Guidelines for Respectful Texting (The Ultimate Guide + Image Quotes)

Nowadays, texting is the most common form of communication.

It can also be the best tool to use if you want to really, really irritate people.
Most likely, you don't. So, with these tips, you'll know how to text correctly!

1. Didn't receive a response right away? It's all right. Take a breather

Don't text them again until they respond. They're probably preoccupied. And if they aren't, it's possible that they simply don't want to text. Texting them repeatedly is an excellent way to ensure that they will not respond. Never, ever again.

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2. You must always respond

That being said, don't dismiss anyone. Respond to someone's text message in a courteous and timely manner. (Unless, of course, the person is a stalker, in which case, please do not respond.) I'm very concerned about your safety here.)

3. Consider the other person's schedule

Of course, you shouldn't text someone at 4 a.m. unless it's your BFF, and even then, your BFF might want to kill you. However, keep in mind the schedule of the person to whom you are texting. Is your pal at work? Then don't text him or her a million times in a row during your shift. Does your friend like to sleep in on weekends? At 8:30 p.m., don't text him or her. Be courteous.

4. Never text a novel

I personally break this rule all the time, but it just makes sense: if it takes you more than thirty seconds to text it, you probably want to handle it over the phone. Don't make it more difficult than it needs to be.

5. but don't call in response to a text without first asking

Be gentle with introverts. If someone texted you, it means they did not want to speak with you on the phone. That could mean they're busy or relaxing, but don't call them back. If you truly believe it would be better covered over the phone, text them first to inquire.

6. Avoid sarcasm in general

Sarcasm should be avoided via text unless the person knows you very well. You can't read the tone nearly as well, and you might end up arguing or hurting someone's feelings. That is something that no one wants!

7. Check your autocorrection twice

Unless, of course, the correction is particularly amusing.

8. Check who you're sending it to twice, if not three times

If you want to quit your job quickly and easily, texting “hey sexy I miss you ;)” to your boss instead of your significant other is a great strategy.

9. If you're going to be late, text the person

It's simply good manners. Brownie points for including an estimated time of arrival.

10. Respond in a proportionate manner

If someone violates rule number four, do not respond with a simple “k.” If you don't want to lose friends and alienate people, don't do it. Alternatively, make them want to destroy their phone. The same is true in the opposite case: if you're writing a novel to someone and they text you back with very short responses, take the hint.

11. If you wouldn't talk to them about it in person, don't text it to them

This can be applied to a wide range of situations. Everyone understands that texts should not be used to break up or communicate serious injuries. However, you should avoid engaging in lengthy conversations with acquaintances or strangers. I recently had someone I barely knew text me their life story, which was quite startling.

12. Do. Not. Include. A. Hashtag. In. Your. Text

It's something that can only be done ironically. Even if you do that, you must make it very clear that it is ironic, or you risk looking like a moron.

13. Avoid using chatspeak. Just don't forget this rule, or you'll lose a lot of credibility rofl

There are some commonly used abbreviations, but make sure you understand what they mean. Don't text someone “lol” when they're in a bad mood, thinking it means “lots of love.”



If you are so enraged that you want to scream, this is probably a conversation that should be saved for another medium.

(Note: the only exception to the previous two rules is when you're live-texting the Game of Thrones season finale to a friend, for example, OMG I HATE YOU CERSEI STFU WHY DO YOU EXIST.)

15. Use appropriate texting laughter

  • Here's a quick guide to text-based laughter.
  • Ha: used when you don't find something funny and want to make that clear.
  • Haha: used when you don't find something funny but want to be polite.
  • Use when their text made you laugh.
  • Use Hahahaha+ when you truly laughed.

One of the few exceptions to the no-caps rule is HAHA+. When you come across something hilarious, use this phrase.

Lol: When you want the sincerity of your laughter to remain a mystery, use this phrase. Did you really burst out laughing? Nobody is aware! You're so enigmatic!

16. When you're with someone, don't bury your face in your phone

Okay, let me preface this by saying that texting is acceptable with some people. When I'm with my friends, we're always responding to texts, and we're fine with it because we hang out all the time.
However, if you don't know how the other person feels about texting etiquette or if you don't know the person well, don't do it. It's impolite and gives the impression that you don't care about the other person's presence.

Another exception: if there's something really urgent, like, I don't know, your sister is due to give birth any day now, notify your employer that you may be checking your phone every now and then.

17. Do not text and walk

You may enter a large parked van in front of a crowd of strangers. I'm not sure if I'm speaking from personal experience.

Above all, do not text and drive

This is the most important rule. Please. Please, please, please don't do it.

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