Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Text Messaging or SMS

I have had the opportunity to be in the company of many under 30 year olds recently. I love them, their energy, their enthusiasm for life, their spirit. What I am not so sure about is their penchant for communicating through their cell phone via text messaging. Now, I am not against text messaging, (txting) or SMS (short message service). I am against being interrupted in conversation by the "BEEP-BEEP" of the message notification received. Then, of course, like all of us, we feel the need to immediately pick up the phone, read the message and answer. After all, this is why people text, to have instant communication.
However, what it did to me is make me feel as if I should excuse myself and let them text away not to disturb them concentrating on how many times you click the number "1" to find the letter "c" and so on. Quite honestly I was offended that my company took such a low priority that the overwhelming desire to text interrupted any form of smooth communication we were engaging in.
When I had a moment I looked and of course, there are etiquette guides for texting. If you feel so inclined, pass this on...
1. Keep your phone on vibrate when in public or with someone.
2. Keep texting to a minimum at work or school. You are not paid or receive grades on how many texts you can answer in an hour.
3. Keep your texts short and sweet. Any texts over 100 characters (including spaces) should either be a call or an e-mail.
4. Be courteous and do not text someone at work. If communicating is a must, send a text similar to "Call me when you get a chance."
5. Be courteous of your reader's schedule. Don't text someone in the middle of the night.
6. Never send chains or forwards in text messages.
7. Do text on bus or train rather than call to keep your messages less intrusive to other passengers.
8. Don't text on serious matters. A face-to-face meeting will likely cause fewer misunderstandings.
9. Don't drink and text-you'll thank yourself in the morning.
10. Business texting is generally not a good way to conduct business.
11. Check the recipient's number before you hit "send". Your boss surely won't appreciate the love note you write your honey.
12. Don't be so obvious in screening calls.
13. Don't text when you're in the company of someone else. If someone invites you to a bar, restaurant or just to hang out and you are texting away, you are essentially saying, "This secret message is none of your business and is much more important than any of your conversation. It's rude.
14. Don't drive and text.

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