OK, let's be real. There's no such thing as texting habits that can make you more attractive (whatever that means). But in this age of constant and sometimes confusing communication, there are ways to seem more likable over text, which can be pretty important since it's so easy for our true meanings and intentions to be misconstrued.
As ridiculous as it sounds, sometimes the placement of a period, or a lack of an emoticon, can be the difference between a totally pleasant text exchange and several hours spent agonizing over whether or not someone is mad at you. And do we all totally over analyze at some time or another? Of course.
But that doesn't make the phenomenon any less real, and also doesn't mean that knowing how to clearly communicate our tone through text can't make our social lives way easier. Because for most of us, a ton — if not most — of our communicating is done through texting these days, so making sure we're coming across to others the way we intend is arguably just as important as being able to effectively communicate our ideas in person or over the phone.
Basically, texting is here to stay, and most of text a lot. So that being said, here are nine texting habits that can help you communicate your best you.
1. Use Those Emojis
In a piece for The Huffington Post, best selling author Adam Gilad said when in doubt, use emojis. "Smileys. Pandas with signs. Images of planes, trains and automobiles. Emojis are not only often adorable — they are amazingly clear. In fact, linguists say it’s the first new language to be invented in a very, very long time," Gilad said. And I know, emojis can seem kind of lame. But you don't have to relegate yourself to winking smiley faces. There are a ton of genuinely funny and creative emojis to choose from on most apps. So have fun with it.
2. Keep It Short & Sweet
Gilad also recommended keeping texts brief. "The whole point of texting is that it’s short and to the point," he said. So instead of going on a three paragraph text rant when someone asks you how your day went, consider just saying something like, "Crazy! Can't wait to tell you about it."
3. Send Pics
A HuffPost compilation piece by on-staff media experts recommended sending photos when you can (not those kinds of photos). A picture of something funny you saw at the grocery store, or a super pretty landscape, is always more engaging than a, "Hey, what's up?" It's also a chance to showcase your creativity and sense of humor.
4. Pace Yourself
That same HuffPost compilation piece also warned against sending too many texts to someone before you get one back. Now there are no hard and fast rules on this one (I've texted my best friend about a thousand times in the span of an hour while waiting for her to respond), but in general, it can potentially be overwhelming when you're texting with someone you're just getting to know.
5. Don't Communicate "Big" Things
This is a personal tip, but I think it's one we can all get behind. As ubiquitous as texting has become, there are still some things in life that deserve a face-to-face or phone call. Don't break up with someone over text, or give them bad news in general. If you wouldn't want it done to you, don't do it to someone else.
6. Be Prompt
Gilad also recommended being prompt with your replies. Now this doesn't mean you have to be plugged in 24/7. It just means not waiting 8 hours to get back to someone with the answer to a question, or totally disappearing without warning in the middle of a pleasant back and forth. This is another one that just comes down to treating others the way you'd want to be treated.
7. Try Not To Overuse The "Haha" Card
This is another personal tip, so it's definitely OK to take it with a grain of salt. I often find that friends tend to use "haha" a lot, especially when texting with people they don't know very well. I definitely see the appeal — it makes it clear you're not mad or upset, and it can help bring a lighter tone to the conversation. But if something's genuinely not all that funny, or your using it to mask what you really think, try being more your authentic self. With pictures, gifs, memes, and a world of emoticons out there, there are a ton of other creative and cool ways to break the ice.
8. Pay Attention To Your Tone
I know, sometimes we're just crazy busy and we're just trying to respond to a text and move on. But remember that texting is probably the most misinterpreted mode of communication out there, so I always find that it's worth taking the extra two seconds to add an exclamation point, smiley face, or other little detail to lighten the mood and make sure I'm absolutely not being misunderstood. Because no one wants to have the, "Are you mad at me?" conversation over a simple miscommunication.
9. Don't Worry About Playing It Cool
A compilation piece for Glamour about tips for texting recommended not worrying about playing it cool, and I'd have to agree. There's so much advice out there about not being the first to text after a date, or not texting if you were the last one to initiate, etc., but I say forget it! If you have something to say, say it! Odds are the other person will be happy to hear from you and won't be thinking about the "rules" at all.
Texting is kind of like a new language, so it's no surprise that a lot of us spend time scratching our heads and wondering what exactly a text message really meant. The good news is there are definitely super simple things we can do to help lessen the confusion and make sure we're broadcasting our very best selves.