The Top Ten Rules Of Text Message Etiquette

The Top Ten Rules Of Text Message Etiquette

Everyone has been there; you text someone and then they immediately call you back after they get the text. They may not know it, but your friend just broke the number one rule of text messaging.
It should be common knowledge that you shouldn’t break this invisible barrier of texting, but unfortunately many people are unaware of the proper text message etiquette. We’re here to help.

The following is a list of the Top 10 rules of text messages. Please feel free to share them with your friends and family who may not know the error of their ways.

1. The Golden Rule: Do not call in response to a text message. This is the most important rule. Why? Because it annoys me the most and I’m writing the article. But seriously, if someone wants to talk to you on the phone they’ll call you. If you call in response to a text you can expect one of two things: either a phone call with a person who is frustrated by your lack of social skills or an ignored phone call and the awkward text conversation that will follow it.

2. The Rule of Response: Always respond, unless you don’t want to be friends with that person anymore. Yes, we are all busy people, and I know it’s sometimes hard to respond when you know it will probably end up as a full on text conversation, but you should always respond. That is, of course, if you want to stay friends with the person. If not, feel free to ignore them.

Handy Tip: Keep your messages marked as new in case you aren’t responding right away. That way you can keep track of the people that are in need of a response. Which leads me to the next rule…

3. The Two Day Rule: If it takes you two days to get back to me, I technically have two days to get back to you. There is no room to get upset at someone for not responding to you in a timely fashion when you don’t respond to them quickly either. With that being said, there is also the other side of the coin…

4. The Too Quick Rule: If it takes me two days to respond to you, don’t respond immediately.

This rule is particularly pertinent in dating situations. It makes you seem really desperate, which reminds me of the next rule…

5. The 2 Text Rule: If you text someone two times and they don't respond, they don't want to talk to you. So stop texting them. Immediately.

An old roommate of mine had some great wisdom about relationships when he told me “there’s always one person in a relationship that likes the other person less, and you never want to be the person who is liked less.” If you continue to text them after no responses, you’re the person who is liked less.

Sometimes you’re just not sure about someone though, so this next one happens…

6. The Don’t Leave Me Hanging Rule: Don't text first if you're not willing to continue the conversation. IE: (You) Hey! How are you? (Them) I'm well. Yourself? (You) ....................

What’s Going On: usually these texts are sent late at night or after someone gets dumped. They say: “I kind of think you’re ok, but I’m really just trying to boost my ego by knowing that you’ll respond.” They probably know this because you’ve broke The 2 Text Rule in the past.

7. The Rule of Dismissal: Don't ignore a call and then text a person. Give them some time to think that you missed their call instead of them knowing that you ignored it. Really, it’s just the right thing to do.

8. The Rule of Disproportionate Letters: This one applies to messages received from a woman: never respond to a three page text with "k." At least give her a full “ok.”

If you’re a guy and you get a three page text from another guy, it’s completely acceptable to delete them from both Facebook and your life. Ain’t nobody got time for that!


(It’s ironic because the title of the rule is written all in caps. See what we did there?)

10. The L O L Rule: Don't use "lol" more than you have to. And by “more than you have to” we mean don’t use it at all. This is especially appropriate in situations like this “traffic is horrible LOL.” Obviously, you’re not laughing out loud at the traffic. Some people like to use lol in every text when a simple “haha” will do. Also, don’t use "u" or "ur" unless you don't mind being thought of as an idiot.

Bonus - The Ha Scale

We’re also helping you to understand the “Ha Scale.” You can tell just how funny people think you are by paying attention to how many ha’s they use in a text message. Here we go.

  • 1 Ha – This is basically an acknowledgement that you were attempting a joke. Nothing more, nothing less. Example: “Ha…you’re funny.” Translation: No, you’re not.

  • 2 Ha’s – Nice work. If you were talking to the person in real life, they would have let out a hearty chuckle. Example: “Haha…that’s hilarious.” Translation: It’s not hilarious, but you’re getting closer.

  • 3 or more Ha’s – You’re actually really funny. In person, that would have elicited a full-on laugh. That is, of course, if you would have been able to be just as witty without having the time to think of a response like you do when you’re texting. Example: “Hahahah…I’m dying!” Translation: Again, they’re not dying, but they probably laughed out loud. Although they didn’t use “lol” which is good, since they would have broken rule #10.

And there you have it. Too many rules? Well, you should probably just stick to Facetime. Texting is for tweens anyway.

About The Author
Instagram -
Ray is the founder of Stray Monkey, and as a shameless plug he wants to remind you to check out the Research the News podcast.

Pin It