Running late? Send a text. Can't talk right now, but your husband needs the grocery list? Send a text. Have a babysitter and going to the movies? Have them send a text.
But as text messaging became THE WAY to communicate, people started doing what people do. They got rude.
Let's stamp out the rudeness with a few simple etiquette rules.
1. Use the vibrate feature.
Everyone in the room (or the movie theater) does NOT need to know that you are getting a text!
2. Excuse yourself.
Except in court or during funerals, I do glance at incoming text messages. However, I excuse myself first.
Depending on the situation, excusing myself might take different forms.
In the movies (and only if the kids are with a sitter), I step out of the movies. (If my kids are with me, I turn off the phone completely.)
When in a meeting or teaching, I wait until a break, then turn away or step out and check briefly.
Talking to a friend, I wait until my turn to speak, and then say, "excuse me a moment."
Notice the focus is always on those with me, and not being rude to them, even though the text might be important.
Of course, if a baby is being born or a family member is in surgery, I excuse myself in advance.
"My sister is having her baby today. We are so excited. Please excuse me if I am more attached to my phone than usual."
3. Don't group text.
I don't want to know what every single one of your friends is wearing to the party!
TIP: Use Facebook messages (which can be muted) for group discussion.
4. Text back an acknowledgement - one time.
Here's the rule: Text > Reply > Thanks OR Text > Thanks.
There is no need to thank someone for a thanks!
That said, you do want to respond so they know you got the text.
5. Unless the person is expecting your text, don't text time sensitive information.
Yes, this means you will have to speak to someone on the phone.
THE HORROR! As I tell my kids, suck it up, buttercup.
6. If something is better done out loud, call instead of texting.
This is another suck it up situation.
7. Use a signature line.
Just like e-mail or an old-fashioned letter, there should be something to indicate who is sending the text. Sometimes, a phone doesn't pick up contact information.
I just use my initials.
Even my old Android phone allows me to set up a signature line.
Help me spread my message of Text Messaging Manners to the world by sharing on social media!