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Texting etiquette rules you’re probably breaking


Many students can relate to being bombarded by text messages during class. For many, as they wait for class to end to check those messages, they find the onslaught of text messages to be either from the same person asking ‘what’s up’ or using a superfluous amount of smiley faces and LOLs. While not everyone uses text messaging for the same reason, there are some unwritten guidelines that need to be written for how to keep the conversation going without the headache.


1. Less LOL:

Sometimes it seems people forget what ‘LOL’ stands for: laugh out loud. The beginning, middle and end of messages are often punctuated with the phrase, and when you read the message to yourself, you wonder if the person on the other end is really laughing with every new sentence — odds are, they probably aren’t.

When it’s clear that a joke has been made, LOL is not necessary. It will also seem less repetitive by mixing it up with the occasional “Haha” or “ROFL.”

2. Once is enough:

Everyone has had the experience of being in the middle of something and receiving a text message but deciding a response can wait. However, it doesn’t seem it can wait for the one texting and you receive another text message. And another. And another. Before you know it, your inbox is filled with messages from the same person.


“What’s up?”

“How are you?”

In the real world, this situation is comparable to that kid who sat behind you in elementary school that kept poking you in the back of the head because you wouldn’t turn around.

Don’t be that kid.

If someone isn’t answering and it’s important, it’s best to call and leave a voicemail if that person is still not answering. If it’s not important, put the phone down and try to catch up later.

3. So many emojis, one can build an army.

Smiley face, frowning face, cat face and even hospital buildings are among the cute little characters that have become famously known as emojis — those characters that make messages more colorful. While they’re fun to use, too many of them can be difficult on the eyes of the reader if there’s more of them than actual words.

One should also consider all these different emoticons. How many feelings really need to be conveyed at once? It’s fine to get creative — a quick Google search of “emoji stories” shows screenshots of messages others have made using mostly emojis to illustrate things such as the theme song to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and the life events of Miley Cyrus. That many icons are not necessary in an every day conversation, however.

Just like the LOLs, use emojis in moderation.

4. Don’t write novels via text:

On occasion, an innocent question to a friend about how he or she is doing can quickly result in what might as well be the length of required reading for a class.

Once the message has been completely looked over, a response is required of the other person, who may not know where to begin. Extremely long texts are fine when both people are doing it. They’re also OK when you don’t have any other way of communicating at the moment but have a lot to tell someone. For the most part though, if it’s just idle chitchat, save it for a phone call or a face-to-face conversation.

5. The dreaded one-word reply:

When text messages are flying back and forth between two people, sometimes the conversation comes to an abrupt stop due to what is commonly known as a one-word reply: Examples of this include messages such as “OK,” “Yeah” and “IDK.”

Everyone has done this at one point or another due to time constraints or in anticipation of the conversation’s end. The person on the receiving end of this message doesn’t know what to say next, because what kind of meaningful response can be given to an “OK” or an “IDK?” One might also question whether or not the other person wants the conversation to stop and if this is just the easiest way how.

If you’re the person on the receiving end of this message, don’t respond until they send you a more thought out message back. Most of the time, the other person is probably either busy or doesn’t want to text anymore. If you’re the person sending out the single-word texts, and that’s not what you’re trying to convey, up your conversational skills and make a complete sentence to keep the dialogue going.