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.
It would be best to only text with consideration for those around you and the person on the other side. Ask yourself this… Are you more narcissistic or courteous?
Personal vs. Business?
Yeah, there is a difference. There is a considerable difference between using texting 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 primary considerations for your personal texting activities.
Every Day Personal Texting Etiquette
Always be mindful about when and where is the most appropriate time to text. For example, 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 of us are tired of having to get out of your way or ask you nicely to get out of ours. And, never text while driving!
There is a time and place for everything. Likewise, this applies to texting (and checking email on portable devices) as well.
Start by always asking if the person you are Texting is available.
Ask if it is a good time for them before sending multiple messages. 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. “Why do 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 when it comes to your status.
If you are busy, let the other person know and advise them when you can connect later so that they can have your full attention.
Don’t text nasty, accusatory or insulting comments.
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.
Specific 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 contentious issues.
What happens on your phone, stays on other’s phones.
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.
Simple, Easy and Habit Forming
These tips are not all that difficult. With time you’ll find these considerations will become natural. Think before you text.