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Texting Etiquette

August 13, 2013

I find myself caught somewhere in the middle when it comes to technological competence. Most of the technology which we use today was invented as I was growing up, so when it comes to being able to use it I can navigate my way around fairly easily. However I’m what you’d call a late bloomer in actually using that technology. Last year I got a smart phone for the first time (the last person I know, other than my parents to have a mobile with buttons), and I have to admit that social media (and even now limited to Facebook) has only become a part of my life since then.

Perhaps it is because I’ve never been used to using technology to communicate with others (I even had a pen pal once. We used real paper and envelopes!) but I find myself over analysing the etiquette of such mediums.

When a friend shares a link on Facebook which irritates me- specifically thinking of a cousin who constantly shares posts along the lines of ‘immigrants stealing our jobs go home’; seriously you are idiots, try putting forward a proper argument rather than one line idiocisms- would it be bad of me to point this out? Does social etiquette allow me to call the friend of a friend an idiot over social media? Probably not, although I have to wonder whether I’m being a bit too British about avoiding confrontation.

Facebook aside, my real concern is texting etiquette. Everybody knows that everybody else has their phone on them all the time. So if somebody sends me a text, is it rude not to reply straight away? Due to the fact that I came fairly late to texting, I find that it takes a few minutes for me to work out how to reply, how something will sound when written down without the intonations one would be able to hear in the same words when spoken. Even worse is when I forget to text back for a couple of days! Shock horror! There is no way to say a text got lost in the post so that excuse is out…

I have a couple of friends who also have a habit of leaving days in-between replys so I don’t feel so bad when I do it to them. Although I myself start wondering if they’re ignoring me when this happens. Have I done something to offend them?

Long texts. These are hard to reply to. Which bit do I respond to first? If I ignore some part of it does it seem like I don’t care about what you had to say?

I could go on and on (and have) about my social ineptness over electronic mediums but I’d be at risk of having people edge away from me slowly so I’ll calm myself down and reply to the texts I have waiting…

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