As much as it grieves me, probably 90% of my communication with humans* is done over texting. (Everyone knows that phone calls are only for official biz, your ‘rents, and bae.) This exposure has given me astounding insights into the art, science, law, and public health of texting. In fact, very recently a PhD declared me to be a texting expert. Altruistically, I have chosen to share Galloswag’s Rules of Textiquette so that you can reach your full texting potential.
1) Respond in a timely manner to text messages that are clearly not ending the conversation.
It’s easier to say what actually IS appropriate to not respond to.
…You get the idea. If this is too ambiguous for you, I have also been trying to implement the old telegraph system where we just say “STOP” when we’re done. (e.g. OKAY SEE YOU THEN STOP)
2) One should not conversate with themselves.
On the flip side- especially if it’s during a work day – it’s a bit over-the-top to send someone upward of 3 text messages when they haven’t responded to your first. There have been times I’ve checked my phone and have 7 texts from the same person who has been chatting to themselves for the past 3 hrs on my data plan. I’m like, “Um, sorry to interrupt.. would you like me to leave?” Calm it down, Texty Tammy!
3) Do not send pictures of yourself unless it is for humor or please-tell-me-I-look-awesome-before-I-go-on-this-date purposes (and even then, do so sparingly).
I won’t waste time diving into the psychology of selfies and their pervasive use in social media – indeed, yours truly has been guilty of selfie-ing. But showcasing your on-fleek brows for Instagram is different than sending it to one person. This is especially a no-no if you don’t know the person overly well. I get wildly uncomfortable if ppl send me a pic of themselves for no reason. I think “ehhh do they want a pic of me? Why? I look terrible today, but sending an old pic seems inauthentic. Do I say ‘looking good?’ ‘thanks’ ‘:)’??? Is this a gateway pic to nudies?!?!?!” It’s very stressful. Don’t do it.
4) Use the ‘scroll up’ feature.
This is an exciting texting feature that many don’t know about. You can actually access your old texts by scrolling up! So before you text your friend, “what time again?” just use that powerful right thumb and check 3 texts back and you have your answer! 👍
5) Process more than one idea at a time.
An old urban legend that’s been circling around since the early 21 century is that if someone texts you several questions, you have to choose one- and only one- to respond to. I’m here to break the chains of your texlavery – you can actually respond to each and every question that was asked of you! If you are confused about how many answers you should give, here’s a quick #texthack: Count the number of question marks. The number of answers in your response text should equal that number!
6) Use emojis and punctuation.
Listen, smiley’s and punctuation aren’t just for 14 yr old girls ans 74 yr old men, respectively. Text tone is so confusing you know, because we can’t convey tone of voice. Fun fact: in the English language we have these adorbs little symbols that help our writing come to life! Yeah?? See, I bet you could tell I was being sarcastic right then. Magical. 😉 But they’re so important. If I say “Great, see you then!” And you say, “okay,” I imagine you saying that in a deadpan voice with a dull look in your eyes. If you say “okay!” I imagine us jump-fiving through our phones. If you say “okay ;)” I think “Awww snap! They are totes into me.” Truly, it makes all the difference.
If you apply yourself, you can incorporate all of this invaluable textiquette into your texting life. Send me proof of your reformation, and I will send you a signed copy of my newest book that transcribed all of my most successful texting convos. Finally, in the words of the great Dr. Galloswag herself, “Text safe. Text right. Text true. Don’t be ru-ru.”
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
*As opposed to my plant communication. Plants talk, y’all. I watched an entire documentary on this. True story.