Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

January 24, 2013

AROUND THE TOWN: 10 ways to be a better texter

By Jan Boston Sellers
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — Texting has become, for most of us, the most convenient way to communicate with our friends, family and even business associates. It is fast, easy, immediate and mobile. We can send a text from virtually anywhere, receive it anywhere and reply from anywhere without being too disruptive to others. But, are we following “texting etiquette?” Or, in other words, are we being polite to the people we text?

If you receive a phone call, whether it is on a landline or a cellular device, most of us answer with a “hello” and end with a “good bye.” Texting, however, isn’t always that polite or considerate. I seldom get a text that says “Hey, Jan” or “Hi, Jan.” It normally begins with the content of the text. This for me is not problematic unless, of course, the text comes from someone not in my phone’s contacts and I am left wondering who originated the text. This puts the burden on me to ask from whom it came. Secondly, and more aggravating to me, is when I am not sure if I am finished texting with someone because they just stop. I assume after a few minutes of waiting for a reply they must be finished. I don’t always do it either, but I think it must be more polite to end our texts with “talk to you later” or “see you then” or “have a good day.”

I started wondering if there are specific rules of etiquette for texting. My internet research indicates there are some hard and fast rules for sending SMS messages. They include:

1. You should text as if you were face to face or having a phone conversation. Be polite and never text what you wouldn’t say face to face or over the phone.

2. You should be aware of your tone in a text as it can indicate frustration or anger, particularly with someone who doesn’t know you very well. Text tones are often difficult for the receiver to discern.

3. Never text while driving.

4. Never ignore a text unless it is from a stalker. If you are too busy at the moment, reply when you have time.

5. Be conscientious of other people’s schedules. No early morning or late night texting is appropriate. Just because you are up, doesn’t mean your recipient is.

6. Do not text extensively when you are face to face with other people at lunch, dinner, etc. This is basically telling the other person they aren’t as important as the person you are continually texting.

7. Do not, as I call it, practice “toasted texting.” Texting while inebriated may bring some unwanted consequences just as “drunk dialing” does.

8. If you are single, never ever, ever break up with someone via text. Ever.

9. Do not text in all CAPS. It indicates yelling.

10. Never reply with just a “K.” “Ok” is only one more letter and one more stroke of the keyboard.

***

Crab Orchard Elementary School has named its 2013 superlatives for the eighth-grade class. The title of Mr. and Miss Crab Orchard went to Spencer Pugh and Sammie Kemmer. Jared Debord and Jasmine Brown were voted as Most Intelligent. Josh Scholtz and Mackenzie Callahan were elected as Most Likely to Succeed. Ben Bowman and Bella Davis were Best Dressed. Devin Garcia and Johnie Stokes were Wittiest. Dylon Dishman and Brittney Brun were Most Athletic. Jas Kemmer and Cheyanne Graf were Most School Spirited and Kaleb Stephens and Tanatta Eiammutita “Stamp” were named Most Artistic.