Messaging Netiquette

Disclaimer:  This page was written after venting with friends in the hopes of passing along some guidelines. Confirmations of some of my feelings, as well as many additional points, can be found in the further reading and useful links section.

If you see yourself, don’t be offended…correct your behavior!  😉

It’s hard to believe the first text was sent December 3rd, 1992.  Over the years many gaffes have occurred that have produced a multitude of problems.  This page summarizes some of the ones I and my friends find annoying.  If you see yourself in any of them, please don’t be upset.  Instead, keep the offending point(s) in mind to improve your messaging netiquette and perhaps be thought of in a more positive light by those you message.  The term message/messaging will be used to include texting, Messenger, Signal, and numerous other ways to send short messages.

If contacts know you, they probably know your style and verse.  If a message is out of the ordinary, the receiver should question it.  Example: you normally message an individual about work, family, or plans.  You decide to group text a link, with no explanation what it is or why it is so urgent you sent it to a group – that is out of the ordinary.  The ease of spoofing a phone number or hacking another’s social media account should cause concern to the recipients that the link will send them to a nefarious site.  Expect reactions from “did you really send this?” (which is laughable considering you might not have) at best and “I’m blocking you” at worst.

On the cyber topic, unless you are using a virtual private network (VPN), don’t let others snoop your activities by avoiding the open Wi-Fi or worse yet, your employers Wi-Fi.

Back to group messages:  if you must send group messages, group recipients that likely know each other or at least have the same interests.  If a message including 20 recipients is received and none (or few) are in anyone’s contacts, don’t expect many responses.  It is not wise to participate with unknowns.  As a courtesy, send a quick explanation message first explaining what the link is.  Recipients can then decide if it is something they want to take the time to read/watch/whatever.

Expect delays in replies.  There are times when a reply cannot be made.  An early riser should not expect a reply at 5AM from someone that just clocked out of work and is trying to sleep.  Perhaps the recipient must check calendars with a spouse before confirming a date/time for an event.

Have some common sense.  Don’t message a recipient “Are you on the way?”  because they probably are and as we know, don’t text and drive!

Type the message in certain surroundings.  Others around you don’t need to hear your speech-to-text message.  And…message-bombing (speaking to inject words into someone else’s message) is just as fun as photo-bombing!

Above all, know when a phone call is the better method of communication. A one- or two-minute call can replace a lengthy time-consuming barrage of messages.

Further Reading and Useful Links:

Grammarly’s texting etiquette guidelines

Emily Post’s texting manners

A list of annoying texting habits from Reader’s Digest