Crazy Texting Etiquette We All Follow

Texting is the premier form of communication in this, our modern world. We use it in place of calling someone (heaven forbid), we use it in place of email (cause, like, who uses email anymore outside of work?) and we use it to have actual, important conversations with the closest people in our lives.

Texting is a huge part of our culture. It dominates the dating-app game, and is the barometer by which we judge potential significant others — if they don’t text back for hours, you know they’re unreliable or playin’ games. We make plans over text, we fight over text, we fall in love over text.

Now, texting language has evolved almost unrecognizably from its early years, when we all used language riddled with omissions and misspellings like, “r u comin 2 clas” and “lol 143.” Full keyboards and autocorrect saved our tired fingers and made it that much easier to text in true English. But that doesn’t mean that texting hasn’t become just another beast entirely.

If you follow these texting etiquette rules, you’re not alone.

Emoji in place of emotions

When I text, I almost always follow up my words with some kind of crazy emoji heiroglyphic that perfectly encapsulates the emotions I am feeling at this particular moment. “No, I don’t want that blushing face, I want this blushing face — the one that looks more demure” are things I subconsciously think when I draft two-second texts on a daily basis.

Eating a lot? There’s a stream of emojis for that. Going to a ball game? Horse race? Getting a haircut? Feelin’ like the devil? Stick those emojis in there, and you’ll never have to use English again — who needs it?

Also, that taco emoji had better hurry up. Cause I need that in my texting language, probably more than any other emoji.

The period means more than the end of a sentence

It’s common knowledge that if you put a period at the end of a sentence, bae had better take cover, because you’re angry. Apparently, this phenomenon is true for everyone, because really, who takes the time to double space at the end of a text? Only those who are fed up with you. . . .

Sarcasm was never more complicated

Nothing is more misunderstood via text than simple sarcasm, making the “/s” notation a necessary evil. The best way to mess with someone over text is to thinly veil your sarcasm and watch what happens, with a bowl of popcorn by your side. You’re not gonna wanna miss one second of the fun.

All of the commas have fled

When I text, it reads something like this: “ok so we’re going to dinner at eight petes be there don’t be late kthx”  and my friends reply cheekily, “What’s an eight pete?” Listen — I don’t have time to toggle between the letters keyboard and the symbols keyboard — I have a life.


“Lol WTF omg thats hysterical Becky”

Oh, the SLANG

When I want to be funny, annoying, or get my personality across in text, I’ll use something like “lolol” or “lolzies” to express amusement. I almost never use “lol” with a straight face, opting for “haha” instead (it just sounds more mature). If slang is invented on the internet in these, our illustrious golden years, then it’s solidified over text. If you ask my friends, everything they have is on fleek.

LOL never means “laughing out loud”

LOL is often tacked onto the end of a long text, to show that you’re trying not to sound too serious about any of this. It’s the text equivalent of the verbal “I don’t know, though.”

It’s also a subtle diss. If someone sends you a virtual paragraph of information and you are either bored with it, annoyed with the person or don’t care enough to respond, go ahead and “lol.” The subtext of that text? GTFO.

The politics of it all

In high school, my friend gave me some sage advice that I have been using ever since. If you want to make clear that you’re not interested in someone, make sure your reply text is shorter than what they sent you. This simple little tactic, coupled with making sure I put a period on the end of every sentence, saved me from some awkward situations throughout my dating life. They get the hint, subconsciously, that you’re just not that into them, and then they ghost on you. Perfect.

Or you could be that shady person who just doesn’t text back.

About The Author
Lisa Lo Paro
Lisa is a freelance writer and bibliophile living on the outskirts of New York City. She likes 2 a.m. with a good book, takes cream in her coffee and heavily filters her photos. Check out her blog The Most Happy, her Instagram, and Twitter.