By Chet Gladkowski
There are many common misconceptions, things that people think or assume are true. Here are four familiar ones.
- Fortune Cookies come from China.
- Microwaves cook from the inside out.
- The Polka is a Polish style of music and dance.
- There are no rules for texting.
All four are wrong.
- Fortune Cookies were invented in Japan during the 19th century.
- Microwaves only penetrate 3⁄8 of an inch, it cooks from the outside-in.
- Polkas originated around 1800 in Czechoslovakia, which is now the Czech Republic.
- Yes, there are some good rules of the digital highway for texting.
Here are my favorite, elite 8 rules for texting.
Rule 1 – Emojis
Like salt, sprinkle them, but consider the context. I wouldn’t use a kiss emoji to small group leaders. But a single smiley face or heart can let someone know your message is lighthearted.
Rule 2 – Punctuation
Texts don’t need to pass spelling or grammar checking. Don’t overuse question marks or exclamation points. Don’t end your text with a period, you’re better off using no punctuation at all.
Rule 3 – Fewer Messages
The worst thing
In 30 seconds
Even reading this is annoying, wasn’t it? Everyone will thank you.
Rule 4 – Fewer Words
Related to Rule 3, use as few words as possible, but be certain to keep the message intact. Try 5 words instead of 7.
Rule 5 – Abbreviations
Whether you use initialisms, abbreviations, acronyms, slang, or insider lingo, be sure your audience doesn’t feel left out. Help them to feel part of the team, being “in the know.”
Rule 6 – Capitalization
NO ONE WANTS A TEXT LIKE THIS. All caps just raise everyone’s stress levels. You can always say what you need to say with lowercase.
Rule 7 – Laughter Level
Are you “haha-ing” too much? Some people use LOL at the end of every sentence like punctuation. Some laughter is good and helpful. Too much and you’ll lose people left and right.
Rule 8 – Broken Links
In the immortal words of Charlie Brown, “AAUGH!” This is my personal pet peeve. When someone sends a hyperlink that doesn’t work, it screams that they think so little of people not to check it before hitting send. Please, please, please, check that your links work.
Text messaging can be very helpful in communicating and building community.
Use it well. Use it wisely. Use it effectively