It’s completely normal to see someone sending a message through their mobile phone at any given time. It can be seen happening everywhere and done by those of all ages. The convenience of sending a message instead of calling is what makes it so popular and why that popularity is growing daily. But there are a few rules of SMS etiquette to keep in mind so that common courtesy is not forgotten.
It can be frustrating to receive a message and have no clue what it means. This is a common problem, especially since many try drastic shorthand to keep the length and cost of the text to a minimum. But this radical shorthand isn’t always appropriate and unless you are under the age of seventeen, most likely unreadable. Let the younger generation have their shorthand and send age appropriate messages to those you communicate with.
Don’t get upset if a reply doesn’t come immediately after you send a message. Remember that not everyone has their phone on them constantly or that they may be in the middle of things. If you don’t receive a reply, it is not acceptable to send the same text over and over trying to invoke one. If it is that important that you talk, then a phone call is needed.
Nothing can be more irritating than trying to spend time with friends who seem to be glued to their phones, having conversations with others instead of you. The same goes with sending messages. It is considered rude to sit and type messages to others while in the company of friends. When a text must be sent, do it in private and make it brief.
This is an informal way of communicating and some people seem to forget that. It is never appropriate to use texts as a form of conducting important business, making formal invitations, or talking about critical life issues. Breaking up with a girlfriend or boyfriend with a text message is flippant and callous, even if that is not the intentions. Keep those important conversations for a face-to-face conversation or through a phone call.
Think about the number of texts you send a day to the same person. Texting is simple and convenient, but that simplicity can get out of hand if it is abused. Chatting with someone through texts is considered a conversation just like a phone call, so use that to judge if you are overtexting or not. If you would have to replace each of your text sessions with a phone call, would that add up to more calls than you would normally make in one day to the same person? If yes, then you are overtexting.
Being able to send a message home, to friends, or in to work quickly is a convenience that many love and now can’t live without. It is easy, simple, and cheaper than a phone call in most cases. But it is also easy to throw common courtesy out the window and forget your manners, which is why a few simple SMS rules of etiquette need to be remembered to keep this convenience an enjoyable one.