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Technology Corner: SMS Etiquette


Short Message Service (SMS) allows users to "text" a message between cell phone, pocket PC's. More than 500 billion SMS messages were sent across the world'sglobal system messengingin 2004. But just like the annoyance we've all experienced in public places when someone is talking loudly, endlessly and personally on their phone, SMS has its own set of issues. Learn some SMS etiquette


December 05, 2007

SMS Etiquette

  1. Common courtesy still rules. Contrary to popular belief, composing an SMS while you're in a face-to-face conversation with someone is just about as rude as taking a voice call.
  2. Remember that SMS is informal. SMS shouldn't be used for formal invitations or to dump your girlfriend or boyfriend. The casualness of SMS diminishes the strength and meaning of the message.
  3. Don't get upset if you don't get a reply. Before you text someone and get frustrated at the lack of a response, be sure that they're familiar with how to use the service, and that their carrier will accept messages from yours.
  4. Be aware of your tone. It is extremely difficult to discern tone in text messages, just as in e-mail. What seems to you to be a completely innocuous message may be grossly misinterpreted by the recipient, causing certain discomfort if not irreparable harm.
  5. Don't SMS while you're driving. Talking on the phone is bad enough. You won't know what hit you - or what you hit - if you are pounding out a message on your keyboard.
  6. Leave the slang to the kids. Don't expect your stodgy superiors at work to be hip to the lingo of the SMS streets.
  7. Remember that SMS can be traced. Anonymous messages - if you must send them -are still best sent from Web sites.
  8. Be conscientious of others' schedules. Don't assume that because you are awake, working, not busy, or sober that the person you're texting is as well. Many a pleasant slumber have been interrupted by recurring "beep-beep...beep-beeps" of messages.
  9. If it's immediate, make a voice call. If you can't get through and your text message is ignored, there's probably a good reason. There are still some times when people don't even have a thumb free to respond.
  10. Remember that your phone does have an off button. There are very, very few things in the world that absolutely cannot wait.

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