Author Topic: Etiquette in a Text?  (Read 3510 times)

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Softly Spoken

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Etiquette in a Text?
« on: January 17, 2013, 08:03:44 PM »
Hey all,
I have been thinking recently about the challenges of navigating the newer ways of communicating - email and text messaging.
I seem to be in an interesting demographic in that I am fairly teach savvy, but I actually witnessed it's evolution instead of growing up with it like the newer generation. So I lived without a cell phone for a long time, then I got one "for emergencies." Now, I don't live and die by it but I would be quite put out if I left it at home.

I recently met a guy online (thought of putting this in the "dating" section but I think my etiquette question applies to other relationships). Until I met him, I was not a texter. Maybe one or two to my friend but that's it. He likes communicating by text and I don't mind it, but I have no idea what the etiquette is for texting - or if there is any! :-\

My biggest question when it comes to electronic communication is one of time: how soon should you respond and how soon should you expect an answer? If you can't answer right away, should you send a quick message saying as much? Or apologize for the delay when you finally answer? :-[
Expectations are mentioned often on this forum - what are people's expectations when they send and email or text? When should you apologize for not responding or responding late? What constitutes late, i.e. what is the "turnaround" for electronic communication?

Punctuality has always been an important aspect of etiquette, but the speed at which we are able to communicate these days makes it harder to gauge what is considered "late," and what is considered appropriate.

Any similar experiences/thoughts?
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katycoo

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Re: Etiquette in a Text?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 12:50:44 AM »
You get it when you get it.

I think if you can reply immediately, its nice to do so, but its on par with email.  You might not see it immediatley, and that's ok.  Normal people have patience and understand that.

MrsJWine

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Re: Etiquette in a Text?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2013, 01:06:48 AM »
When I text someone, I'm assuming they won't necessarily see it for quite a while. If I want to get a message to someone immediately, I call. Likewise, when I get a text, I respond when it's convenient. If someone needs to get a hold of me right away, they can call. I hate talking on the phone, but I do it when I have to.


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Yvaine

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Re: Etiquette in a Text?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2013, 08:22:22 AM »
I'd say within a day or so is what I usually do and expect.

Carotte

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Re: Etiquette in a Text?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2013, 08:44:15 AM »
If they work during the day then you could assume that they could read your text in the morning, at lunch and while getting off work, but that doesn't mean they'll have time to respond. Some people can read it anytime their phone rings, to check it's not work related, but they might not be allowed to, or won't, answer if it's not.
Unless you know they turn off their phone or mute them no text between 11pm and 7am (depending on the person, work schedule..).
I would expect an answer in between 24h.

Seraphia

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Re: Etiquette in a Text?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2013, 09:46:31 AM »
I'm with Carotte. 24 hours is a fair window for returning texts, unless it's something with a time context attached.

Example: "Hey, do we need anything from the store? I'm heading out in the next hour." Probably rude to return that text the next day.
"I saw this neat book - [picture]. Have you read it?" Fine to respond whenever it is that you get the chance.

My rule of thumb is - if I know you're working, I'd like a response soon, but I understand if you can't get to your phone until the end of the day or your lunch break. If I get a text, I assume the person sending it is un-busy enough to respond to more than one, since they texted me in the first place, unless they say specifically they can't talk now. (I can text at work, but I definitely prefer not to make phone calls) What I find rude is getting a text from someone, answering it with a question, and the person dropping off the face of the earth for 48 hours.
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bah12

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Re: Etiquette in a Text?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2013, 11:11:28 AM »
First, I don't think text messages are adequate methods of communication when you are trying to have a conversation.  When I send a text to someone, I don't expect that they will necessarily see it right away or respond right away.  I respond to text messages when I can.  I use texting more for short messages like "Here's the address of the restaurant"  "meet me at 7"  "are you doing anything Saturday?"  "I'm on my way".  Short messages that don't require a lot (if any) back and forth. 

So, in that regard, I do think that 24 hours is a good window. 

If you're talking to a guy that you are "dating", and having long text conversations vs. phone or in person conversations, I see this as a red flag (Not saying that's happening here).   Texting is not a good way to have the "get to know you" or "this is how my day went" or philisophical or whatever conversations.  That's what phone calls and dates are for. 

MrTango

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Re: Etiquette in a Text?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2013, 11:30:51 AM »
I don't subscribe to any particular rule that says how long I have to respond to a text (or personal phone call, or personal email, for that matter).

I'll check my phone when I want to, and if I want to respond to a text, I'll do so.

My phone is on silent more often than not.

blarg314

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Re: Etiquette in a Text?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2013, 10:42:10 PM »

I'd say 24 hours is probably a good time line.

But there are big differences in personal texting style - a lot of people use texting as a chat mechanism, for conversation. Other people (like me) don't.

So if you keep sending out chatty texts, and get responses 24 hours later, then it's probably not useful to try to communicate that way. And if you're getting chatty texts you don't want to respond to, then it's worth mentioning to the other person that you would prefer phone-calls/email for conversations, and texts for short messages.

One consideration is the type of phone. Texting from a smart phone or phone with a keyboard is much easier than doing so from a numeric keypad. I want to type as little as possible from my stupid phone, so I may see the text, but respond later when I'm somewhere that I can send an email from a computer with a keyboard.


Yvaine

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Re: Etiquette in a Text?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2013, 10:47:19 PM »
First, I don't think text messages are adequate methods of communication when you are trying to have a conversation.  When I send a text to someone, I don't expect that they will necessarily see it right away or respond right away.  I respond to text messages when I can.  I use texting more for short messages like "Here's the address of the restaurant"  "meet me at 7"  "are you doing anything Saturday?"  "I'm on my way".  Short messages that don't require a lot (if any) back and forth. 

I use it both for that and for silly asides that don't necessarily require a response--basically, the kind of thing to which the most intuitive response might be "LOL." It's annoying to have long deep conversations via text, though I might feel differently if I had a better phone with a better keypad and screen so it felt more like email.

Rhindle

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Re: Etiquette in a Text?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2013, 09:30:04 PM »
First, I don't think text messages are adequate methods of communication when you are trying to have a conversation.  When I send a text to someone, I don't expect that they will necessarily see it right away or respond right away.  I respond to text messages when I can.  I use texting more for short messages like "Here's the address of the restaurant"  "meet me at 7"  "are you doing anything Saturday?"  "I'm on my way".  Short messages that don't require a lot (if any) back and forth. 

So, in that regard, I do think that 24 hours is a good window. 

If you're talking to a guy that you are "dating", and having long text conversations vs. phone or in person conversations, I see this as a red flag (Not saying that's happening here).   Texting is not a good way to have the "get to know you" or "this is how my day went" or philisophical or whatever conversations.  That's what phone calls and dates are for.

bah12, I think text messaging is perfectly fine for conversations. I'd rather text the conversation than have it via phone. However, I have a big tablet with a touch keyboard. If someone was limited to T9 input on a cell phone, I would respect that and limit the texting to "when and how do we get together next." Ditto for anyone who has texting limits. So I don't see this as a red flag. Nor rude, if both parties like to text.

Allyson

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Re: Etiquette in a Text?
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2013, 12:10:03 PM »
I'm a big texter, but I never expect someone else to do it. I will have text conversations with people I know enjoy it. I'll occasionally send out funny texts to my friends, and the ones who respond with something longer than just 'that was funny!' I will keep messaging them back and forth. If someone doesn't reply or gives a short reply, I honestly don't think about it too much.  Some people absolutely loathe texting, others send hundreds a day. I think if you're dating someone, it might be good to talk to them about it and make sure you guys are on the same page (screen?).

I send my boyfriend a text from work every day around the same time (on my break) and he'll reply. I'll also text him once when I'm off work. I never really thought about this much, he always replies, and it doesn't tend to turn into a long conversation. Sometimes I worried it was annoying him. But one day my phone died and so I never sent them, and he told me he really missed hearing from me at that time of day.

Yvaine

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Re: Etiquette in a Text?
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2013, 12:29:36 PM »
First, I don't think text messages are adequate methods of communication when you are trying to have a conversation.  When I send a text to someone, I don't expect that they will necessarily see it right away or respond right away.  I respond to text messages when I can.  I use texting more for short messages like "Here's the address of the restaurant"  "meet me at 7"  "are you doing anything Saturday?"  "I'm on my way".  Short messages that don't require a lot (if any) back and forth. 

So, in that regard, I do think that 24 hours is a good window. 

If you're talking to a guy that you are "dating", and having long text conversations vs. phone or in person conversations, I see this as a red flag (Not saying that's happening here).   Texting is not a good way to have the "get to know you" or "this is how my day went" or philisophical or whatever conversations.  That's what phone calls and dates are for.

bah12, I think text messaging is perfectly fine for conversations. I'd rather text the conversation than have it via phone. However, I have a big tablet with a touch keyboard. If someone was limited to T9 input on a cell phone, I would respect that and limit the texting to "when and how do we get together next." Ditto for anyone who has texting limits. So I don't see this as a red flag. Nor rude, if both parties like to text.

Yeah, I really think this is a big factor. I have an annoying little phone with the 9-key pad, and so even with the predictive word thing it takes a while to type a message. If a conversation starts showing signs of getting long, I'll call so it won't take 3 hours to have it. But on the nicer phones, I really do think it's more like email, and I've certainly had long, serious email exchanges in relationships that discussed real issues, etc. I think if both people like texting and if both people have the technology to text without it being a PITA, it's not a problem at all. I just don't do it myself because of what I can affectionately my "dumbphone."

Clarissa

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Re: Etiquette in a Text?
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2013, 03:03:59 PM »
I have a iphone. When I text someone that also has a iphone, my phone will let me know when the text is read. I admit when I know someone has read my text, but not replied, it annoys me a little. Sometime I start to wonder if they are ignoring me on purpose and what I may have done to upset that person. Having said that, I know that is my problem! If I don't know that my text has been read, it doesn't bother me as long as they get back to me eventually! I don't always reply to texts immediately but I do try not to read the ones from iPhones if i'm not going to reply straight away!

Mr NiceGuy

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Re: Etiquette in a Text?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2013, 02:52:12 PM »
Texts are a slightly more immediate form of electronic communication when compared to email.  They're still electronic though, and as many have said urgent matters are why we have that phone in our pockets to begin with.

Someone will respond to a text when they see it and if they want to respond.  If they're generally flaky it might be a while and I should decide whether or not I want to continue communicating with that person period.  That has much less to do with my message being a text and much more to do with the courtesy of giving any question a timely response.