Now I begin the series. Communicating in 2014.
The title leaves room for interpretation, but here is what I am doing. Since the beginning of the technology revolution (since about 2000), our ways of communicating have increased exponentially.
The rules used to be as easy as, if someone calls you, call them back day of. Now with text messages, emails, Facebook, G-chat, vine, faxes, Instagram and just about anything else imaginable, we need guidelines to tell us how to use these properly.
To give you all the rules in one article would take all night to read and all week to write. I will start with texts:
Here are some rules I came up through my intentional and unintentional research:
1. You dont always have to respond. Its true. If someone texts you something funny and your best possible response is, “ha!” Maybe just leave it alone. Unless they are paying you, then maybe a brief few letters is necessary. Receiving “man, I was so wasted last night bro!” does not deserve a response if you are about to perform brain surgery.
2. You dont always/ever have to respond right away. This is often overlooked and mistreated. If something is important, it can be communicated about via phone call. So, on the other side of the coin, dont get mad if someone doesnt respond to your text right away. Next day is fine in most cases.
3. “Haha” beats “ha” every day of the week. As it applies to the previous rule. If you are going to respond with “ha,” go ahead and add “haha.” “Ha” seems obligatory, patronizing, and insincere. If you think the text you received is funny, go with at least, “haha.”
4. “k” is just another nice way of saying, “[eff] you.” It’s the digital middle finger and loosely translates to “you and your text are insignificant. “Ok” is soooooooooooo much better, dignifying, and useful than “k.”
5. Work texts–Now that we are texting at work and sometimes our work texts carry as much weight as any phone call, spell out all of the words. Simply stated, if its a work text, say “You,” not “u,” “are” not “r,” “for” not “4.” There are other examples, but you get it.
6. Less is More–I love when people are open, secure and tell me all I need to know. Seriously, being open about one’s life is usually a sign of a trusting and probably trustworthy person. With this, text messages are generally reserved for shorter conversations when you cannot talk on the phone. If you author a text which requires the reader to scroll down when your text starts at the top of their screen, call them and tell them about the paragraph or short novel you want to send. Ironically, this is the longest rule so far:-)
7. Count to 600/10 minutes–if you receive a text that “sets you off” or angers you, or just puts you in a less desirable state, wait a few minutes or ten. A text lives as long as the receiver wants it to. You cannot take it back. Either take your time to respond or wait and call them later before putting something in writing you might regret.
8. Emojis are the icing on the cake–One of the best inventions since WordPress are the addition of emojis to text characters. They are humorous, useful, and a lot of other things. Use when appropriate as much as possible.
9. Snapchat=wonderful–the reason for its inception is quite humorous, but even the guys who started it (too lazy to look up their names) could not have predicted the infatuation people over 25 would have with it. It can be useful in non-R or X-rated ways including just not wanting extra messages on your phone. It only takes up space for less than a minute at a time. Consider using it for one of those, “Bro, I was so wasted last night” texts. This will be covered at greater length later, but who knew Snapchat could actually be useful for something other than would be Brett Favre’s legacy tarnishing picture messages.
10. Use chain texts sparingly. We have all willingly and unwillingly been a part of these. Sometimes they are funny and appropriate when someone has a baby, but everyday witticisms can be delivered another way. These create an unnecessary amount of vibrations or message alerts resulting from people weighing in to send things like, “That’s so funny.” Dont do this a lot.
In conclusion, your readership is the wind beneath my wings. Please weigh in with your own comments/new rules. I welcome any interaction here.