Textiquette – The Maze of Modern Manners


I wish I had invented the word ‘Textiquette’. For about 30 seconds I actually thought I had until a quick Google proved that, of course, it is a well-used noun that has been around since the dawn of, well, of texts.

It hasn’t quite made it into the grown up dictionaries yet but there are many definitions floating around, all basically describing it as the manners that should be employed when texting.

I love texting. It is succinct, to the point, avoids tedious conversations, provides an olive branch if needed and is the perfect opportunity for safe and gentle flirting. However, as the parent of a teen and a nearly teen, I am under constant ridicule for my texting style.

Firstly, I am incapable of the two thumb text method. I have tried and tried but my thumbs are just not right, ergonomically speaking.  Even with auto correct switched on I still end up with a typed message that bears no resemblance to what I actually want to say. So I use my forefinger to type. Just one forefinger which apparently makes me look like a mad, blind old women. Great.

Secondly, I mostly use WHOLE WORDS, and, I usually start the message with Hi…(insert name), even though I am sending a message to their own personal phone so the name bit is really not necessary.  It just seems more polite somehow.

I don’t really hold with all the abbreviations, I love words too much and I generally find that once you reach a certain age you get the text lingo wrong anyway. We all know people who insist on signing off LOL thinking they are sending fond love not laughing in your face.

Despite these text faux pas, I do use the medium a lot and quite often have a Textiquette quandary that has my forefinger hovering over the keys before I press send.

E.G. – when do you put a kiss at the end of a message? My general rule is that for friends and family a X is standard. Sometimes a special friend might get XX after a particularly warm exchange of messages. But texting an arrangement to a parent you don’t know well or have never met – no kiss. Then they send you a kiss on their message and you feel like an ice bitch but it goes against the grain to send one back so you are stuck in a total Textiquette nightmare.

The kiss question is amplified when exchanging messages with members of the opposite sex. Unless you both use a X from the off, in some sort of unspoken ‘I always put kisses to be friendly, it doesn’t mean anything’ type agreement, then you are basically in a kiss off minefield. If there are usually no Xs then the sudden appearance of one becomes laden with meaning, even if it not! And then you have whole ‘how do I reply’ quandary all over again.

I’ve got a male friend who is totally guilty of this. We have a happy text friendship and from the outset the unwritten no kiss rule was agreed. BUT, whenever he texts me late in the evening after a few drinks a rogue X appears at the end of the text. So I reply in kind because it seems polite and then in the cold light of next day a plain no X message appears leaving me hot necked and flustered thinking I’ve sent the wrong message – in every sort of way. Aarrgghh!!

Occasionally, if I am driving or cooking or just lazy I will dictate a text to the tween who will be my cyber secretary and type it in for me. This is generally a cunning plan but last week I realized that I must always check her work before she hits send. This is what was despatched to the mother of her friend as a message from me

Hi Karen, could Bella come back with us after school on Wednesday so they can get their stool together for the summer fair? Thanks Clare xxxx”

Not only have I implied that they will be undertaking some sort of faeces related activity rather than bag sweets for the candy stall, there are also FOUR kisses on the text!

OMG dat wiL teach me 2 delegate LOL…


2 thoughts on “Textiquette – The Maze of Modern Manners

  1. min1980 says:

    The kisses thing is such a minefield! I tend to put them on by default-then feel affronted if and as if I’m being over-familiar if I don’t get them back!


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