Posted: Apr 17, 2012 6:59 PM
Texting is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, but did you ever notice that some people are just really bad at it? Texting is a casual way to reach out to friends, but there are certain unwritten rules that everyone should understand.

Take stock of your texting habits and make sure you’re avoiding these five texting no-nos.

Don’t be rude

You’re having a face-to-face conversation with someone when your cell phone alerts you to a new text message. Do you:

    • A) ignore it until you’ve ended your conversation?
    • B) read and respond to the text while continuing your conversation?
    • C) turn your back on the conversation to tend to the text?

The correct answer is A, of course, but do you always abide by it? Real-life conversations should always take precedence over incoming texts. Checking your messages indicates to the person you’re with that he or she is less important than the individual who sent the text.

Don’t cave to texting interruptions. Before dealing with the new message, take a few moments to politely end your face-to-face conversation.

Avoid the disappearing act

Think about it: When you talk to someone face-to-face, you end it with a "good-bye," a "see ya later" or a "talk to you soon." Texting needs the same kind of closure.

You and a friend are texting back and forth until she suddenly and unexpectedly stops. Did you text something to offend her? Did she have to tend to an emergency?

Make sure you don’t leave your texting partner hanging. Before moving on to something else, take a moment to text a farewell message of some sort. Finality is meaningful even in the informal texting arena.

Be careful what you put in writing

When you make a phone call or talk to someone in person, your words go into the other person’s ear. When you text something, however, you have no idea who else may see your end of the conversation. Use caution when texting. Once you’ve put something in writing, it’s easily forwarded to a third party (or several third parties!).

Rule of thumb: If you don’t want someone to read it, then don’t write it. And the reverse applies too: Don’t forward someone else’s text messages without permission.

Practice volume control

We’ve all been annoyed by rude people who talk loudly on their cell phones. Well, it’s just as annoying sitting next to a noisy texter.

If you’re a chronic texter, keep your alert and keypad volumes turned down. Texting is a back-and-forth thing, and you don't want to subject everyone around you to your repetitive annoying ringtone and beeping buttons.

Mind your p’s and q’s — literally

Texting has a language all its own, and not all of us are fluent in it. Text code works only if everyone involved understands it. You may be able to OMG, IKR and TTYL your BFF, but avoid using acronyms and text talk with those less in-the-know.

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