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5 Savvy Cell Phone and Texting Etiquette Tips for Families

Posted by Kim Schlauch on Apr 7, 2015 3:00:00 PM


Rapid advancements in technology have had a tremendous impact in today’s world, making communication much faster and easier than it once was.  Long gone are the days when telephones were attached to walls and you could only travel as far as the cord would stretch during a phone conversation.  So is the pre-answering machine era when you were hesitant to leave the house for fear of missing that important phone call.  Nowadays, communication can take place anytime, anywhere.

While modes of communication may have changed, the need for good manners and for demonstrating respect for others during those interactions has not.  Here are five cell phone and texting etiquette tips for you and your family to consider before making your next call or sending that next text:

  1. Be Present.  The best way to show respect for others is to give them the gift of your attention.  The person in the room with you deserves your full attention as well as the courtesy of having a say in how technology will be used in his or her presence.  In other words, if you need to make a call or send a text when you are with someone, ask permission first.clock

  2. Respect Boundaries and Time Limits.  Unless the recipient’s device is turned off, your call or text will likely result in an immediate notification on your recipient’s end.  As such, be considerate and respectful of the time and circumstances before calling or texting.  For example, if a phone conversation has ended because the person on the other end has been called to dinner with the family, respect that family time and hold off on texting or calling back during the meal.  In addition, be mindful of bedtimes and refrain from calling or texting when the intended recipient might be sleeping.

  3. Be Sensitive to Tone When Texting.  Communication encompasses much more than simply the words being conveyed.  Body language, eye contact and tone of voice are important nonverbal components of interpersonal interactions.  None of these can be conveyed through a text, leaving plenty of room for misinterpretation and misunderstanding.  With that in mind, be aware that the message you send may not be completey clear to the receiver.  If it is something that might be easily misconstrued, perhaps texting is not the best way to deliver the message.

  4. Think Twice Before Hitting the Send Button When Texting. Be aware that once you send a message, it is out of your hands and out of your control.  Messages can easily be forwarded, copied and viewed by countless others.  That being said, think before you hit the send button and refrain from texting anything that might be durogatory or hurtful.

  5. Don’t Text When Angry.  While it is tempting to lash out in anger when you are upset,  texting in the heat of the moment can lead to regret and further misunderstanding.  To avoid further conflict, wait until you’ve calmed down before you consider texting your message.  Better yet, determine whether a phone or in-person conversation might be a more effective way to work things out.

girl with smartphone

While some of the etiquette rules surrounding yesterday’s technology may no longer be relevant, the sentiment behind them is still quite valid.  When using your cell phone or texting device, remember to be mindful and respectful of others.

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About the Author

Kim is the blog content manager at Liberty Christian School. She has professional experience in the fields of business and education and hands-on experience as the mother of two school-age children. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and anything chocolate.