution:
As with email, Texts 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. I’ve heard from Texters who are upset because they sent a private note to a friend they thought they could trust who then broadcasted their Text. Know who you can trust and trust only those you know!
Really big people are, above everything else, courteous, considerate and generous — not just to some people in some circumstances — but to everyone all the time.
~ Thomas J. Watson