Texting is one of the most highly used methods of communication in our society. While it started as a brief messaging system to tide us over until we had the chance to talk in person, it has now become a very significant part of our everyday lives.
Many people are always texting someone, whether it’s a friend, family member, or lover. And as texting has become much more common, a set of rules has emerged that help us to understand what we should and shouldn’t be doing when it comes to this form of communication.
While some rules regarding texting applied from the beginning, and still apply today, others are a little outdated now. Texting is something that is always evolving, so some of the old rules no longer make sense. And there are now new rules to follow before we hit send.
Although there are some rules to think about, texting doesn’t have to be completely serious and rigid. There are some rules that should be treated more like guidelines to take into consideration rather than laws that must be followed at all costs.
Here are ten texting rules we should never break, and ten that just don’t matter.
20 Always Use Proper Grammar And Punctuation
If you can, try to use proper grammar and punctuation in your text messages. This is especially the case if you’re talking to someone like your boss, but it’s important when talking to pretty much anyone. When it comes to modern dating, a lack of understanding of basic English is a turn off for most people.
Texting is far more common now than it was before, and because we use it so often, it’s important to make our texts as readable as possible. Nobody’s going to come for you if you make a mistake here and there, but generally, make sure your words are legible to an English speaker.
19 It Doesn’t Matter: How Long It Takes To Respond
Some people try to follow rules about when to respond to messages they’ve received. Where dating is concerned, people might think that they’re more unreachable if they wait a certain amount of time before responding to a text. But we don’t think this rule is too important.
Rather than timing the spaces between your responses to the millisecond, you should focus on being as natural as possible. When you see a text, reply to it. If you don’t have time to say exactly what you want, wait 'til you do. Unless you always make people wait for days, it shouldn’t be too much of a big deal.
18 Never Double-Text (Or Heaven Forbid, Triple-Text)
There is a common rule that says you should avoid double-texting and triple-texting, and in most cases, we would say to respect this rule! Unless you’re texting your mom (in front of whom you can look as needy and desperate as you want and she’ll still love you anyway), it’s a good idea to wait until you’ve got a response before you send another text.
Sometimes there’s no other option, like if you’re in the middle of an emergency, but we wouldn’t make a habit out of double-texting. It can be really irritating to the person receiving the messages. And if they haven’t seen your first one, a second one will make no difference.
17 It Doesn’t Matter: Who Texts First
Another issue that people get worked up about is texting first. Everyone has their own rule for who should text first and when, but generally speaking, we don’t think this matters too much. Although it feels good to be chased, we say that if you want to text someone else, you should just text them.
There’s no point in really wanting to speak to someone yet missing out because they haven’t texted you first. Obviously, if you’re always texting the same person first and they never reciprocate, you might start to feel differently about wanting to text them in the first place.
16 Don’t Ring Someone Who Wants To Be Texted
Ringing and texting are not the same thing, and just because someone is happy to talk to you over text does not mean that they will be happy to talk to you over the phone. That’s why you should always check before ringing someone if your conversations up until that point have been over text.
A lot of people experience anxiety over talking on the phone, which has been made worse by the fact that we don’t do it as often as we used to. Sometimes it’s just easier to ring and say what you need to, but we wouldn’t recommend ringing a person who you know feels uncomfortable talking to you on the phone.
15 It Doesn’t Matter: If The Read Receipts Are On
There’s a lot of debate about whether or not to leave the read receipts on. In the context of a relationship, some couples ask that their partners leave this feature on so they can know when they genuinely haven’t had a chance to check their messages yet and when they’re choosing to ignore their messages.
But in our opinion, this is something that should be your decision and your decision alone. There’s no right rule to follow. Just because you’re dating someone does not mean that you have to turn your read receipts on. Alternatively, if you feel the need, it’s up to you if you want to leave them on read.
14 Try Not To Capitalize Everything
Apparently there are people who still do this! Capitals should only be used in rare circumstances. If something is really funny, there’s nothing wrong with writing, “HAHA!” Similarly, it’s common to say some expressions in capitals, like “LOL” or “OMG.” But that’s where it should stop. Try not to capitalize everything.
Remember that things come across differently over text from how you might want them to, and generally, capitals tend to give the impression that you’re angry or yelling. “I KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN!” is a lot more aggressive than “I knew this would happen.” Capitals just make us all look angry.
13 It Doesn’t Matter: If The Texts Are On The Longer Side
A lot of texting guides advise avoiding writing super long text messages. While we can agree to an extent, the reality is that texting has become a standard form of communication now. We don’t write letters anymore, and some people only use email in a professional setting and don’t get the chance to talk to people in person.
And talking on the phone tends to give many people anxiety. Plus, lots of people find it easier to convey what they really mean through writing rather than the spoken word. So if you have to send someone a really long text, then do it.
12 Pay Attention To The Other Person’s Schedule
It’s always polite to pay attention to the schedule of the person you’re texting. For example, if you’re communicating with someone overseas, don’t send a text unless you know what time it is over there. If you text in the middle of their night, you could risk waking them up.
Similarly, it’s better to wait until someone has finished work before you text, or they might feel like they have to stop what they’re doing to respond to you. Just being mindful of the other person’s schedule never does any harm and always shows what a considerate person you are!
11 It Doesn’t Matter: That Sarcasm Is Used
They say to never use sarcasm over text. And we understand why. Sarcasm can be really hard to pick up if you don’t have accompanying clues like the tone and facial expression. So when people do use sarcasm over text, it can be misinterpreted, which can lead to misunderstandings and arguments.
That said, the world is an evolving place. As Bustle reports, millennials have come up with ways to show that they’re using sarcasm when they communicate online and through text, whether it's adding extra punctuation marks or capitalizing certain letters, or even including an emoji or two.
10 Respond To People Who Deserve It
It may not matter how long it takes you to respond to someone, but if that person is worth your time, you should endeavor to respond at some stage. It’s about common courtesy and respect. To ignore someone over text lets them know that they’re not important to you (if you’re not angry with them).
Now, there are people you shouldn’t respond to. You never have to communicate with anyone you don’t want to. But if a person you care about on any level has texted you, the decent thing to do is respond. You don’t have to do it straight away, but try to remember to do it.
9 It Doesn’t Matter: That Not Getting A Reply Is Upsetting
A lot of online sources advise us not to be upset when our text messages go without any response, especially if they were texts to someone we’re romantically interested in. But we think it’s actually okay to be upset when the person you like doesn’t respond to your text. Not upset as in distraught or totally hurt, but just kind of disappointed.
After all, it takes less than a minute to respond. So if someone consistently ignores you over text, the chances are they just don’t care about you (which hurts!). The best thing to do is take the hint and move on, but you’re allowed to be disappointed.
8 Resist Texting The Ex
It is pretty much never a good idea to text your ex. In most cases, people text their exes out of habit, or because they’re bored, or because they miss them but know that getting back together isn’t a good idea. And if getting back together isn’t a good idea, it’s better to limit all communication with that person as much as possible.
The more often you talk to them, the higher the chance of them sucking you back in. If there are still feelings there and you do want to get back together, it might be a better idea to have that conversation in person.
7 It Doesn’t Matter: That Texting Slang Is Hard To Understand
You don’t have to become an expert on texting slang just because you’re texting a lot. Back in the day when texting was a rare thing, people didn’t have entire conversations over text the way they do now. It was understandable that they used slang because their messages were short, sharp, and shiny.
But now, many people say pretty much everything over text, and the truth is slang can be difficult to understand, especially because it’s changing all the time. You can play around with different slang terms in your texts, but don’t sweat it if you’re not up to speed on what ‘IKR’ means.
6 Texts Are Not The Right Way To Argue
Although texting is much more commonplace today than it has been in the past, we think there are still certain conversations that are better had in person or on the phone. Arguing, for example, is better to do in person. Texting is convenient and easy, but there is always a higher chance of someone misunderstanding what you’re saying when you communicate in this way.
In a conversation where there’s some tension already, and the stakes are a little higher, like in an argument, it’s better to keep things face to face. Plus, doing it in person rather than over text assures you that your argument isn’t being screenshotted.
5 It Doesn’t Matter: There’s Room For Emojis
Another texting rule that many people try to follow is a ban on emojis once you reach a certain age. Again, we think this is an evolving world, and emojis are now a lot more acceptable than they used to be. Heck, now we even have fully grown professionals with their very own Bitmojis!
Emojis don’t mean you’re uneducated and can’t carry on a conversation without help from pictures. They’re just a bit of fun! Plus, they can help to prevent any misunderstandings and add the tone that you want to your messages. ‘Hello’ plus a smiley face is different from ‘hello’ plus a full stop, for most people.
4 Don’t Text The Second After The Date Ends
We don’t think it matters who texts first in the dating game, and we don’t think it matters how long it takes you to respond. But one thing that does matter is texting after a date. This is the one time where you might want to think about how long it takes you to send a text.
If you text the second the date ends, just know that you look very enthusiastic. And to be honest, if someone likes you, that’s not going to completely turn them off. It’s just helpful to be aware that texting that quickly after a date is certainly a statement.
3 It Doesn’t Matter: If There Aren’t Texts Every Single Day
People tend to put a lot of focus on the importance of texts while they’re dating. There are even those who feel like their relationship is destined to end if there aren’t texts every single day. In the beginning of the courtship, there will probably be more texts than later on, since this is what’s known as the romantic honeymoon phase where you can’t get enough of each other.
But a break in texts isn’t a bad thing. While some people are chronic texters, others aren’t as glued to their phones. It doesn’t necessarily say anything about the state of your relationship.
2 Say The Important Things In Person, Not Through A Text
As fantastic as texting is, it will never convey certain emotions that flow from real-life conversations. Telling someone that you love them over text just doesn’t have the same ring to it as it does when you say it in person.
We would recommend saying anything a little more emotional, personal, or important to someone’s face, rather than sending it through a screen. Just because in times like those, the emotion that comes with it is important. And if you are saying something private, by telling someone to their face, you know that your message isn’t there as evidence for other eyes to read.
1 It Doesn’t Matter: If The Texts Are Just Because
Some texting rulebooks claim that it’s annoying to text someone just because. In our opinion, this depends on the person you’re texting. For example, it’s probably a bit weird to text your boss or a client just to see how they’re going, if you don’t already have that kind of relationship.
But there’s nothing wrong with sending casual messages like that to your friends, and especially to your love interest. When you're dating someone, it’s those little messages that are actually the most endearing because they show you want to talk to that person, even if you have nothing epic to say.
Sources: Life Hack, Love Panky, Bolde