Great for Exercising your Thumbs.

The generation gap on technology is clearly being closed by the not so new art of mobile text messages.  ComScore MobiLens, released data discussing American use of mobile devices.  One number that jumped out is that in a 3 month period ending in June 2011, 234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile phones.  I know for a fact that I have 3 cousins ages 9-11 that use mobile phones so that number is likely a bit higher.  Point is, most Americans have a cell phone and 68% of mobile activity is sending text messages.

We need to communicate on a whole variety of topics and we use our mobile phones to ease that process when we are not home (or while we are home, thus replacing the landline phone.)  I can see someone texting their spouse to bring milk and eggs before they get home from work or engaging in day long conversation with a new romantic interest.  Even chatting with a business partner about new developments of the day are simplified.

However, I also see that texting can lead to ugly business, personal and romantic breakups due to there being a loss in translation.  A major concern about texting is the ruining of the English Language for our youth or even damaging your child’s ability to communicate with people face to face without a mobile buffer.

Like the radio and television before it, people will continue to use it to the point that it’s as everyday as sliced bread.  Actually, it already is and will continue to grow as younger generations mature.   As we move forward with this form of communication,  there needs to be some guidelines (best practices if you will) when it comes to texting.   Here are the Top 5 things you should know about texting.

5.  Saying “Good Morning, Good Night, Please and Thank you” still apply.

Just because the person you’re talking to is not in front of you does not mean you shouldn’t be polite.   Because someone can’t hear your voice, they can’t tell when your asking for something nicely or demanding.  They don’t know when you are done with the conversation.  These words are powerful and lets the person know you are being polity.  If you don’t, people can really confuse your intention and lead to an argument you had no intention of starting.

4. Dont assume people know your being sarcastic.

Gogol says “I can’t believe Ahmed thinks I am stupid”, Cesar says “Why is that hard to believe”. Gogol says “You are such a &^%&*(“, Cesar says “What, I was just kidding”, Gogal says “Whatever”.   Simple I know, but speaks volumes.  Sometimes the person is very sensitive and can’t notice sarcasm in a text.  There is a reason the words “I am kidding” exists. Don’t wait to use it, put it all in the same message. Be clear when you are joking.

3. Do not have serious conversations via text.

Confronting a significant other about how you caught them with someone else via text can lead to trouble.  One honestly can not express emotions and/or complex ideas in less than 140 characters, give or take.  Do yourself a favor and just make the phone call. If you can’t express yourself via the phone, than the relationship is not as serious as you think it is.

2.  Sexting has is disadvantages.

Cell phone offers a buffer between the two parties.   It is easy to ask for what you want regarding intimacy when you don’t have to look at the person. However, this puts you in a VERY vulnerable position.  If you cross the line when the other party does not consent, it can leave you liable to whatever reaction they have. It can also come back to haunt you if the relationship goes sour.   And if you are underaged, this really opens the floodgate to problems.

1. Please dont forget how to spell!

“OMG I cant w8 2 go hom n take a showr” helps save character space so you can say more without creating a second text page. But beware of doing it so much that it can be found in your essay or article.  I have yet to meet someone who would take an essay for class or an article seriously if the paper is riddled with text lingo.   Let me make this point visual:

“OMG I can W8 2 go hom n take a showr” hlps save char space so u cn sa mor w/o cr8ing sec text pg. Bt Bware of doin it so mch dat itz +d 3 yr essay or rtcl. Ive yet 2 meet sum1 hu w%d tak an essay 4 cls or an rtcl serisly f d ppr wz riddled w txt lingo.

This might change in 10-15 years but believe me, it will NOT work for you now and it will backfire if you try to start this trend!

What other best practices you think people should be aware of when texting?