Now that everyone is spending more time texting, a few rules of the road might be in order.
Geoffrey James, writing in the Sales Source column for Inc., has come up with his unwritten rules for business texting:
- Don’t text a question you can google. There’s no need to text someone for driving directions if you have a smartphone.
- Don’t text spam. It will probably be the last time you hear from that person.
- Don’t text anything indiscreet. The wrong person could be looking over the recipient’s shoulder.
- Don’t text a wrong number. Double-check the number before hitting send or cut and paste it.
- Don’t text anything complex. Complex information belongs in an email, not a text.
- Don’t text in ALL CAPS. Use asterisks for emphasis.
- Don’t text whilst driving. Texting makes you 23 times more likely to get in an accident.
- Don’t text while tipsy. This could ruin your credibility or your business relationship.
- Don’t text indecipherable abbreviations. Take the time to spell it out.
- Don’t text to avoid delivering bad news personally. Make it face to face.
- Don’t text whilst in a face-to-face meeting. No one appreciates this rude behavior.
- Don’t text trivial courtesy messages. A thanks back to the sender isn’t needed.
- Don’t try to text anything subtle. Shoot for clarity; don’t try to be clever.
- Don’t expect an immediate text back. The recipient may be busy or unavailable.
- Don’t text people who might be sleeping. Apply the same rules as when phoning: nothing after 9 p.m. or before 7 a.m.
- Don’t ever text the acronym “LOL.” You’re not in middle school anymore.
— Adapted from “16 Rules for Business Texting,” Geoffrey James, Inc.