Texting Etiquette


Text messaging is a wonderful thing. It allows all of us to avoid that awful nonsense of using your telephone to actually talk to people.  Texting lets us have conversations with people in situations where calling is impossible (work, a loud bar, while your date is in the bathroom). They are also a great way to augment your game with the opposite sex. Flirting via text message is a sacred art, and gives guys the opportunity to make use of those smiley faces that in any other context would clearly be the gayest thing ever. While text messages have tremendously improved the quality of my life, the downside is that too many idiots in the world have no clue about proper texting etiquette. Our discussion today will involve the do’s and don’ts of text messaging, so you can avoid being a huge tool that drives everyone insane.

Some Texting Do’s

  • It is totally acceptable, if not encouraged, to send text messages while you’re at work. It allows you to actually get some shit done while you’re telling your friend how much you want to bang the IT girl (true story). For some reason I enjoy receiving text messages at work much more than while I’m at home. The key is to maintain a five minute rule between sending and receiving texts so as to maximize your job productivity.
  • When you’re out at the bar with your friends, texting at least occasionally during the evening is actually an important part of maintaining your social status. Your stock with potential bangs will boost as they will view you as a person with a lot of friends (and one whose love is sought after by other girls). Just don’t go overboard with it…you want to look socially connected, not like Mr. Douchey iPhone Guy.
  • Use texting to maintain flirt contact with girls you are pursuing. It’s a great way to keep you fresh in their minds without being the psycho guy who calls the very next day (and the day after that). A corollary to this is the post-date text. This is an essential part of proper courtship in this day and age, and is a perfect way to gauge how much the girl wants you. The post-date text usually occurs immediately upon both parties returning home, when the alcohol mixed with that great line you ended the night with really starts to sink in. She’ll probably say something about having a great time that night, followed by some allusion to future sex if you have played your cards right.
  • Please text me if a quick clarification or confirmation of plans is necessary. Don’t waste my time by calling me twice in thirty minutes. Girls do this all the time and it drives me nuts.
  • DEFINITELY text that booty call on the late night. There’s nothing like the offer to “watch a movie” at 2:30 in the morning, which both parties willingly agree to with the unspoken understanding that the proposed activity is a complete crock of shit. Consequently, I’ve watched the first ten minutes of Mr. Deeds approximately thirty-seven times (I have no idea why this movie is my go-to for drunk hookups). I’m pretty sure that the late night booty call message is why texting was invented in the first place.

Some Texting Don’ts

  • For the love of god please stop texting throughout the entire movie that I paid six thousand dollars to go see. Guess what, that little light that your stupid phone gives off every time you open your phone is incredibly distracting. If someone calls you while you are in a movie, you are permitted to send ONE text message to say “I’m in a movie” or something to that effect. That’s it, just one, ladies and gentlemen.
  • This is for the girls out there: if I’m buying you dinner, put the god damn phone away. Seriously. There is nothing more irritating than when a girl texts throughout an entire evening of dinner and drinks. The old “never answer your phone during dinner” rule has been around for decades and for the most part is still in effect. Texting is no different, put the fucking phone away, you texting whore.
  • Never, EVER, ask a girl to hang out for the first time through a text message. This is one of the few times when the efficiency of texting is overruled by the need to look awesome. Nothing is more beta than this sophomoric move, and the girl will most certainly take notice of your lack of balls. The first-hangout-request phone call is a power move that is crucial to closing the deal, so don’t pass up the opportunity.
  • Guys: DO NOT use texting slang. It’s just embarrassing, and quite frankly makes you look like a total wiener. Whenever I see a guy type “C U L8R PLS TXT ME 2NITE” to his girlfriend it makes me want to throw up all over his phone. This carries the dual advantage of relieving my nausea as well as rendering the offender’s phone completely useless, thus preventing any further damage to society at large. Leave the texting abbreviations to the eleventeen year olds, please.
  • Don’t carry on extensive text messaging conversations while in public. Save the marathon text flirting/bullshitting sessions for when you’re on your couch at home alone. It’s funny to watch how people that get wrapped up in these long texting bouts sit in public, crouched over their phones like Quasimodo, while real world interaction passes them by. People who can’t be peeled away from their phone while in public have a weak constitution.
  • There is really no point to sending me a text that just says “k.” I always feel as if I was cheated out of ten cents when I receive one of those. Even a simple “sounds good” is sufficient. “K” is just retarded to me for some reason.

Hopefully by following this handy guide to texting etiquette, you can maximize the benefits of texting while minimizing the “OMFG get a load of this guy” syndrome. I know this list is far from complete, however, so I turn it over to you guys. What principles of texting etiquette did I miss, loyal readers?


36 responses to “Texting Etiquette

  1. I had a good laugh when I read the last bullet in your list. In my previous job, we often text our boss since he is out of the office most of the time. We get really frustrated and confused when all he replies is just: “K”. Great blog!

  2. How about text forwards?! I hate those things. Especially the ones that play music. I hate when I’m sitting at work and I open a text message to get blasted with some stupid ass song.

  3. thanks thumbbook, come back and see us!

    Text forwards should have definitely made the list. Whenever I see Fw:FW:fw:fw:fw in my inbox, there’s an 85% chance its some disgusting porn forward. Maybe I should look for new friends.

  4. @ Bowzer

    …you really should.

  5. I don’t even think that you should be permitted to send one text in a movie. They ask you very succintly at the beginning of the show to turn your gay little crazr phone off…

    …so just do it.

  6. Pingback: texting etiquette « [write something witty here]

  7. I’m still laughing. This was a great post.

  8. Texting is my saviour. I’d never be able to maintain friendships with people I didn’t like without it.

  9. Excellent post had a great time reading it. Also should look at text cheating, It is so easy for a text message to catch up to you when cheating.

  10. Rule for Bowz….splurge the extra five bucks a month to get unlimited texting brother. Then you won’t have to sweat 10 cents here and there. Also, is it okay to text teeny bopper slang to your boys while watching The Hills?

  11. @Rodney Landers

    Watching a television show made for teeny boppers does not mean you are allowed to text like one. Not that I would know from personal experience or anything…

  12. @ mulloverthiss –

    I totally feel you on text cheating. It’s like begging to get caught.

    @ Rodney –

    If you watch The Hills, you can do whatever you want with your texting. You’re already a lost cause, brother.

  13. @Abby
    Well, I guess you’re not gonna like my future “Why The Hills ISN’T Gay” piece 🙂

  14. @ Abby


  15. is there any way the do’s and the don’t can be made into a pocket sized flash card?

  16. @ TheBosnian

    that would be pretty sweet. you could tuck it behind your Keefer Card

  17. Pingback: Texting… « Theyounglife’s Weblog

  18. I completely agree with everything! I mean really do you have to text k? What is the point of that? And I also REALLY hate it when people just text ‘haha’. Or even worse they take like 2 minutes to type an extravagent series of ha’s. Isn’t it just easier to type LOL than HHahahhHHhahahahahahahahahahhaahha?


  20. Wow, this is some awesome stuff. U, peops, rock! Honey, I love this blog. LOL!

  21. Pingback: Texting Etiquette - rspeed.org :: motorsports culture

  22. Hey,
    I came across this through google.
    I’m a writer for the Sheridan Sun Newspaper and I was wondering if I could talk to you about this piece. I think it’s great.
    If so, my email is emilystlouis@cogeco.ca or you can facebook me, Emily St. Louis. Thanks so much in advance.

  23. Hilarious!!! And right on the money. I should write the female version of this!

  24. I thought this was great. I am 45 years old and find myself in a new texting relationship with a younger person. It seems the rules are a little different if one is at work… those are brief exchanges, its the long conversations in the evening that confuse me most. First it seems easier to call… but to be honest when we did we had those odd moments of silence. That does not seem to happen in texting but what I remain confused about is when the conversation is over? During work hours if there is no good bye or whatever is is just assumed you got busy…but in the evening? Should I expect an ending. Sometimes there is a …gotta run… and how do I end a conversation? Thanks

  25. I work in a call center. Texting is allowed as long the calls and the surveys are done. I am having a hard time with dealing with most of the people who are almost constantly texting each other. I find it annoying and a turn off. What to do to open up with people I work with side to side since I already don’t like the job and the energy it takes to do the job.

  26. NO, texting is NOT OK at work….maybe at some jobs…I work in a restaurant and it’s very frustrating to watch these teeny -no work ethic servers so addicted to their mindless little cell devices that they can’t go 5 minutes without it being in their hand, in the meantime they are NOT PAYING ATTENTION to the customers, food is sitting there getting cold, side work not getting done etc. etc…..this whole cell phone age is totally stupid…..turning peoples minds into mush.

  27. Oh my goodness, this is hysterical- and helpful! Thanks 🙂

  28. Texts that annoy me to no end- awww (have one male friend who answers this way all the time)

    So-and-so has cancer and sprint has agreed to donate 40 cents for everytime this text is fowarded (how dumb do you think i am?)

    Who is this? (some long-ago aquaintance who cant remember whos on their contact list)

  29. Hysterical and right on. Keep me posted.

  30. I graduated in 2001 and back then all we had were pagers. Now being in the SmartPhone age leaves me needing a little guidance. So THANK YOU for this blunt and to the point blog.

    Now I need some more direction. I am a talker. Both in real life and in the texting world. I use most of the 160 characters given–while must people only reply with a line or two.

    Does my novel text messages secretly annoy my friends? Am I doing a little over kills with my testing habits? Please advise..

  31. Pingback: Why Won’t He Text Me Back? – The Do’s and Don’ts of Texting a Guy » Hillary Guerra

  32. cracked up reading this, excellent blog.

  33. haha wow i love this blog itz so funny:D

  34. Text Marketing is the future of B2B marketing. 95% of Texts get read.

  35. Great site you’ve got here.. It’s hard to find
    high quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate individuals like you!
    Take care!!

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