AngelaJossy's Blog

Jun. 28, 2008 at 5:13pm

Etiquette in the modern world

Text messaging do's and don'ts

I'm a digital girl from way back. I'm always looking for the latest greatest gadget. I'm currently rockin' T-Mobile's Sidekick III. I purposely got a phone that has a full keyboard so I can type quickly and easily. I love the fact that I can text message my friends wherever they are and get a quick answer. I like the fact that it takes less time and obligatory small talk than phone calls. I can cut to the chase and be done with the matter in seconds. I like the fact that even if I'm in a pissy mood, I can communicate without anyone realizing it by my tone of voice. (I have the philosophy that bad moods are contagious so its best to keep one's crap-day outlook to one's self).  

But some people are just not down with text messaging. Some phones don't lend themselves well to texting (like numbers-only keypads). Another problem is some people don't have unlimited text messaging and do not appreciate having to pay extra because someone sent them an unsolicited text message. I heard someone say recently that everyone has unlimited text these days but I'm skeptical.

Recently I've started receiving what I'm sure are group messages (one message sent to multiple people). Usually its from someone I know and it doesn't bother me because its usually breaking news or an invite that I'm glad to get. The other day though I got a spam message. It was something about stock options or some crap. That made me mad. Then I got a chain mail text from someone yesterday. That made me furious. I hate chain mail with a fiery passion. If you are my friend, why would you send me a cursed message? If you don't believe in that nonsense then don't send it. If you do believe in it, what the hell kind of friend are you if you pass it off onto me? Either way its insulting. 

So my question is this, should we establish some text message rules of etiquette? 

Should you establish permission with someone before you text message them? Or has it become common enough that you feel as comfortable texting someone as you do calling or emailing them?  (I generally feel comfortable texting anyone under age 30 because I assume they are text message fluent.)

Is text messaging basically an informal only form of communication - like something between friends but not with a business associate or client? 

Is it rude to advertise something via mass text-mailing?

comments [12]  |  posted under cell phones, etiquette, Tacoma, text messaging


by tacomachickadee on 6/28/2008 @ 6:01pm
Well, I can at least vouch that mot everyone has unlimited text messaging. My plan has only 200 per month.

by Mandiferous on 6/28/2008 @ 10:27pm
I'm seriously thinking about switching to unlimited texting. I think I have around 500 messages a month and occasionally I have run over because I use texting as my main form of communication. It's convenient, people can answer when they're ready instead of ignoring your call and sending you to voice mail. You don't have do deal with unnecessary pleasantries

"Hi, it's _____."
"Oh hi! How are you?"
"I'm good. How are you?"
"I'm good."
"So... what's up?"
"Not much...... "(finally gets around to the point)

Totally unnecessary when all you need to know is what time you're supposed to meet them somewhere.

I love text messaging. But I agree with you that chain mail texts are highly inappropriate. If you want to tell someone you appreciate them, great. Pass it on. Just delete the part that says "Send this to ten people you appreciate in the next 10 minutes or something bad will happen to you."

by Heather on 6/29/2008 @ 10:10am
CHAIN MAIL TEXTS? Send one to me and see the rage.

Otherwise, text away. I have unlimited texts. I really appreciate direct, informative texts in lieu of a long rambling voicemail. I got a good one from Angela just yesterday (a text, not a rambling voicemail) and was thrilled to find that she is a texter.

by KevinFreitas on 6/29/2008 @ 11:42am
I don't have any included text messages in my basal cell contact and hate paying for the bloody things. Tho even with a numerical keypad my phone does a remarkable job guessing what I'm typing and I have grown used to texting a bit. Any kind of spam or chain letters would piss me off tho.

Texting should be used among friends to determine a specific fact or answer only. No conversations that go back and forth more than a few times. For that, since you're already ON a phone, call them already.

by fredo on 6/29/2008 @ 12:33pm
I'm not a texter but the use of digital devices does pose some etiquette issues, thanks for the topic Angela. If you're engaged in conversation with someone who's texting at the same time that seems a bit rude. If examined, most text conversations are nothing more than digital drivel, barely worth the effort to send or recieve.

by AP on 6/29/2008 @ 1:10pm
Computers, cell phones, hands-free android face earpieces, facebook, twitter, text messaging.... it's all the same. The (slacking) majority will always follow the same path: initial scoffing, followed by tolerance, followed by participation.

I've learned not to mock or browbeat new technologies, for I always end up tucking my tail and joining the fray anyway. It is useless to resist the inevitable.

Obviously, any chain mail is fucked, no matter where it comes from or how it's delivered. I'm sure we can all agree on that one.

by ensie on 6/30/2008 @ 12:04am
I recently picked up a new phone - a smart phone - and have started texting more often as it's just faster for quick messages relating to meeting someone for dinner or the like. It's very convenient. In fact, I'm using it now. I decided to go with the unlimited texting package just in case. I can't say that I'm in the habit of inspecting other people's text messages, so I can't say if it's "drivel."

by fredo on 6/30/2008 @ 10:47am
AP and Ensie@ My apologies. Upon reflection I think I have misstated my actual opinion on texting. As you both pointed out, this is a fabulous and valuable technology and I can see that properly used it can greatly enhance communication. Perhaps I will even be a participant

My perspective is tempered by the fact that I have had to pay for teenager's text messaging. To the extent that I am held financially responsible for someone elses texting, I will be occasionally inspecting the messages to evaluate the value of the service. Most of what I've seen (again, teenagers communications, not adult) is unworthy of being generated. If someone's paying their own bill, they can text message the King James bible as far as I'm concerned.

Again, sorry for the posting which I now realize was a little off the mark.

by AP on 6/30/2008 @ 11:03am
Not off the mark at all! Has anybody tried to call and have text messaging disabled completely from their phone? Will they even do that? I agree having to pay for something you cannot control is bogus.. what if somebody decided to send you 10,000 text messages and you didn't have an unlimited plan? You would really be stuck paying out the ass for nothing? I have unlimited texting (that I don't really utilize) but if I didn't, I would want the service shut off completely.

by ensie on 6/30/2008 @ 5:58pm
Fredo, I believe you will find the below story about my sister interesting:

See My Sister, The Idiot.

by jcbetty on 6/30/2008 @ 6:12pm
Yeah, when I first had a text-enabled phone, I was getting about 5 texts a week from The Loft telling me about bubble parties and random crap, all because I inadvertently gave them my phone number (hoping not to be solicited at home) in order to get their phone number from the 'web. I was pissed, once I got my bill, to note I was charged for their drivel.

I'm not a big text-er, because I talk. I talk long. I am the original minutes thief. Not alot better, I'll admit; now that I, like Ensie, have a smart phone, I find my emails to be more brief, and my texts (when sent) more terse.

--I think, like cyber-sex in the early days, etiiquette for texting exists, through the questions, "do you text?" --People are wither into it, or not. You don't even have to say no-- just don't respond, and eventually the stuff goes away. --Past that, I think the etiquette question could go on with cells... How many meals/conversations have you had interrupted by people looking deeply into the phone's (rather than your) eyes?

by fredo on 6/30/2008 @ 7:32pm
Ensie@ thanks for the link. I can appreciate the parents displeasure.