The Commandments of Text Messaging

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If you’ve ever though, “Gee, I really wish there was a text message rule book so I wouldn’t have to deal with all these annoying texting habits everyone I know has,” you’re in luck. No, there isn’t an official text message rule book — but there are plenty of other people who feel your pain. Because just knowing what people think about text message etiquette isn’t enough, is it?

Redditor born_here took to AskReddit bright and early this morning to ask the question, “If text messaging had a rule book, what should the first rule be?” Reddit tends to have… shall we say, firm opinions anyway — but little did we know that its denizens feel so strongly about text messaging. There’s no vitriol like that spewed towards pet peeves.

But you know what? Most of these rules are pretty good advice. Texting can be a wonderful and convenient thing — but there’s nothing worse than receiving a message with such garbled grammar that you can’t figure out what it’s trying to say, or multiple messages all in a row, or the dreaded “We need to talk” text. So do yourself and everyone you know a favor and take these recommendations to heart — and feel free to add a few, too!

1. Proofread

To which I would also add the following:

Thoroughly rereading your entire text — both the message field and the recipient field — before you send it will a) ensure your grammar is correct; b) guard against typos; c) stop autocorrect from taking over the world; and d) prevent the dreaded “Oops, I definitely sent that to the wrong person” gaff from occurring.

Why is this important? Because of...

2. The Rule of Grammatical Intelligence


3. Don’t Text and Drive

This one should be a no-brainer, no matter who you are.

4. Keep Romance and Booze Out of It


It’s always a mistake. But hey, at least if you break this one, there are ways to stop it from coming back to bite you in the arse.

5. Text in Complete Sentences

It’s permissible every now and again — we’ve all accidentally hit the “send” button due to its close proximity to the O, P, and I buttons — but don’t make it a habit. Also:

6. Consolidate Your Messages

I am incredibly guilty of breaking this rule.

7. No Sarcasm

A word to the wise: What’s obvious when you’re speaking aloud may not be quite as obvious when written down.

8. Keep Acronyms and Abbreviations to a Minimum

See also: The Rule of Grammatical Intelligence.

9. Dick Pics Must Be Actively Solicited Before They Are Sent

ScratchMax has it right: Unless the person on the other end says “Yes, I would love to see a picture of your dick,” DO NOT SEND ONE.

10. If Time Is of the Essence, Just Call, Already

As redditor Foiey Mcfoie wrote in response, “Exactly, texting is for my convenience, not yours. I’m not your f*cking butler just waiting for your every thought to respond to.”

11. None of This “We Need to Talk” Nonsense.

Seriously. If you must tell someone over text that you need to have a very important conversation with them, the very least say something like, “Hey, can we set up a time to talk? I’m free on Tuesday and Thursday night this week.”

12. The Fight Club Method

It’s amazing how applicable the rules of Fight Club are to the world of text messaging.

13. Don’t Text Without a Reason

Any conversation that begins, “Hey, what’s up?” is automatically DOA.

14. No Group Texts Unless They Are Absolutely Necessary

Because group texts are the worst .

Images: Giphy (2); Doctor Who/Tumblr; Photobucket; Rebloggy