Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Some guidelines for texting.

Post 437 - Research shows that people take longer to reply to voice messages than other types of communication. Data from uReach Technologies, which operates the voice messaging systems of Verizon Wireless and other cellphone carriers, shows that over 30% of voice messages linger unheard for three days or longer and that more than 20% of people with messages in their mailboxes rarely even dial in to check them.

By contrast, 91% of people under 30 respond to text messages within an hour, and they’re four times more likely to respond within minutes to texts than to voice messages, according to a 2008 study for Sprint conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation. The study also found that adults 30 and older are twice as likely to respond within minutes to a text than to a voice message.

Texting is a good way to communicate because:

* You can really craft your response before you send it.

* You can use emoticons! /(.^.)\.

* If you’re busy you don’t have to respond right away.

* It’s sometimes a lot less scary than calling someone in person.

* A lack of response can be very powerful.

Texting can be a problem because:

* Your text conversation is recorded forever!! And text messages can be traced.

* It’s easy to send the wrong text to the wrong person.

* Texts are often shared among friends - “Look what Elizabeth said about ...”

* It’s difficult to pick up someone's tone in a text – a playful tone doesn’t always come through correctly and sarcasm can be difficult to convey. So steer clear of that when texting to ensure your message will be understood.

* Sometimes you want a response right away but the sender can’t or won’t reply.

Here are a few rules to text by:

* Keep it short and sweet. Get your point across and leave it at that; don’t elaborate on any unnecessary ideas.

* Don't just say, "Hey it's me, so & so, what's up?" You’ll just get the obvious, socially programmed response of "Not much, how about you?" Try to be creative and memorable in your opening message.

* "Text me when you need me." Otherwise, don't bother me. If it's really urgent, make a voice call.

* Texting is considered a casual form of communication and is used primarily to chat with friends and family. To be straightforward and clear, text full words, especially in business dealings. It’s poor etiquette to use texting for important conversations, such as breaking up with a significant other or sending condolences to someone. Also it should never be used to deliver bad news to someone. Such conversations are best done face-to-face.

* Be careful of what you say about third parties as it may be passed on or read or posted by others.

* Be responsive but not rude. If you want to respond to a text, and you're in a conversation with others, ask for permission. Appropriate times to text are when you have some time to yourself, such as in the doctor’s waiting room. It’s also OK to text when talking on your cell phone would disturb others, such as in an auditorium or a library.

* Make sure that your humor is clear and easily interpreted. Always ask yourself, "Is there any way that this could be misinterpreted?" If your answer is yes, then alter it or add to it.

* Don’t text while driving: It’s both dumb and dangerous. Talking on a phone is bad enough. You won't know what hit you - or what you hit - if you’re pounding out a message on your keyboard.

So, if you don’t text already, join the revolution. More than 90% of younger people text, while only 20% of people over 45 do so. And according to a study by German technology advocate Bitkom, people age 14 to 29 would rather give up their relationship partner than their cell phone - by a 2-to-1 margin! That's scary.

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