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15 Do’s & Don’ts of Texting- Unwritten Rules of New-Age Communication



We are back to the “NEW NORMAL”. The College kids are back to their College homes and their College lives and the youngest is once again – an “only”. The house is quiet, and it will take a week or so to find where I left off mid-December but it was all worth it. THE BREAK WAS JUST LONG ENOUGH  to lull me into feeling as if they lived here once again. We had even begun to get into some semblance of a rhythm and then BAM – game over. So I plug away.


TEXTING has become the primary form of communication across the generations. But do WE, OF ALL AGES,  COMPOSE AND READ A TEXT THE SAME? Being an old Fart, I used to think of a TEXT as simply a smaller version of an EMAIL or letter or a transcribed version of a Phone call….I was so very wrong – ALL FORMS OF COMMUNICATION ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL!

I asked my daughter (age 18)  to DEMYSTIFY the RULES OF TEXTING for me and the result was so helpful that  she has given me permission to share these “tips” with YOU! ENJOY!!!

careful, lest you be misunderstood…


15 Do’s & Don’ts of Texting- Unwritten Rules of New-Age Communication

Whether these tips are for you in texting others directly or for better understanding the way your teenager operates, it can never hurt to know how to construct a message!

  1. Keep in mind when texting, especially if it is going to a millennial, traditionally known rules of emailing in a professional context, (ex. No exclamation points, periods at the end of a sentence, etc), do NOT carry over into text! Because emotions cannot be conveyed over text, it is super important that you make sure to be clear about the tone of what you’re saying.
  2. Never send just “k” unless it is a very understood part of your texting relationship.
  3. This one should be pretty self-explanatory bc it is the same in person, but even with the best intentions behind it saying “thanks a lot” will almost ALWAYS be taken sarcastically
  4. “Bc” means because, nvm means never mind, etc. There really isn’t a right or wrong when it comes to abbreviating, just kind of go off of the vibe you’re getting from the person on the other end!
  5. Smiley faces always make everything sound nice 🙂
  6. Although it is a damn shame because they are so adorable, winky faces are always creepy to some extent 🙁 That being said, sometimes it just has to be done! If this is the case, it’s normally safer to go with the emoji versus just ;).
  7. Not really feeling typing them out here but beware that almost all fruit emojis have some kind of sexual connotation… so maybe just google that one.
  8. Ending something with “…” makes it seem like you’re mad or about to break up with them
  9. If you are the type of person who doesn’t respond right away to texts (no shame, we all have lives and stuff going on- YGG) might be safer to turn off your “read” receipts so it doesn’t seem like you are blatantly ignoring anyone!
  10. Going back to #1, exclamation points are great for expressing enthusiasm and sometimes are a must to make sure something doesn’t seem sarcastic.
  11. This one should be fairly obvious, but let’s face it… sometimes there are just things that are easier to say when you’re not having to do it face to face. That being said, anytime there is a message that need to be preceded by “we need to talk…” than chances are you DO need to talk- NOT text! Unless you’re looking to induce an anxiety attack on someone, then starting a message that way would be a great weapon of choice.
  12. This little rule I like to call “The Crossover Effect.” While this may not seem to be relevant in the lives of people who are under the age of 17, you’d be surprised how much it may have an effect on you with the changing world of technology. Nowadays, people have multiple forms of social media and likely get notified of all of them at once. Because of this, it is important to be aware of your internet surroundings. For example, if your SO, friend, boss, etc is texting you and you aren’t able to respond right away, be careful to not respond immediately to a text in a group chat they may be in or like their instagram photo! People know that people have lives to live and real life things to do outside of sitting on their phone, but it’s harder to explain why you avoided a text when they know you were right there all along!
  13. Again may seem obvious but always a good idea to double check who you are sending a message to in almost every scenario!
  14. If you have an IPhone or other type of smartphone, keep in mind that people can see when you are typing! If you are having a very intense or high tension conversation over text which would require a longer text with a lot of editing, it may be a better idea to type it in your notes first or another part of your phone before copying and pasting it to send to the intended recipient! This also prevents you from sending before the message is done and all ready to send with a pretty ribbon on top!
  15. One final parting piece of advice that is more just a deep thing I want to take this opportunity to say. With texting and emailing and online communication so easily accessible and quick, it is important to remember that there is a human being on the other end of that line. Ask questions, show interest, and above all, keep in mind that it is possible to talk for hours and not actually say anything! And I know you’ve all got something great to say, so don’t let it get overshadowed by the norms of online communication!

XX- Phoebe

THANK YOU PHOEBE!!!! Friends,  feel free to share away!

THIS HAS HELPED ME IMMEASURABLY especially when it comes to texting my kids….


1 thought on “15 Do’s & Don’ts of Texting- Unwritten Rules of New-Age Communication

  1. This has been helpful! Thanks to Phoebe! (I like the idea of constructing a reply in notes before sending – very smart : ).

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