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|Lauren Hostert • 6/11/15|
More and more, texting is taking the place of traditional voice-to-voice calling. It’s convenient, you can respond without having to walk outside to take a phone call, and it feels more casual since you can avoid the perfunctory niceties of a typical call. Many of us are glad to skip that weird thing where someone says “How are you?” and you respond “nothing much.” Here are a few tips to keep your social graces intact in a brave new world where important conversations can take place on the potty.
When you set out to text someone, you hit send with the understanding that you may be catching the person at a bad time. That’s part of what makes it so convenient. If the other person is driving or at work, it’s easy for them to wait a few minutes for a better time to check their phone. That being said, it’s pretty transparent when you’re waiting three hours to respond, worried you might appear too eager.
If you’re over the age of 13, you don’t need to wait 24 hours to respond to a text message. It’s pretty rare that a person becomes incapacitated or suddenly becomes insanely busy with a flock of other pretty ladies, and instead of making yourself seem allusive, it can come off as insecure. It’s OK if it makes you feel better to give yourself a 15-minute buffer between messages, but don’t drag out what should be a 10-minute conversation into a eight-hour affair.
If you have a cell phone that was made after Justin Timberlake went solo, it probably has spell check. Use it. No one is expecting you to have your text messages professionally proof read, but they should reflect the fact that you are an intelligent adult and not a guest blogger for Seventeen Magazine. It can sometimes be difficult to convey the proper tone in 140 characters, so the occasional emoticon or “lol” is OK. Just make sure to use them sparingly. Also, it takes one second longer to spell out “your” instead of “ur.” This isn’t AOL Instant Messenger.
While the fairer sex may be more guilty of this, if you need to have a serious conversation or convey a long bit of information, you need to pick up the phone and call. A lot of phones will truncate messages after 140 characters and split the remaining text into separate messages. These messages are often delivered out of order. Don’t turn important conversations into “The DaVinci Code.” If you need to tell someone something that important, just call them and say it. You may have to pull the car over or budget out your lunch break, but sometimes you just have to give Alexander Graham Bell his props.