I had a discussion with some teammates the other day about text messaging, since some of them are relatively new to the practice of using text messages to communicate. I shared with them one of my major text messaging pet peeves and was surprised to learn that they didn’t think much about text messaging etiquette at all, believing that there were no real rules to it. I tried to impress upon them that this was not the case – there are guidelines to text messaging and it would behoove them to be aware of them, especially if they were going to text me. But their attitudes got me thinking about this, and I thought it would be good to document the most important text messaging etiquette guidelines so that more people know how to do it right and not piss me off in the process.
Um, you should know before you read these that, despite how genial I may sound in my blog most of the time, I’m really not. I’m quite cranky. Really cranky. Bordering on ornery, sometimes. Just so you know.
- If you don’t know what a text message is to begin with, well, I just don’t know what to do with you. I won’t explain it to you and it would be best if you just left me the hell alone before I have an aneurysm thinking about how that is even possible in this day and age.
- When carrying on a conversation via SMS, please be mindful of the 160 character limit. If your message is going to surpass this limit, kindly use an ellipsis at the end of each message to let me know that more is on the way so I don’t try to respond before you’ve finished your train of thought.
- No, my iPhone can’t do MMS messages yet. AT&T says later this summer. Yes, I know I paid hundreds of dollars for my fancy schmancy iPhone. It’s not my fault and I can still see your stupid pictures if you just email them to me.
- For God’s sake, if I text you a question, just answer the goddamned question. If you have the time to text me back with “I’m busy, TTYL,” you had the time to answer the question. Dumbass.
- Don’t abbreviate randomly. How am I supposed to know that “bnns, mstd, & mk” means “bananas, mustard, and 2% milk” in the shopping list you sent me? This is not SMS charades and I can’t read your damn mind.
- You should only text me things that you’re willing to say to me in person. If I catch any lip from you in a text and it’s something you don’t have the balls to say to me directly, just go ahead and lose my number because I don’t need your crap.
- You must respond to a text message received within 5 minutes or less. Even if you’re in the bathroom. Or doing something I don’t want to think about you doing. The only reasonable excuse to not respond within this time period is if you’re driving. Driving while texting is unacceptable, particularly if there’s a chance that you’ll run me over while doing it.
- If you are over the age of 18 and use “ur” for “your” and “kewl” for “cool” and other such nonsense, you’re no longer my friend and I will provide your cell phone number to every salesperson and Hare Krishna I meet for the next year.
- If you have a smartphone with an automatic spelling correction feature and you still manage to jack up your messages with misspelled words, I reserve the right to make fun of you.
- If I send you a text message, do not – I repeat – DO NOT call me to reply, for f*ck’s sake. The only exception to this rule is if I say in my text that you need to call me. Other than that, don’t even think about it. A call for a call and a text for a text. End of story.
There. Wow. It felt good to get that out. Now that you are fully equipped with knowledge on how to not irritate the bejesus out of me with poor text messaging etiquette, go forth and multiply. Or whatever you were doing before you read this.