Life Support: How to send perfect text messages

Essential skills for the modern world


Read the cues


As any body-language expert or life coach will tell you, mirroring – ie copying – someone else's behaviour is the quickest way to trick them into liking you. They lean in, you lean in, and bingo: you get laid, promoted, or both. The same goes for texts, although with less movement. So, if somebody sends you a carefully crafted, perfectly punctuated electronic missive, it's best not to reply in robotic text speak. "Where 4 rt thou?" just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?

Timing is everything

Correctly timing the sending and receiving of texts is a minefield that must be carefully approached if you are to preserve your dignity – not to mention any budding relationships that are being conducted by this medium. While replying instantly every time you receive a text can make you look a bit keen, waiting a week to reply to a simple suggestion of a coffee is equally naff. If you want to cultivate an aloof image, don't do it via text – you'll just look rude. And, if you are one of those who believe that agonising over the timing of texts is pathetic, at least bear in mind the time of day at which you are texting. Post-midnight texts are fraught with pitfalls, as even the most proficient texter can slip up when drunk in charge of a keypad.



Don't emote

Some things are better left unsaid, and there are many more that should never, ever be said in a text. Breaking up with someone is never easy or pleasant, but sending a text that reads "U r dumped" is unacceptable over the age of 14. Similarly, while condolence cards may seem overly formal, the only thing it is acceptable to mourn the passing of via text is the family pet. And you could be skating on thin ice even there. Also, be wary of sending anything that you don't want recorded for posterity. While the instant, informal nature of texting inspires confidence and loosens digits, your message will not self-destruct upon reading, and anything embarrassing may resurface at your wedding/leaving drinks/court appearance.



Be Blackberry friendly

The newer a medium of communication is, the more likely you are to get it wrong. Just when most people regarded themselves as au fait with texting from a mobile phone, along came the BlackBerry. Communicating with a BlackBerry falls somewhere between texting and emailing, and this is where most people fall down. Being "on the BlackBerry" is not an excuse for abruptness. Unlike texting from a mobile, you have unlimited characters, so use them. Don't use "Sent from my BlackBerry" in lieu of a signature, or kind regards.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

    £32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Apprenticeships

    £10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an outstanding opportunity for 1...

    Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph - High Wycombe

    £15 per hour: Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph ...

    Recruitment Genius: Automation Test Analyst

    £35000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This group is the world's secon...

    Day In a Page

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum