ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Four Simple Texting Etiquette Rules For Those Who Don’t Know Any Better

Updated on January 15, 2009


I admit, I text on a daily basis. It’s great for when someone is in a meeting in my office and I don’t want to disturb the meeting but need to get a message to them. I also use it just to shout out a “Howdy” to pals. It’s an easy way to send a few words to someone to let them know that you’re thinking about them and you hope that they’re having a great day. You can also text someone a phone number they need, an address, etc. but more and more I find that some of my pals want to have entire conversations via texting and that gets on my nerves like there’s no tomorrow. Thus I find it more than necessary to provide the world with four simple texting etiquette rules for those who don’t know any better – Don’t Get Me Started!

Before you even begin to pick up your thumbs to hit your cell phone’s keyboard I want you to stop and think for a moment. Ask yourself the following question – Is this too involved for a text message? If you’re texting someone to find out where they are in the mall or what time dinner is tonight, then it’s NOT too involved. If on the other hand you’re texting to find out what so and so said about this or that and what they thought about the world and its current economic situation, it’s too involved for a text message. Either write an email or here’s a novel idea, actually pick up that same phone that you were going to text with and dial the damn thing so that you can have an actual conversation with a person.

I also think there should be a limit on the back and forth of texting. That’s right, any more than four exchanges per person on a texting string is too much. So to all my pals out there, if you go over this limit don’t be surprised if you don’t get a response even if it your fifth text is, “And how do you clear someone’s air passage to do CPR?”

Texting while having a conversation with someone in person is also just damn rude. I can’t believe that people think that this is acceptable. They’re talking with you and suddenly you both hear that familiar sound that indicates that they’ve received a text message and before you know it, they’ve pulled out their phone and are texting all the while you’re trying to give them the details on something intimate that happened in your life. If you stop talking they tend to get offended and say something like, “What? It’s just that Ashley needed to know what Brad said today. Keep talking, I can listen and text at the same time.” No, you can’t. First of all, most people have the multi-tasking skills of an insect that only knows it needs to eat and die. No matter how much you think you can talk on your cell and drive without one or the other suffering or texting and talking to someone at the same time and the same, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.

Finally, stick to the abbreviations I can understand. I’ve oft written about my mother who thought that LOL meant, “Lots of Luck” in a sarcastic tone. She had no idea it meant, “Laughing Out Loud” and so her “LOL” would appear in the oddest places of emails and then texting. The abbreviations I understand are LOL and WTF? Other than that you’re going to have to take the time to actually text the full word please. You see, not all of us live every minute of every day on our phones texting or finding out what the latest phrase is so please don’t be surprised if your “NUD” reads to me as “Nude Uterus Deal” instead of “No You Didn’t” (which I only recently learned). True, the first one makes no sense but that’s exactly what some of your abbreviations mean to me…nothing, nonsense. It’s like reading the “clever” abbreviation someone put on their license plate – GR8FUL – Yeah, I’d be grateful if you all stopped trying to be so clever because in most cases, you’re anything but clever.

So let’s review, shall we?

1.       Is what you’re texting too involved for text messaging? If so, call the person instead

2.       No more than four exchanges on a text string of messages

3.       Don’t text while you’re having a face to face conversation with someone else

4.       Keep the abbreviations to a minimum

And those are four simple texting etiquette rules for those who don’t know any better – Don’t Get Me Started!

Read More Scott @


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Marcus Ochoa 8 years ago

      You've hit it right on the head Scott, I've got one to add. I've noticed more and more people on the rode look straight down and typing on thier phones, come on, this is crazy! We'll soon see that texting while driving is more dangerous than drunk driving. No more texting and driving.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hey -- there's an idea for a hub! A call to bring back Jiminy Cricket!!! Like Tony Bennett, JC could get a whole new generation of fans!!!

      Seriously, I do hope you are publishing this in lots of places so you get lots of views. I'm going to make it required reading for my son. LOL. Like there's ever "required" anything with that boy!

    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 8 years ago from Las Vegas

      MM, I'm all for it...or better yet, why can't some newspaper (oops, they're dying) or some morning show let me do the morning segment?

      As with most things in life, it's common sense stuff but few understand or care to listen to Jiminy Cricket who is planted firmly on my shoulder but for no generation after that I'm afraid.


    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      SLIS, I think you are well on your way to becoming the Emily Post of the digital era! This is common sense and common courtesy. And yet so many people violate all of these every day!

      I have reluctantly become a texter because that is the only way I can engage my teen in any form of communication. However, since my native milieu is email, I tend to run off at the thumbs. Many times I've sent a 2-page text and realized (too late) I could have left a voice message in 1/4 the time.

      The multitasking rule is great (or would that be gr8?) too. You wouldn't answer a cell phone call while in the middle of a face-to-face conversation. What makes anyone think texting is any less rude!!!? Personally, I think it's MORE rude because I can't read what my little darling is saying to his friend when he's texting right in front of my nose.

      I don't know how you do this, but I would like to propose that you get your texting etiquette rules included in the boxes of every new cell phone/blackberry!

      Cheers. MM

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      So true as it is funny! Can't imagine life without texting - for better or for worse. Thanks for sharing this :D