SMS Etiquette

>> Friday, August 12, 2005

Huh?? what's this beeping sound...??? hmmmm... and the blinking light?...

Actually, I've been writing this one since I started the blog, since this week I was overdosing on SUGAR I've had the mental strength to finish it. (As you know, I try to stay away from thinking too hard since its bad for your skin... you know creates wrinkles above the nose.)

This is however a VERY important subject and should have been brought to life long ago!!

I CAN'T believe there are STILL people out there that do not know the SMS Etiquette. (Not to mention the people that do not know HOW to SMS!!) They are oblivious to the fact that any carelessly unanswered text message leaves the sender in a fit of sheer breathless panic until in fact the answer comes through. How could you NOT know that!!??

Some of us have been lucky enough to be born with the innate understanding of the unspoken rules that must be applied to text messaging, while others are just... well... not so lucky. This here creates a big problem. Especially since these are no "real" rules, they're not set in stone and you will not find them on the nearby cave wall. But you will surely experience the very REAL wrath of hurt SMSers and you WILL get cold shoulders, regardless if you know what the cause is or not.

So before we loose our boyfriends/girlfriends, friends, our jobs, jobs of our friends, and see our lives taking on a downward spiral... I will once again save the world and chisel the SMS rules on this cave wall for all to know and obey! OBEY... Obey.......obeyyyyy...... (Get it? There's an echo in the cave.)

RULE #1: EVERY text message warrants and immediate reply.

If you do not reply you are sending a msg that you are not available leaving the "why" to sender's interpretation... which is not necessarily what you want to do... this is how boyfriends/girlfriends begin to think you may be up to no good... your friends begin to think you're blatantly ignoring them...this is how your life starts going downhill!...

RULE#2: EVERY subject mentioned in a text message requires an acknowledgement.
Simply can't stand it when people upon receiving your SMS about a specific something, think its ok to just respond with something completely unrelated! It ceats confusion and the sender will think that you have a specific reason for not addressing the initial subject... more creative interpretation... will lead to resentment... sadness... depression... loss of appetite... hospital.

RULE #3: CAPS are meant to express excitement in an SMS msg. (NOT YELLING!!! as in the case of internet and email.)

Yelling does not exist in the world of SMS. In case yelling must take place, you make a real phone CALL (don't forget we still can use the phone for the prehistoric activity such as voice calls). So unlike an email where caps signify yelling, in the SMS world caps mean excitement, wonder. For those of you that are "advanced" you may also use caps to stress a certain letter creating an illusion of an accent. Like: "hAAllo" - would be hello with a german accent.

RULE #4: The proper way to respond to an SMS is via an SMS. You do NOT call or leave a voice mail. (Unless an SMS instructs you to do so.) The way to understand this simple; imagine Voice calls and Text Messages living in parallel universes. While they're in the same galaxy, their paths do NOT cross. Therefore a response granted to an SMS in a form of a Voice call or voice mail is not valid.

Trick question: What do you do if you receive an SMS instructing you to call back?
Answer: You immediately text back a response- "ok, I'm calling you right now", "I'll call you in an hour", "I am calling you right now, and you didn't answer so I'm leaving a voice mail".. etc. The point is, there must be a textual response to the SMS.

RULE#5: Certain subjects have NO place being discussed over SMS. Examples below:
1. Breaking up with your boyfriend/girlfriend
2. Asking for a promotion at work
3. Telling a friend that their outfit sucks
4. Cooking instructions
5. Fights

RULE#6: Certain subjects are perfect for discussion over SMS. Examples below:

1. Gossiping
2. Letting your manager know you're running late
3. Discussing funny people you're sitting next to while on SI ferry
4. Testing out insulting new nicknames for friends
5. Transmitting what's going on at a work meeting to non-related parties
6. Making plans with boyfriend/girlfriend
8. VETOing boyfriend suggestions from Grandma (Thanks for the idea Kaiya)
9. Flirting

and now some more guidelines...

Its OK to be texting a person about one subject while on the phone with same person talking about a different subject. (Remember the parallel universe rule.)

While its rude to TALK on your phone during dinner, its OK to send SMS messages. (I know there is controversy about this one, but if you share what you're texing about than it ok, well- you have MY permission)

If you have more than one boyfriend/girlfriend its NOT OK to send the same exact SMSs to all of them. (You will be caught, and there will be digital proof.)

Indecent proposals over SMS are sexy. The same proposals over the phone are VULGAR.

If you do not know how to SMS that does NOT excuse you from responding.

Sending a "blank" SMS is basically the same as calling and hanging up.

Sending an SMS to not intended receiver accidentally is embarrassing.

Sending an SMS to not intended receiver on PURPOSE is called STALKING.

Prank SMS messages are fun, but be available to confront the angry party as they CALL you. (Thanks for the wonderful example Mr. HighContrast.)

And if all this is completely overwhelming for some of you. :) There is this ONE rule that must be remembered that will keep you out of most SMS trouble. And it is that: EVERY SMS msg requires an asap SMS answer.

You're WELCOME! Ale saves the world from crisis yet again.

LESSON kids: Its very important to read, memorize and internalize what you read on cave walls!


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