Pavlov’s dog has nothing on us. We could be seven Kleenex in during a Lifetime movie marathon, knuckle deep inside a buttery lobster, or even painting the Sistine Chapel, but each time we hear the familiar beep, chime, or vibration of a text message arriving in our inbox, we will drop just about anything to satisfy our hunger to know what news may be waiting for us. We carefully craft and fire off a response, and return to our original task. No bone necessary.
While Miss Manners would roll over in her grave if she knew how quick we are to TiVo our live conversations so we can flip through our messages real-time, I’m more concerned with the lack of etiquette we extend to our messaging counterparts when sending and responding to these 160 character distractions. Thus, I’ve outlined a few guidelines I recommend we consider to ensure our ever-so-critical messages are truly worthy interruptions.
1) K is the most annoying letter in the texting language. If I’m going to ask my best friend to stop crying over her breakup for thirty seconds while I check my phone I better not just be looking at a stupid K. Don’t do it.
2) You’re not winning any awards for being on time. If we’re meeting at 7 I don’t need a text at 6:55 saying you’re parking. I’ll figure it out when you walk in.
3) Random mass photos of your “best burger in the world” are not welcome here.
4) If you’re going to forward me an uplifting quote, at least have the courtesy of removing the “FW:” so I can believe I’m the only person in the world who is “someone special.”
5) If you text me with a glaring typo, I pinky swear I’m not showing all my friends and laughing about what a dimwit you are. No need to send a follow-up message so I know you know it’s “their” and not “there.”
6) If I forget to end my text with a smiley face, don’t ask me what’s wrong.
7) If I remember to end my text with a smiley face, I’m done talking so please don’t respond.
8) If all I reply with is a smiley face, I’m rudely outing myself from the conversation whilst wasting your time with a worthless text. Put me in my place and respond with a K.
9) If your text says, “call me” it will be deleted immediately.
10) If I’m in a doctor’s office, endless grocery checkout line, or attempting to clean my house, all bets are off. Text whatever and whenever because I’m bored.
Hopefully next time you shhh your waiter so you can peer at your vibrating phone, you will be wowed and amazed at the incredible nugget you read.