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11 Texting Mistakes That Will Make You Look Dumb in 2023

Don't let your texting skills make you look embarrassed.

Communicating with others has always been fraught, and technology has made it more frequent but not necessarily easier. If you find that you're texting more and more and wondering if you're doing it right, you're not alone. The Washington Post recently consulted Michelle Markowitz, co-author of Hey Ladies!, a book about group texts, and Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of America's first etiquette expert, Emily Post, for their advice. These are 11 texting mistakes that will make you look (or feel) dumb in 2023. 

Suggesting a Long Message Would Be Better as a Call


"The 'this should have been a phone call' thinking is over,'" says the Washington Post, noting that Markowitz "loves writing and reading long messages."

Let Strangers in a Group Chat Remain That Way


"You wouldn't invite a bunch of friends to your house and not introduce them, so don't do that in a group text, either," Markowitz advises. "Take a moment at the top to let everyone say their names and clarify how they know each other.

Get Too Particular In a Group Chat


"If you need to iron something out with a particular group member, start a new text conversation instead of making everyone read your back-and-forth," she says.

Create Financial Pressure in a Group Chat


"Planning a weekend getaway or fancy dinner in the group chat sounds like fun, but some recipients might be squirming if they don't want to shell out for the Michelin-starred farm-to-table extravaganza." Make space so people can feel comfortable declining an expensive activity.

Thinking Missing Punctuation or Capitalization Is Rude


For good or for ill, sloppy punctuation or writing in all-lower-case is standard procedure these days. It doesn't mean the texter has any less respect for you. 

Thinking Responses Are Mandatory


If someone doesn't reply to your text right away, cut them some slack: It's been a rough couple of years. "Keep in mind that plenty of texts get lost to busyness or brain fog, and if you really need an answer, send a kind follow-up," the Post advises. 

Not Sending An Acknowledgment


On the other side of the coin, a text that sits for a long time can cause the sender to worry, and it becomes more difficult to follow up. If you can't write a detailed response immediately, it's good form to send a quick acknowledgment—even an exclamation mark or smiley face.

Being Overly Terse

Woman on her phone sending a message.

It's good manners to hold up your side of the conversation. Being overly terse may be seen as rude or "immature"—justifiably. Do the best you can to match your conversation partner's energy.

Making Assumptions About Tone


It's essential to be a good listener. But if you're not sure where someone's coming from, don't just stay silent. "If you're struggling to interpret someone's tone or understand what they said, ask. Reading tone in written communication is hard, and it's always okay to ask for clarification," the Post says.

Delivering Bad News


Passing along very bad news—such as a breakup or someone's death—by text is a no-go. 

 RELATED: 19 Ways to Tell If Your Partner Is Cheating

Texting During Important Real-World Moments


Tapping away at your phone in certain real-life environments is still a  "Putting your phone away for meals, movies, performances and conversations with loved ones shows people you value them."

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