Texting Etiquette

Texting Etiquette

Today I will talk about the art of texting, what to do (or not do) in certain situations and how you should behave when you're texting someone.

I'm quite an experienced texter so I can confidently say I have met many different kinds of texters. They have taught me a lot through their habits and I hope that what I share with you today will be useful to you in the future.

Here are some of the biggest DON'TS when it comes to texting:

1. Read a message without responding

If the conversation has naturally ended and you don't have anything else to say, then you obviously shouldn't feel forced to keep texting them. Otherwise you would be stuck in a never-ending loop of texting them constantly and that can't be good. What I'm talking about is ignoring a person who is asking you a question, offering you something or trying to start a conversation. It could be anything that actually expects a response from you. It could be a yes/no thing, or it could be a more elaborate thing. Bottom line is, that person expects a response from you, and if you read their message without responding, that person is going to feel ignored and left out.

Whether you meant to do it or not doesn't matter, it's a bad habit and you shouldn't do it. It's the equivalent of having someone walk up to you, ask you something, and you staring blankly into their eyes without responding. It's rude and hurtful. If you're too busy to actually respond to the text, then simply don't open it and read it. Once you open it, they will get a notification that you've read it, and that's when they'll start to feel ignored. If you're so busy, then what are you even doing on your phone in the first place? If you have enough time to read it, you have enough time to respond. If you're too busy for an elaborate response, just say "I'm busy". Simple as that.

If someone is harassing you, then all you have to do is block them and delete them from your friend list/delete their number. Nothing good can come from reading their texts if you're trying to get them to back off.

If you're not interested in someone who's trying to text you or if you're trying to end a friendship, then simply say so. By responding slowly or not responding at all, you're leaving them in the dark wondering what they did wrong, or why you're acting like that. Be honest about your feelings. If you don't want to talk to them, explain it to them in a polite way. That way they can start moving on from you instead of wasting both your and their time.
Also, if people actually notice that you're glued to your phone pretty much 24/7, they won't believe you when you tell them that you were oh-so busy that you couldn't even respond within... 2 weeks. Shocking, I know.

2. Lash out on someone for not responding immediately

Let's face it, some people are just truly busy, and I'm not talking about the ones I mentioned in my first point. These people don't always have the time to respond within 5 minutes of you texting them. If you texted them 2 hours ago, and the last time they were online was 4 hours ago, there's no point in assuming that they're ignoring you on purpose. Especially if they haven't read your message. Don't be so paranoid. Attacking someone for being too busy to respond to your text immediately will only make them pissed off at you. It will make you look crazy and stupid. Don't do that to yourself, and especially don't do that to them. If it's really urgent, call them. If it can wait, occupy yourself with other things until they text you back. There's no point in being aggressive (or passive aggressive once they respond). It will only make them even more reluctant to respond to your messages. If you feel ignored or left out because they're genuinely reading your messages without responding, or taking days to respond, try to talk to them about it in a calm manner. Preferably face to face. Then the likelihood of them ignoring or misunderstanding you is much lower. They will probably be a lot more understanding. But what you need to understand is that not everyone is always glued to their phone.

3. Bomb someone with texts

This one is a bit tricky, since it kind of depends on what kind of relationship you have with the person. If you're really close friends, then it might be ok for you to goofily bomb them with texts when you're bored. It can be funny and totally harmless. But if they're a person you've just gotten to know or you don't have that kind of goofy/funny friendship, try not to send more than 3 texts at once. I know some people think it's a sin to double, or even triple, text someone because then you might come off as clingy or desperate. I disagree with that, though, and here's why. Sometimes, you have to share a piece of information with them, and then possibly update that information once or twice more. Example.
"Hey, I'm leaving work now, so I should be in town pretty soon."
- A little while later -
"Yo, there's actually a massive traffic jam right in front of me so I'm actually not sure how long it's going to take me to get to (x)."
- Another while later -
"The traffic has cleared up now thankfully, I'll be there in 5 minutes!"
This can happen within, let's say, 40 minutes or so. During those 40 minutes, the person on the receiving end might be too busy to read and respond to all those messages. Which means that the person who sent those texts ended up triple texting. But that's fine. The sender was just being polite and making sure that the other person knew about their whereabouts, even if the other person didn't get to read the messages when they were relevant.
Here's an example of what not to do when "bombing" someone you don't really know:
"What's up"
"What are you doing?"
"How are you?"
etc etc etc.
Which leads to my next point...

4. Just say "hi" and expect them to be interested

If you genuinely want to spark an interesting conversation with this person, you've got to make it interesting. Saying "hi" is not a conversation starter. It's a greeting. A greeting is not the same as a conversation starter. A conversation starter is a question, a funny story, a confession, anything that you can actually have a conversation about. You can't have a conversation about "hi". I find it annoying when someone only texts me "hi". It's like, what am I supposed to do with this? What do you want from me? Do you really have anything significant to say to me? Or are you just texting random people "hi" to kill time?

5. Harass them with unwanted... things

Such as dick pics. Or other inappropriate pictures. On annoying/inappropriate texts in general. If they don't ask for a dick pic, just assume they don't want one. Your dick is not that glorious. If it's annoying and slightly/completely inappropriate, just don't. Please.

6. Say "k."

Alright. I get it. You're mad. You want to make a passive aggressive point. Or it's efficient (because writing an "O" in front of and "ay" after that K is so exhausting). You do it for whatever reason, but it's still annoying and awkward. And again, if you're mad at the person (for, say, ignoring you) then being passive aggressive is not a good solution. A good solution is talking about it calmly and explaining what's bothering you. Writing "k." just makes you seem mad and disinterested, even if you aren't, and it's a terrible way to express how you're feeling.

7. Start a conversation and then disappear

This is one of the most annoying things you can do to someone, especially if you haven't talked to them in a while. It goes something like this.
A: "Hey! Long time no see! How have you been, we need to hang out sometime soon again :)"
B: "Oh gosh hi! I'm good, how have you been? Hanging out sounds great, when's good for you?"
B: "I'm free on Friday at least :)"
B: "... hello?"
B: "Is everything alright?"
And then, nothing. As if person A has vanished into thin air. I get that something big might have happened which made person A drop their phone to focus on something else, but the least they can do is text back right away when they get the chance, to apologize. If you don't intend on keeping the conversation going or actually meeting up, you're not doing anything but confusing people and wasting their time. Don't do that.

That's all! If you can think of anything I've missed, please leave a comment.

lumos is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
Who are Editors?

Most Helpful Guy

  • Nice advice.

    Though I don't even think about that kind of stuff. I'd rather people text how they want to. Just like people are going to talk how they want to. You can't limit that. At least then I know how they truly feel and that they aren't doing it for the sake of "etiquette".

    If they read my message but don't respond so be it. If they really want to send me a vagina pic then so be it. If they really want to bomb me with constant texts so be it. I'll just handle it my own way.

    • Haha I get it, obviously you don't have to follow these rules if you really don't care. All I'm saying is that these are annoying habits that can hurt people, or make things awkward.

    • Show All
    • I totally agree with you they could totally hurt people and most people take texting very lightly and informa as well as email etiquette, but in this technology era where the communication is done by mobiles, tablets, computer, etc, I think we will start to learn how to behave and have good etiquette with people u are only communicating behind a computer screen, by text and behave the same way as if you have those people in front of you and face to face

    • Hmmm good point kitty. I mean ground rules might should be set. Perhaps like etiquette at a table? Still you'll always have people like me who don't care lol.

Most Helpful Girl

  • I'm guilty of #1. I don't always respond immediately and sometimes I'll read a text and forget to respond. Once it took me a week to respond to a friend. But by then I just gave her a call and apologized instead of texting her.

    I haven't experienced #2 to that extreme or done it. I used to talk to this guys who would text "?" if I didn't respond immediately but would go ghost and ignore my last text to him when he decided to respond. Same guy did #6 and would also text me "k". Texting one letter responses is a pet peeve of mines. It annoys the crap out of me.

    I've definitely experienced #3. It was the craziest thing I've experienced so far in the texting world.

    I've been experiencing #4 and #7 recently from this guy I met a few months ago. He'll text "hi" and I'll say "Hey! What's up?" and he'll say what he's doing and ask what I'm doing and respond with an "okay" and that's the end of it. In my mind I'm like "Did you want something? Why'd you text me?". If I receive a text from someone I haven't heard from in a while I'll respond but like you said, I'm not gonna carry on the conversation if they don't have anything important to say.

    #5 I get from club promoters. I asked to have my phone# removed but they still keep sending me texts. =/


Join the discussion

What Guys Said 13

  • @Lumos, this is a truly great myTake.

    Damn, this is so true. I agree with the reading and ignoring and general etiquette you have mentioned.

    I find sometimes I don't know when not to respond. Some people say you should be letting the girl text last, to keep her wanting you, but I sometimes feel it's rude? Tho I have to say I feel great when she texts me last. It also makes it easier to text her again. Tho personally I'm not into these games.

    I feel better with her texting me last, but also sometimes, if I text and she doesn't respond, then I do feel hurt or confused.

    Totally agree with that thing where someone texts you or responds to your text, asks you how you are, then when you respond, doesn't reply. What?

    Great take!

  • i have another rule... if i can't say it in less than 5 words i don't use it... and it still seems like i am constantly texting

  • You should do a take on what each emoji and word means and when they should be used for your next take.

    • That... would be excessive. Emojis are pretty straightforward.

  • As I always say, quality content from @lumos as always!

  • Stop reading into stuff that is not there, necessarely. Just because you think there is always some ulterior meaning to a "k"-reply or what ever, does not mean there actually is some passive aggressive stance being taken.

    You spend so much of your energy on texting-etiquette. Remind yourself what matters is live conversation.

    • Ah, clearly you don't know any teenage girls. You'd be surprised how much they use "k." as a passive aggressive stance.

      In this day and age with the advances technology has made, it's not weird at all to want to take texting somewhat seriously. It's a form of communication, just like talking face to face is. Just because you're texting it doesn't mean all your manners should fly out the window. Would you purposefully ignore someone who walked up to you and asked you a question, unless this is a person that you absolutely hate? Lots of people feel like they don't have to respond since it's "just texting" and it's "whatever", "not important" etc, but what they're forgetting is that there is a real human on the other end of that phone.

  • Great write up.

    I try to remember that people have lives but always have their phones on them.
    Take in to consideration maybe they had time to check the text (maybe an emergency) but not time to respond.
    Maybe they will later, maybe they'll forget.
    Life goes on. Too much emphasis and reliance with texting.

    • I agree. Though I still don't understand why someone would check a text if they don't have the time to respond. Might as well just save it for later when you have time to respond, plus you won't forget that way since the notification won't disappear the way it does when you open it.

  • I'm guilty of 1 and 7.. 1 usually when I check my texts when I wake up in the morning. With 7 I just sometimes get distracted with homework or a video game and totally forget I started a conversation :/ haha

  • Whenever I meet a girl who cares so much about texting etiquette I dump her through a fax.
    Texting etiquette girls piss me off almost as much as ones who care about Facebook etiquette.

    • Texting should be fun and easy, and I get that, but it's still a form of communication. Just like talking face to face there are things you might do that will piss them off or hurt them. I see it more as communication etiquette and not just texting etiquette. Put it into perspective. What if people did these things to you face to face and not over text? Shit would be weird, dude.

    • But that's just it, they're not doing it face to face. People act differently over text than in face to face.

    • Which is what I think is kind of fucked up. If you exclude the potential delay due to them being busy, what's so different from texting and talking face to face? At the end of the day it's just two people talking. There's a person on that other end of the phone, you know.

  • Phone + Alcohol

    I've been a victim, I've seen people do the Wombo Combo and it's crazy.

    Other than that I tought I could pass as the worst texter ever but according to your take I'm not even bad, I'dd label myself as kinda interesting if that doesn't make me shallow (depending on how I feel).

    • Yes, never ever text someone when you're drunk lol.
      That's good! Don't be so hard on yourself :)

    • Show All
    • I agree, also finding people who are in the same wavelength as you is hard.
      I also don't have many friends at all, up to 2 who I trust and I don't text much with them but they know it and are good with that.
      Puh I'm trying to keep calm typing this, what a long stressful night. Have a nice day if that's the case where you live.

    • You too!

  • LOL there an etiquette to texting?

  • that's nice... but then perhaps learn nobody is owed you time... or not everybody does or will respect you because you're pretty looololol.

    • I know that, obviously assholes will always exist. But if you plan on being a decent human being, following most (if not all) of these suggestions would be a step in the right direction. And I never demanded respect for my looks.

    • Show All
    • Oh really, how is that so? Since I'm not even using a picture of myself, nor did I ever mention looks in this mytake. Please enlighten me.

    • haha... it's pretty obvious, but goodbye... i can tell from how you get on here..

  • This is the stupidest thing I have ever seen. "I'm a experienced text" well good for you honey lmfao experienced text I have heard some shit in my life but that is damn comical haha. Anyone could have wrote this, it's exactly the same as if you are talking to someone

    • Where is this random aggression coming from? This was just for fun, no need to take it so seriously :P

  • great advice


What Girls Said 3

  • This is good advice and I hope more people would read this. Sometimes I get so confused and I wonder if I said something wrong when the person just drops off and disappears :/

  • I wish I had a reason for why someone start a conversation and then disappear on me MORE than once. If you not interested why even text first :( confusing

    • I'd say that it's usually because they just want attention or some spare time to kill. If someone has dropped you like that once, then you should not talk to them a second time. Ignore them after that. No point in giving a second chance to someone like that since clearly they're not serious about communicating with you.

  • Wow I can relatd 100% wit the text above that says "If you're not interested in someone who's trying to text you or if you're trying to end a friendship, then simply say so. By responding slowly or not responding at all, you're leaving them in the dark wondering what they did wrong, or why you're acting like that. Be honest about your feelings. If you don't want to talk to them, explain it to them in a polite way. That way they can start moving on from you instead of wasting both your and their time.". Exactly that is what happened t me with a guy I was just getting to know. and still up to this date after one month Im still wondering what I did wrong if I did something