contributor: Ceillie Simkiss, kid-approved
Figuring out the social rules that come along with technology can be hard. Texting is something that many of us use on a daily basis, so here are some basic do’s and don’ts!
- Double check that you’re texting the right person
- We all know it’s super embarrassing to accidentally text the wrong person. If you have two people whose names are similar, you can add an emoji to their first name so that you can separate them!
- Respond promptly
- Be respectful of your surroundings and your safety, but don’t ignore texts if you can help it. It makes your friends think you don’t want to talk to them if you don’t respond, and you will forget to later.
- Ask people not to text you during times when you’re busy
- When you know you’re going to be busy, tell your friends beforehand, so that you’re not constantly checking your phone when you want to be totally present in whatever you’re doing, or coming back to a thousand texts.
- “Hey, I’m busy and can’t text, can I call you later when I’m free?”
- Text when you are running late
- It’s the easiest way to tell people this without making you even later. Ex: “Stuck in traffic, be there in 20”
- Text cute animal pictures
- Most people love to get these photos. If they don’t, they’re obviously lame and you should text ME your cute animal pictures!
- Ask permission to call
- especially if your story is a long one. A good rule of thumb is if it’s more than 4 sentences, call. It’s easier and more fun that way.
- Be careful of your tone
- it’s hard to tell what someone’s tone is when they’re texting, even if you know that person really well. You can use emojis and punctuation to help show what tone you want to convey.
- Text slang to someone who won’t understand it
- your parents, grandparents, coaches, etc. It’s more work to explain it later and makes them feel bad for not understanding in the first place. When in doubt, spell it out!
- Text about important events
- particularly illnesses or death – You wouldn’t want to read about someone you love dying or being seriously ill on facebook, and that’s basically the same thing here. You need to call people and say things like this on the phone or in person.
- Answer with just “k”
- there are mixed opinions on this one, but if you can’t even be bothered to say “ok” or “got it” you probably don’t need to respond. A thumbs up emoji is also an acceptable response, in some situations.
- Keep texting people who don’t answer
- If someone hasn’t answered you for 2 or 3 texts, they probably won’t answer you. Let them answer you back before you send another one. If they don’t, it may be time to cut ties with that person. Spend your emotional energy on people who answer!
- Send full texts in all caps
- Seriously, this is terrible. It’s hard to read, it makes people think you are yelling at them, and doesn’t add anything to the text. Don’t do this.
- Fight via text
- This won’t get anything good done. You’ll stay mad at each other, and say some things that you’ll regret because you misunderstand someone’s tone. Call the person, or fight in person.
- Send pictures of any body part that you normally keep covered
- All jokes aside, don’t send body part pictures. Phones are so easy to hack, and photos are so easy to share with the people that you didn’t mean to send it to. Keep private stuff private – and away from anyone else’s eyes. It’s definitely illegal for people to receive photos of you if you’re under 18, and it will also probably wind up getting out to people you didn’t want to show it to.