By now, we’re all familiar with ‘Damn You Auto Correct.’ But the pitfalls of parents and texting extend beyond the misuse of Auto Correct. After all, even the best of us fall victim to this tyrannical tool. We'll admit that parents can have an especially tough time keeping up with texting trends. Whether it's trying too hard to incorporate Emojis, or sending greetings like an old fashioned letter, there are some blunders that a lot of parents fall victim to when texting their tech-adept children.
Here, we offer up five essential pieces of advice about how parents should and shouldn’t text:
1. A Text Is Not A Letter
The text message isn’t like a letter, or even an email. There’s no reason to write “Dear _____” or even “Hello _____.” There’s also no need to sign your name at the end.
2. Learn The Language of Emoji
If you’re tech savvy enough to have figured out how to install Emoji, great. Now you have to learn how to use it. Emoji isn’t just for random strings of pictures. There’s an art to communicating in symbolic language. We don’t have to all be virtuosos with the medium, like this artist who rendered the entire first episode of the Breaking Bad premier in Emojis, but a little thought into how you emojify your messages goes a long way. Wondering when you should or shouldn’t use Emoji? This flow-chart will help you decide.
3. Understand Acronyms
Acronyms can help or hinder conversations. Use them only if you’re sure of their meaning. Case in point: YOLO is not a warning (yes, parents commonly get this one acronym wrong). But really, don’t use YOLO at all.
4. Make It Readable
While autocorrect usually makes it so that the words you text come through are at the very least words (however inappropriate), sometimes mistakes slip through. Put your reading glasses on and double check that there are no numbers in between your words or any other intelligibility. On a slightly unrelated note, nobody uses ‘4’ instead of ‘for’ - or any other variation of numbers replacing words - so please don’t do that.
5. Goodbyes Not Required
A text message conversation doesn’t require a definite ending. While you may think it’s polite to always end a conversation with “goodbye,” in text-speak, it’s perfectly okay to end a conversation with “okay,” “haha,” or “cool.” It may seem counter-intuitive, but ending a text conversation with “goodbye" can come across more rude than omitting it and letting the conversation end naturally.