When Is It Not OK to Text Message?

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A texting company telling you not to text? How does that make sense?

As a company whose main business is texting, we encourage you to text or chat in a lot of social situations…we’ve even created a secure work chat app just for texting in the workplace!

But we’re also human, and we realize that there are just some social situations in which texting or sending a WhatsApp or Facebook message is not appropriate.

So, when is it not OK to text:

  1. Driving – it’s never OK to text and drive. Not to mention that it is illegal in 39 out of 50 states in the USA to text and drive, texting while driving is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated. Read more texting and driving statistics here.
  2. During major life events – this seems kind of obvious but unfortunately it has been done.  It is almost never appropriate to conduct important conversations about relationships, major life events, or critical work issues via text message, where the conversation invariably comes off as facetious or worse, disrespectful. There are times when you need to have a face-to-face conversation, or at least a phone call.
  3. At night – while there is no clear societal standard for texting, unlike calling, which is a definitive no calls after 10 PM (unless the person you are calling said it’s OK), the rule of thumb is when in doubt, do not text at night. Furthermore, unless you’re on-call, don’t keep your phone in or next to your bed. Studies show that mobile devices can also affect sleep quality.
  4. During a job interview – this is a big no-no. Unless you warn your interviewer that you or a close family member or friend is in the middle of a serious medical emergency that requires your immediate attention, your phone should be on silent and stashed away during the interview.
  5. At a public performance (movie, theatre, etc) – don’t be “that girl” or “that guy” who text messages during a public performance. The light of your cell phone or even worse, ringtone of incoming or outgoing messages is a huge distraction to those around you.
  6. When you’re expected to be engaged – it could be any number of situations such as a meeting with your boss, out to coffee with a friend, or on a date. It’s rude to be texting when you’re supposed to be engaged in a face-to-face conversation with someone else. Once again, if you’re expecting an urgent text, notify the other people you’re with, respond quickly and then re-engage.
  7. On the weekend – while it’s not that it’s not OK to text on the weekend, sometimes you just have to turn your phone off and enjoy life. Stick it in a drawer, or at least put it on silent, and go enjoy a day off with family or friends. Re-charge your batteries, explore nature, or have a distraction free conversation. Studies show that shutting off your phone, even for a few hours, can reduce stress and improve quality of life.

What do you think? Even in our hyper-connected world, are there other situations in which it’s not appropriate to text? We want to hear from you!

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