Here is a quick “do’s and don’ts” list for when it’s best to rely on text and when one should avoid it:
- Do use a text to break the ice with someone that you just met or to send a quick “thinking of you” note. Assuming you just met the Mr./Ms. Right-of-the-Moment just a day or so ago and were lucky enough to get a number, do feel free to send a quick note via text just to let them know that you’re serious about getting to know them. This lets your potential intended know that “hey you’re thinking about them” but you’re not trying to monopolize their time. Likewise, if you’re in a LTR (long term relationship), feel free to drop your sweetie a note randomly to stay connected without being in the way.
- Don’t use texts to debate highly emotional and charged topics. Seriously, you’re asking for your typed words to be totally misunderstood. How can we understand your tone through text? I love my iPhone, but even Siri doesn’t display emotions that well. If you need to have “a talk”, suck it up and at the least do it over the phone so your tone can’t be misunderstood. **This also applies to questionable humor – if you’re not 100% sure how someone will respond, err on the side of caution and don’t type it!
- Don’t monopolize the text! Just because you love text messaging and can type 95 words per minute on your smart phone doesn’t mean that the rest of us are glued to our phones. Some of us have jobs, some of us have lives…a delayed response isn’t a sign of a relationship going down the toilet. Take a breath…put the phone down…and go do something productive.
- Do confirm dates via text. I’m a big believer in writing things down – especially when details might get misconstrued. It’s easy to misunderstand an “f” for an “s” – you get the point. Don’t leave date night up to chance. If you want someone to meet you at a specific place at a certain time, drop them a “friendly reminder text”.
- A late night text from someone you’re not dating is a booty call. I’m not understanding why this one is still baffling people, but it is. Remember back in the day when all we had were corded and cordless phones? And if someone only called you after midnight it was pretty much guaranteed that the person calling you wasn’t that into you as real girlfriend/boyfriend material? Well, technology may have advanced, but the concept is the same. If someone’s only calling or texting you “in the AM” (thanks FrankMusik!), then you need to decide if you want to reply to them. And if you do reply in the affirmative, make sure you go into that situation with full disclosure.
- Don’t be a phone hog on a date! Unless it’s truly business or it’s your “get-out-of-jail-free” bad first call, this is the heighth of rudeness. I don’t know why this would be a shocker, but how would you feel if the person you were hanging out with spent the entire time on their phone – updating statuses, texting friends and accepting every call that came through. Also, this is a serious pet peeve of mine. If you can’t spend 2 to 3 hours paying attention to the person you’re with, then you’re not date material. Sorry…but it’s reality. No one is THAT busy. And if you are then dating isn’t a priority and you shouldn’t subject someone else to your rude behavior. Rant over!