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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Letters from Mallory Hawkins

You might think sending a quick text to your bestie, your girlfriend or your classmate is a harmless act. But, as is the case with most things, I have to disagree. It isn’t that I mind texting; I myself send at least 100 messages a day. The problem arises when I receive something in my inbox that goes against common etiquette or that looks like this: “”C U L8R!””

A good rule of thumb to follow is if you are not willing to say it in person, you shouldn’t send it via text. The obvious interpretation of this is that you shouldn’t get ballsy via texting just because you are not face-to-face with someone, which is true. The only exception to this is a booty call, because it would be extremely awkward to initiate in person or via telephone.

The other, more pressing, interpretation of this rule, though, is if you’re not interested in sounding like an idiot when you talk or write to someone — by saying things like “”kk”” instead of “”OK”” or turning in papers that say “”U”” instead of “”you”” — then you shouldn’t text like one either.

What are you accomplishing by using weird abbreviations? The answer: nothing. How much time are you saving by using “”2moro”” instead of “”tomorrow?”” The answer: not enough.

Your chances of being taken seriously are going to diminish if you’re the person who thinks it is hip to alternate uppercase and lowercase letters. I kNoW tHiS uSeD tO bE rEaLlY cOoL iN mIdDlE sChOoL bUt We’Re iN cOlLeGe nOw So LeT’s PuT tHiS tO rEsT. Along the same lines is the excessive punctuation……….. you’re so mysterious………. Or really excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who has that much time to send texts like this? Not this girl, and frankly, not anyone with a life.

Even though we live in the digital age, it is important to remember that your cell phone not only sends texts but also functions as a telephone. Please remember this the next time you go to send a text message so long it belongs in the “”Guinness Book of World Records.”” Nobody likes receiving a four-part text with missing words. It’s annoying as hell trying to decipher what the sender was trying to say. Anything longer than two messages should be a phone call or email, not a text.

A phone call should also trump a text when you are responding to someone’s call. If you miss a call, you look like an a-hole if you immediately respond with the text, “”Hey I saw you called. What’s up?”” Unless you’re in class or at work, then you are expected to call back.

Another a-hole move that is plain rude is the delayed response. For example, if you text me and I quickly text you back, you cannot wait an hour to respond to what I just sent. It is obvious that your phone was just in your hand; it did not grow a pair of legs and walk away. You just decided that you were above texting me back, which is odd because I didn’t initiate the conversation.

Few things are worse than talking shit about somebody in a text and then accidentally sending it to that person. What usually happens is you type an entire message talking about someone and since that person is on your brain you naturally enter it as the receiver. To avoid this, don’t start talking shit until you have entered the text recipient.

If, however, you do mistakenly send the message to the wrong person, there are two choices. You can either A) tell them that you sent it to the wrong person, which isn’t going to get you out of any trouble; or B) tell them you just got that text from somebody else and you thought you should share it. Option B will alleviate all awkwardness and make you look like such a good friend.

The seemingly innocent inquiry of “”What are you doing?”” is rarely a good start to a texting conversation. I can think of two instances in which it leads to an upsetting outcome. The first situation goes like this: You’re sitting around doing nothing when you get a text asking about your plans for the evening. You get your hopes up, thinking that your night has taken a turn for the better and now you’re going to have plans. Wrong. The response that always comes after hearing about your open night is an, “”Oh, OK. Cool.””

Why would you even ask about what I am doing if you didn’t have any interest in doing something with me? You’re such a tease.

The second situation is even worse — someone asks what your plans are for the day, and because you don’t want to actually type your whole agenda, you respond with, “”Not much.”” Worst mistake ever. Now, the inquirer has the opportunity to ask any favor, short of donating your kidney, and you have to agree because you already established that you’re not busy.

The moral of the story is that there is a text etiquette that should be upheld. Text like you would speak, and don’t throw out the grammar.

 

— Mallory Hawkins is a communication senior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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