How to Handle Texting Snafus

You just had to send that text ASAP, didn’t you? It couldn’t wait.. But now you’ve realized that you texted an amorous message to your boss, or your grandmother. You can’t go back in time to erase it. But you can prevent future texting snafus. Here’s how.

Richie Frieman
Episode #253

Tip #2: The Wrong Sender Snafu

I have over 500 names in my smartphone directory. And, of course I have more than one person named John, Matt, Mike, Rachel, and Ken, in my directory. So when I go to text someone, I have to make sure I select the right person’s name. Even though I see their name right there and know that Ken A., is different from Ken H., I still wonder after sending it if it went to the right Ken. Maybe that’s OCD but hey, for thissituation it works for me. The last thing I would ever want is send the wrong person something that made no sense, was not that funny to them, or was personal news not meant for them. I can’t tell you how many times Modern Manners Guy readers and listeners have emailed me stories about sending a text that is very, shall we say romantic, but ends up not making it to their special someone. A classic texting snafu!

There are two quick solutions for this. For one, always double check the name of the person you are sending the text to (and if you have several numbers for a given person, check to make sure your message is going to the right one – no sending personal stuff to work phones!). I know this sounds super easy, but how many times do you start to type in their name, then have the phone finish the name for you, and assume it’s the intended, “Steve” or “Kathy”? Most of you will say, “I always read the name before sending a text” but really, do you? Texting is often rushed and when you are in a hurry, you tend to forget little details. The result is sending the wrong message to the wrong person. Never trust your phone to complete the name for you. Always double check. Technology does not care who gets your message, just that someone does.

Secondly, I advocate the “3-Second Rule.” After composing a text, read it over, and count to 3. By doing this, you give yourself a few extra seconds to analyze exactly who is getting it and what you’re saying. Sure, 3 seconds is not a long time, but those extra moments, devoted to looking over what you wrote, will save you a lot of trouble having to explain to your mom why she got a text saying, “I can’t wait until tonight! XOXOX!”

Tip #3: The Texting While Driving Snafu

Hands down the dumbest thing you can do, next to sticking your hand into a piranha tank, is texting while driving. Nothing, I mean nothing, is that important. Don’t tell me you are such a good texter that you can handle a 4,000-pound vehicle, going 65 miles per hour, on a winding road, with one hand, while your other hand types on a keyboard with keys smaller than an 8-point font. You’re kidding yourself. There are only two things that can eventually happen as a result:

  1. You crash your car, potentially hurting yourself or someone else.

  2. You send a text that’s not even remotely correct.

Let’s look at the non-death example, since if you do crash your car due to texting, you will probably lose your license or your car, so this won’t be an issue for you anymore.

I’ll admit I have texted while in bumper-to-bumper traffic when I’m not moving at all, or at a long red light. But even that made me feel like a jerk. It took only one instance of other drivers honking at me when the light turned green while I sat there obliviously texting to realize how inconsiderate it is to everyone around me. Needless to say, I don’t do it anymore. So texting while on the move is beyond idiotic.

There are two simple solutions for when you need to text while driving: pull over or wait until you are parked. Done. Need I go on? Okay, I will. If a text is so important that it requires your immediate attention, then you have to pull over and respond. In this case, wherever you’re going can wait. If it’s not life or death, then your response can wait until you get to your destination. You have to be very egotistical to think that your funny joke is so hilarious that you have to share it right away, no matter how it can affect others around you. If it’s someone you have to connect with immediately, here’s a wild thought…call them (using your hands-free device, of course)! Who’da thunk a phone could do that too? In fact, there is a great video that says just this.

This tip is sponsored by common sense. Thank you.

Do you have a great story about a texting snafu you committed or witnessed? Post all the details in the comment section of the Modern Manners Guy web site or on the Modern Manners Guy Facebook page.

As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life..

Angry Text and Wrong Sender Text images courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Richie Frieman
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