Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Texting Etiquette

Evvajean Mintz’s husband, Richard, a partner in a Boston law firm, arrives at the table with his BlackBerry clipped to his belt. “If there’s one second of spare time, and if you look away from him and lose eye contact, he immediately whips it out and starts looking at it,” she said. “I suggested I’d throw it out the window.”(Time)

I find texting while eating most of the times rude. It also goes the same for conversing with someone. But I'm not implying that I don't do it (if needed). But normally if I'm not catching up on a pertinent information through text, I don't do it.

Simply put there are places that I observe texting manners.


On a date, it's proper courtesy to engage more in conversation and keep cellphones in vibrate mode. You can never put your best foot forward when you converse and then stop to look at your phone and text. It's pathetic and more annoying if you try to do it secretly when your body movements give you away. This could be adjusted of course based on your profession. But even so, a simple courtesy of asking permission to text or answer would do, explaining that it is important. This certain excuse is only quite applicable to a few. If you're working for a top security agency or an on-call doctor. The rest just varies on the gravity of the text subject.

I joined a double date once and my good friend, a girl, kept texting in front of us. The guys, which included her date, didn't mind because the mood was casual and they can talk about stuff not limiting the conversation with us girls. But I was there itching to tell her to stop texting every five minutes. Hers was not a passing text, it was chronic. It was like she was reporting the developments to a bunch of people every five minutes. She might be very popular and outgoing, but her fingers were non-stop. His date at some point maybe turned a blind a eye and thanked the heavens he was with other people. But in fairness to my girl friend, she was paying attention. She could multi-task, but still, the act is kind of strange. I guess the first date of massive texting didn't matter because they're still happily together.

If it were to happen to me and my dead would text like crazy, I would drop a sarcastic note and bring out my laptop instead. At least with my laptop, I could do multiple things like blog, chat and update my facebook account. In dates, especially intimate ones, it's always proper not to text and divide your attention. Aside from giving off a bad impression, you could risk losing the man and woman of your dreams.


This doesn't apply to me. My family condones texting while eating, as long as it's not chronic. Minimal texting is fine. This is where my parents aren't strict because they sometimes do it as well. We're not the type of family that are into deep conversations while eating anyways. We eat, we share a line or two then we go. It's even rare if we eat together. Even though that's the case, I do not text during dinner. It's not because I would be distracting my family members. It is because texting distracts me from food.


I'm sorry, I don't initiate texting while watching a movie. I always put my phone in vibration mode. When I'm expecting a text from my parents or my ride, that is the time I would peek and choose to reply or not. But if I'm into deep with the movie, I wouldn't lift my phone the entire duration. I get annoyed sometimes if Mitch would suddenly text in the middle of the movie. I would always peek at his direction and take note of the parts in the movie he missed. If an important scene is coming up, I would catch his attention and remind him to watch.


I don't text and drive. If I have someone with me, I would let him or her read the text and reply if it's that important. This is not an etiquette thing, it's car safety 101.


Texting here is a no-no. This is where my parents would draw the line. It would be embarrassing to text in a holy place while the mass is going on. You could feel heated eyes burn your back. If an important call or text is expected, it is with utmost courtesy to leave the church before answering the text and calls.


There are certain events that require your attention full time. Meetings, parties, ocular inspections and consultations make texting look rude. It seems you are disrespecting the entity of the activity. The prime example of this is in any given classroom. The teacher finds the rieght to confiscate cellphones if some students are not paying attention by texting. It seems the student is not taking the class, which the teacher prepared seriously. Office meetings when someone is talking in front might be disrespected when he or she sees someone texting, missing out on most important information. Even disrespectful to the designers in basic fashion shows when full attention should be focused on the collection. Especially if you find yourselves in the front row, in a privileged seat, it is expected to display courtesy and respect to the designer by paying attention to his or her clothes. There's nothing more annoying than to feel unimportant and useless.

In the end, texting no matter how brilliantly it connects people could as easily destroy ambiance and relationships. Texting etiquette varies on a particular time, situation and place. One should always consider the feeling of the person or institution you would be disrespecting. Texting rules is a no-brainer. Just think of yourself in other people's shoes to know when's the best time to text or not. Then when all points are considered and the situation allows or demands you to text then fire away.

Pix Source:

No comments: