Mind your manners in group texting
Text messaging, or SMS (short message service), was invented in 1985 to take advantage of unused resources in the phone system. But the fact that it’s been around for a while doesn’t make the “netiquette” of group texting any easier.
If you and your colleagues use group texting, consider adding these rules to your social media policy:
- Not at night. Late hours—after 10 p.m. on weeknights—should be reserved for serious crises.
- No personal announcements. Group-texting photos of the sales director’s newborn baby qualifies as spam and, worse, requires burbley responses. Reserve it for company email.
- Don’t be a data-killer. Not everybody buys unlimited data. GIFs, emoji, photos and videos feast on it.
- Stop passing notes. Yes, business meetings can be boring, but the zzzzzzt-zzzt-zzzt of texts with “OMG so000ooo bored” impede productivity.
- Remove nonparticipants. If you’ve created a group to work on a special project, remove any drop outs.
- Identify yourself. Some people will receive notes with only phone numbers up top. Say who you are, and if you don’t know who’s texting, say, “Sorry, who’s this?”
- Check for missing persons. iPhones and Androids are different; a Droid may be left out. Clues: A Droid header may say “Group MMS” while iPhone says “Group,” and blue messages mean iMessage, while green may be Droid.
- Let old text chains die. Especially after a week.
- No cliffhangers. If you begin setting up a project or a meeting, finish. Don’t make your people ask for a time or place.