36 Hours is NOT a Proper Response Time

Do you reply to text messages randomly, days after you receive them? Are you really old, and have no idea why people use text messaging? In this fully-annotated PG-13 post, I will try to explain why you need to crank up your phone etiquette. Let's start with several of my least favorite cases.


The WTF????

Usually I'm more respectful of attempts to conversation, but this is just too much. If anyone can tell me what she's trying to say, I'll buy you a drink. In case you don't know, this is an iPhone conversation where my text is in green, and my friend's text is in white. Observe:


Come on - seriously? I really didn't know how to ... SKDJGSHKDJHKJFSDKSDGN


The Delay

I end up in a lot of confused text-conversations about nothing. How can you talk about nothing? Take this wonderful example:

Thirty three hours. Thirty three. 

(Kris is my English name which some friends use... because people tend to butcher Shenglong, or ask me 5 times if that's actually my real name. More on that some other time though...)


The Over-Emphasis

I love it when people text me enthusiastically; it makes me feel like I'm not wasting my time replying. Once in a while though, lack of originality and emphasis can be a little... silly:

I am tempted to model her O's as a function of messages received. 


Why Text Anyway?

There has been a lot of negativity surrounding text messaging - and how carriers make a ton of money from them. I had a brief detour in youth marketing at a major carrier, and I can testify that changing send-and-end users (people who just call) was a primary objective. However, I also used to be a send-and-end user.

In the United States, calling cell phones makes perfect sense, since you have nation-wide roamaing and long distance, just as if they were local minutes. This isn't the case in Canada though, and sometimes you get charged long distance, even when dialing in the same area code. The charges are so obscured, actually, that the majority of university students in Canada don't even know in what situations they would be charged for calls.

Add on background noise, multiple conversations, and texting in class or at work, and you have plenty reasons why texting is great. The main use of texting though, is the ability to carry on passive conversations. Texts aren't as long as emails, and it allows for quicker exchanges when necessary, and slower exchanges when material runs dry.

Maintaining a good text-conversation allows you to build rapport over time, and over multiple situations. You're passively inserting yourself into someone's entire life - and any good salesperson will tell you how important that is. The reason you want to have dinner with sales targets and have golf with them, is because you want to expand the field of exposure in order to gain trust. Texting isn't as good as being there in person, but it's sure a lot better than nothing. 


The 2-2-2 Rule

My obsessive use of phone and email has led to the invention of the 2-2-2 rule, which I often impose onto friends: pick up calls within 2 seconds, answer texts within 2 minutes, and respond to emails within 2 hours. There are obvious exceptions, but it's a rule of thumb to try and stick by whenever possible. 

More than anything, if it's important, I'll probably call you before I text you, and text you before I email you. Needless to say, I've been told to screw off on many occasions :)


Follow me on twitter: @zeteg 

Another chapter of The Tale of Eternity this week. Sorry for the delay.