5 Steps to Avoid Bad Texting Syndrome


Do you have a favorite text gripe? Does nothing irritate you more than your friend who ‘lol’s at everything – funny or not? Or how about the friend who sends you nonstop pictures of her cat? We love texting (especially when it’s free), but there are a few faux-pas that get under our skin. From incoherent, chapter-long texts to acronyms that make no sense – we started wondering: what are the rules for proper texting in 2013?

Voila! Here are a few mantras for being polite via text:

1.    Avoid the novel-length text. Text is not email. Unless it’s an emergency, text brevity is key. You never know how the text will show up on the other end (spoiler alert: usually out of order), which means your tome-like message will not only be annoyingly long, but also exasperatingly incoherent.

2.    Use the ‘K’ response sparingly. K is only an acceptable response for a handful of texts – all of which are usually logistical. Your friend texts: “heading over now.” Here, K is a perfectly acceptable response. Your friend texts: “I’m thinking about going to the park later.” Not a riveting text, sure, but texting back a too-simple ‘k’ is a bit rude.

3.    Don’t LOL if it isn’t a joke. Yes, sometimes coming up with a clever text response can be tricky. But LOL isn’t it. In response to something that isn’t funny, LOL reads as “I couldn’t think of anything other to say.” Pro tip: think of something original to send, rather than the most common of all digital text quips.

4.    Keep acronyms simple – and relevant. LOL, IDK, ROFL – these are texts everyone knows and, ok some people love. But throw in acronyms like IFYKWIM, NAGI, SWUP, WYCM, SSDD, and WTPA and that could make for one confusing text convo (and yes, those are all real acronyms).

5.    Watch out for picture overload. We all love pictures – in truth, we hold our Instagram accounts up there with smartphones, tablets, and running water in terms of sheer value, but texting too many pictures can wear out a text convo quick. Cute picture of a perfect frothy cappuccino? Great. Picture of the receipt, the pastry display, and some little dog wearing a sweater? Some details are better left to the imagination (ok, maybe send us the dog pic).