E-mail is the perfect timesaving tool, but so is texting. In a past blog post I shared stupid e-mail mistakes I’ve made. Last week I asked a few friends and associates to help me create a list of stupid texting mistakes. (We like to be good examples of what not to do.) As you read through this list you may recognize some of these mistakes or thank your lucky stars you have enough common sense not to make any of these mistakes.
1. Sending a text to the wrong person.
After you type a text and before you push send, double check whose name is at the top of the screen. Whether you’re complaining about someone, making suggestive comments, or sharing private information, a text to the wrong person can have devastating results. It could even end a personal or business relationship.
2. Texting too early or too late.
Consider time zones when you text. You may have a brilliant idea at 6 am but your friend or client who’s two hours behind you, may not want to hear your idea at 4 am. The same goes for night owls. A publicist I worked with a few years ago used to send me texts after midnight because that was her peak creative time. She finally stopped texting me late at night when I started texting my responses early in the morning.
3. Not responding to every text.
Let’s say that you and someone else have been trading text messages. Unlike a couple who goes back and forth on the phone saying “You hang up first…no, you hang up first,” when you or the other person sends (what’s supposed to be) the last message, let it go. You don’t need to send a response that reads, “K” or “okay” or “deal.”
4. Sending a text to a client when you’re mad, in a hurry, or in an altered state.
Leaving angry voice mail messages is one thing (right, Alec Baldwin?), but texting a nasty message that can be forwarded to others is a bad idea. The same goes for messages when you’re not necessarily coherent. Unlike a phone conversation, unless it’s recorded, a text message lasts forever.
5. Texting and driving.
The “Don’t Text and Drive” campaigns are designed to shock all of us into changing bad habits. Fighting the urge to look at texts while at a stoplight has been challenging, but (finally) when I get in my car I leave my phone in my purse.
Texting is a great way to save time, but works even better when you use it right.