Talking on the phone is so 1990s. These days it’s all about texting! Smartphones have so many different apps that take sending text-messages to all sorts of levels.
However, there are challenges when it comes to texting. Voice conveys mood and tone, and a colorful screen can’t achieve this as well. Relationships have been damaged forever, and business deals have come undone, even small nations may have disappeared, all because of a misunderstood text message.
So how can you avoid these pitfalls? Read on.
Who’s Your Audience?
When sending a text message, think first about who you’re sending it to. Just like face-to-face communication, there’s a time to be formal and a time to be informal. “Hey baldy, that report you wanted is in your inbox”, is probably not an appropriate way to message the CEO of your company. The gang at Entrepeneur advises that even though it’s an SMS, you still need to present yourself professionally if required.
One of the main benefits of texting is that it’s shorter than making a call. There’s even a whole new vocabulary of SMS abbreviations to make this task even shorter.
Abbreviations, however, create a whole new set of problems. If you misunderstand the use, you could be sending an entirely different message. For instance:
LOL – means ‘laugh out loud’ not ‘lots of love.’
FL – does not refer to the state of Florida; it means ‘flourish.’
WTF – does not mean ‘why the face?’, it means something ruder
These misunderstandings can be hilarious, but could also get the texter into a lot of trouble.
Everyone loves emojis. They’re cute and convey a wide range of emotions. However, it would be best if you’re careful you don’t use the wrong one.
Heres an example. For many years people confused the emoji with the ‘laughing tears’ with the ‘crying face’ emoji. It was so easy to really distress an already upset person:
Also, emojis are used to add to a message not to be the message. An entire text of emojis looks like the work of a 5-year-old. Unless that’s what you’re trying to achieve, restrict your use accordingly.
If you’re trying to woo someone via SMS, try to be unique. Don’t do what everyone else does. Saying “hi” and nothing else is boring, try “Hey I was thinking of you…”. Another simple thing is to use the recipient’s name. Not many people think to do this, and you’ll come across as though you’re more interested in them. Read this to get some more creative ideas about standing out from the texting crowd.
Don’t Write a Novel
The whole purpose of using SMS is to get a quick message across. This isn’t the format for sending a colossal business proposal, a stock order or a rough draft of a short story. These things are better kept for email.
SMS messages should be short and sweet, so if you feel like it’s getting a bit wordy, consider that the other person most likely feels the same way and won’t bother to read it all either.
Get it Right, Every Time
Texting is the new calling, so take full advantage of this efficient time saver. Make sure, though, that you’re getting it right. Keep your language appropriate for the receiver. Abbreviations are necessary but use them correctly.
Try to choose the right emoji and use them sparingly. Be unique; don’t send dull, boring messages. Finally, keep it concise, if you have more than a few lines to say, consider using another medium.