Awkward Moments in Texting & How to Handle Them

by Jackie Potts

Text message technology may have turned 20 on Dec. 3 (Happy Burpday, Texts!), but text etiquette? It’s apparently flunking debate at Bronson Alcott High. (Clueless, anyone?) No one seems to know exactly what the rules are and when it comes to mobile dating, things can get pretty awkward, pretty quickly.

Examples: How do you respond when your new crush mistakenly sends you a text meant for someone else? Derp. What about when you don’t want a second date with that nice bloke/goddess you just met for coffee? Erm. Heh.

To find out, we consulted the pinnacle of manners herself, Miss Emily Post (author of the 1922 tome “Etiquette”). Born in 1872, Emily is now  140 years old. So it was slightly surprising to discover the old goose had a webpage dedicated to Text Etiquette on emilypost.com. Behold her stellar advice …

For the lightning-fast thumb typist, Emily advises:  “If you receive a text that was sent to you by mistake, reply explaining that you aren’t the intended recipient. You don’t have to respond to anything else in the message.”

We’re pretty sure that means no ALL-CAPS interrogations about who the message was really intended for, or profane rants about the sender’s character. You are, however, invited to assign Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” to the sender’s caller ID.

For that hopeful dater-ista who didn’t fire your jets, Emily says: “You shouldn’t use text messaging when informing someone of sad news … unless it’s to set up a phone call on the subject.” Agreed. But no one really wants to get a phone call to hear why they’ve been rejected, do they?

Take it from a fun golf date I had. Later, he texted, “I enjoyed meeting you, but I don’t feel a connection. Good luck in your search.”  Polite, direct, non-specific. Sure, it smarts for an hour or two, but at least you’re not staring down the phone, waiting for the next date invite that never comes.

Got an awkward text moment you need a reply for? Share it here and we’ll  come up with a suitable retort!

Jackie Potts is a blogger at Marketsmiths.com

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Filed under Chat Tips, Date Etiquette, Dating Tips

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