The odd world of texting etiquette. Did you just hang up on me?

The odd world of texting etiquette

This is the odd world of texting etiquette

Imagine that you and I were having a phone conversation and I suddenly, without warning, just hung up. Then, 3 hours later, I called you back and just continued our previous conversation like nothing had happened. You would think that weird, right? In fact, you would think that was downright rude. How dare I disrespect you like that. However, this happens probably millions of times a day (FYI, that number is not hyperbole. Over 6 billion text messages are sent in the U.S. each day.) whenever we engage in text messaging. You will be chatting with a friend and then… *poof*. They are gone. No “gotta run”, no “sorry, the wife just got home”. No nothing. Then a few hours later they will just pick right back up where they left off.

Man over Fifty thinks this is very odd behavior. Yet, apparently we’ve just grown to accept it. In no in-person social interaction is this tolerated. You don’t just walk away from another person mid conversation. You don’t do it in a phone conversation either. The only time it appears to be socially acceptable is in non-verbal communications. Maybe it stems from the fact that text messaging and other social media communications are offshoots of emailing. Most of us have been emailing for roughly 20-25 years now and we understand emailing etiquette. You get an email and you have X amount of time to reply to that email. The amount of time varies considerably, however. Is the email from your boss, your girlfriend, someone you haven’t seen in years? Regardless, we know that we don’t have to reply immediately, or even at all if we don’t want to. It appears we have taken that mentality and assimilated it to our instant messaging world.

They are gone. No “gotta run”, no “sorry, the wife just got home”. No nothing. Then a few hours later they will just pick right back up where they left off.

Yet, instant messaging is just that… instant. It’s not exactly like email. Although we do receive emails pretty much instantaneously, there isn’t the connection that we feel during texting. With texting, you are in a conversation. With email… you are, but you aren’t. You don’t feel that connection. It’s like writing an actual letter. Email feels like it takes times for the other person to receive, digest, and craft a response. Texting is more immediate. More in the now. I’m guilty of this behavior as well. However, I’m going to start making a conscious effort to bring good ol’ civility back to texting. From now on I’m going to announce my intentions to exit or pause a conversation via text. Whether the recipient appreciates it or not. It’s the right thing to do in this odd world of texting etiquette.

Sorry, I almost forgot. I’m going to go now. Thanks for reading!

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