5 texting etiquette rules you should know

2 min read

Do you ever find yourself confused when someone texts you? How soon should you text them back? How many emojis should you use? Do you use an exclamation point? A period?

Believe it or not, there are rules that guide texting behavior. It’s become an art form over the past decade or so, complete with widely-accepted yet unspoken etiquette. The thing is, people probably won’t tell you you’re doing it wrong, but you could accidentally be sending mixed signals. Luckily, we’ve got some tips here for you. We might not be able to do anything about your relatives who can’t seem to type a coherent sentence, but we can at least help you be a better texter.

Use emojis judiciously

Everyone uses emojis these days. Feel free to sprinkle them into your messages, but think about the context. As in, maybe don’t use the kiss emoji for your boss. But if you’re texting a friend, a smiley face or heart emoji will let them know your message is light hearted.

In a text-based form of communication with no indication of tone or intent, emojis add meaning to your text. If you don’t use them, you run the risk of coming off cold, like you don’t actually want to talk to that person at all. Although, if that’s what you want, leave out the emojis and maybe they’ll get the picture.

Watch your punctuation

Punctuation is just as big a deal as emojis. The absolute worst thing you can do is end your sentence with a period. Seriously. Periods come off as flat at best and at worst hostile. You’re better off using no punctuation at all if you want to sound neutral. (It’s okay; it’s not a school paper.)

Punctuation quantity matters, too. A single exclamation point is fine for a coworker or a casual acquaintance. But if you’re talking to your bestie, feel free use liberally. Without exclamation points in a casual, friendly text, you might as well be using a period!!

Don’t Send A Million Texts

The worst thing

Is when

Your friend

Sends 16 texts


In the span of 30 seconds

If you’ve ever been that person who forgot to silence their phone in a meeting, you’re probably dying inside. Even reading that was annoying, wasn’t it? Don’t do this. Spare your loved ones. They will thank you.

Don’t use all caps

NO ONE WANTS A TEXT THAT SCREAMS AT THEM. Unless it’s mutual, when you’re yelling about the season finale you just watched. That is the ONLY time it’s appropriate. Otherwise, all caps texts are just stress messages. You can say what you need to say with lowercase letters.

Use the right laughter level

Are you LOLing? ROFL? What about an LMAO? Some people will use an LOL at the end of a sentence, almost like a punctuation mark to indicate lightheartedness or even sarcasm.

And then there’s the reliable “haha.” When communicating with someone, decide how many ha’s are appropriate. A single ha conveys less humor and can even come across as short and annoyed. The more ha’s, the funnier the last message actually was, and you’d do well to know how invested you want to appear to the other person.

Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! — Only for your absolute best friend.

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