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. Ask your self this… Are you more narcissist or courteous?
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 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!
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 at a later time 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.
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.
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.