Sharon Koehler

Artistic Stone Design

Many moons ago, when I was in the third grade up in Norwalk, Connecticut, my teacher came in one day and put black telephones on all our desks. That morning we all learned the proper way to answer the phone. The lesson that day was Telephone Etiquette.  

Now, that must have stuck with me because not too long ago, I was talking on a recorded line and someone told me I had “mad” phone skills. That’s probably a good thing to have, especially in the business world.  However, in this day and time, we also need to be aware of Text Etiquette as well.  Yes, there are text manners and etiquette.  And since more and more business is being done with this form of communication, we should probably be aware of what the rules are.

Know and practice proper textiquette.

Know and practice proper textiquette.

If you have to deliver bad news,  don’t do it by text. Give the recipient the courtesy of a call, or better yet, do it face-to-face.

If you have to deliver bad news,  don’t do it by text. Give the recipient the courtesy of a call, or better yet, do it face-to-face.

Text Etiquette or Textiquette 

Beware the “Mass Text.” Your phone contacts list is probably part friends and part business. Your friends may want to know that you are celebrating your fifth anniversary, but the guy that refinished your hardwood floors two years ago couldn’t probably care less, and more than likely does not want to be part of the mass anniversary congratulations.  

Reread before you send

We have all said it, “Oh that d*** auto correct.” If you don’t take a couple of seconds to reread your text, you can send something quite embarrassing. This very thing happened to me a while back. I sent a text to one of our male employees to pick up some caulk at the tile supply store. Auto correct changed it to a completely different word and both he and I were very embarrassed. We laugh about it now, but back then, it wasn’t so funny. I reread everything now. So should you, just to be safe.

Long Lost Friend

 If you are texting someone you have not spoken to in a while, either announce your name in the beginning or sign your text at the end. People can change phones and contacts can get lost. Don’t let them think the text is just a mistake. The same goes for a recent business contact that might not have gotten you into their contact list yet.


 If you don’t get a quick response to a message, don’t blow up that person’s phone with more and more messages. Wait, relax and take a deep breath. The other person may not be able to text you back immediately. They may be driving, at work or in a meeting. On the flip side to that, if you get a text message, reply as soon as safely and humanly possible. Don’t blow the sender off.

Sarcasm is a NO-NO – Sarcasm is fine in a verbal exchange but unless you are texting a sibling or a BFF, (Someone who knows you very, very, well) avoid sarcasm. Your tone and voice inflection can’t be read and you may accidentally hurt someone’s feelings.

Check the Recipient

Double, triple, quadruple check the recipient line. Just today, I accidentally sent a text to my BFF that was actually meant for the man in my life. Now because she is my BFF it was okay and we laughed, but had that been my boss or another co-worker by mistake, BIG TROUBLE, folks. I was in a hurry and didn’t check.  ALWAYS check.

Chatspeak is a No–No 

Not everyone knows every abbreviation, plus it makes you seem childish. Yes, it is so much quicker to type “My BFF is GAB RRR” than to type “My best friend is getting another beer, hardyharhar,” but abbreviations are tricky and can mean more than one thing. There are people out there who still think LOL means “Lots of Love.” 

ALL CAPS is a No–No 

This is true for e-mail and text messages. IF YOU TYPE IN ALL CAPS, IT MEANS YOU ARE YELLING AT SOMEONE! Let the kinder, gentler you out in text messages. Don’t yell. If you are having an argument with someone, call.

Get Your Lingo Right

Make sure you use the “right laugh” for the situation:  Ha is for when you don’t think something is funny and you want someone to know that. Haha  is when something isn’t funny but you want to be polite. Hahaha is for smiling. Hahahaha is for something that really made you laugh. HAHAHAHA+ (this is an exception to the all caps rule) is for when you find something so funny that you just can’t stop laughing (there’s always ROTFL, but see Chatspeak is a No-No).

Don’t Be Rude 

 If you are hanging out with someone in person, don’t keep up a constant barrage of texting someone else. If you must send a text or two, apologize to your in-person company, and then stop as soon as possible. 

Never Send Bad News by Text 

Several years ago my cousin died. Instead of picking up the phone and calling me, her brother (my other cousin) sent me a one line text telling me what happened. Some things are too heavy or serious for texting. Some things require a phone call. If you can pick up the phone to text, you can pick up the phone to call.

Don’t Walk and Text 

While not as dangerous as texting and driving, walking an texting is still dangerous. By now, we have all seen the video of the woman texting while walking down the street and falling into a hole created by an open access door. That is just the tip of the iceberg for this type of accident. Plus, if you stop in the middle of the sidewalk to read or answer a text, the person behind you may run into you accidentally, and you both could get hurt. The general rule here is that if you must text while you’re a moving pedestrian, step over to the side, out of the way of foot traffic.

Don’t Text and Drive 

The government is serious enough about the hazards of this to make it a LAW, so this should need no explanation. We have all seen the commercials, news stories and statistics on this one. Keep yourself and everyone else safe – DON’T do it!

Texting, in our personal lives as well as our business lives is now more the norm than the exception. Play by the rules and hopefully everyone will stay out of trouble.

Please send your thoughts on this article to Sharon Koehler at