Don’t ditch your unique personality while texting

Forum Editor and Forum Editor

Just like any other student at the University, I am an avid texter. It’s easy. It’s efficient. It’s convenient.

However, it can also be incredibly impersonable.

I find that people lose their personalities as soon as they pick up their phones and start mashing away. In order to portray yourself more accurately, try texting the way you tweet or the way you talk in conversations. Don’t lose your grammatical mannerisms.

I make a point to retain my personality while texting. I use the correct emoticons when I actually smile, frown or am uneasy. Granted, I don’t wink as much in person as I do while texting. If I did, one would think I had a problem. If I am being light-hearted, I will knock the “g” off the end of verbs and ask “What are you doin’” to seem more friendly.

This is how I talk, why not put my voice into texting?

There are certain people who message me and I expect short responses. There are also those people who I expect a little more out of. So, if I’m texting one of my long-winded friends and they fire back with a one word response, I know something is wrong.

It’s easier to read a person’s emotions if they display who they are via mobile communication.

We all are familiar with the dreaded “K” response. When we get that in our inbox, we know we messed up somewhere down the line. It’s direct. It’s angry. It’s gross and makes you feel bad.

Now, being direct is great and gets the point across effectively, but we need to remember that we don’t pay per letter with SMS messaging. Use more words to give your replies context and feeling. When our responses are short and abrupt, we can come off as rude, annoyed or standoffish.

I was having a conversation with my girlfriend’s Chinese sister-in-law about folklore and cultural difference (because that’s the type of stuff I do on Friday nights) and she stated that Americans come off as very direct and almost unemotional when communicating. This may be effective in a professional environment, but if I am having a casual conversation with a friend, I want them to learn a bit about my personality, just as I want to learn about their personality.

Sarcasm is very hard to read in texts, but if you know a person well enough, and they emote well via SMS messages, you can easily read into the hidden contexts behind their words. There’s a big difference between “I’m excited for this trip with Greg.” and “I’m … sooo excited for this trip with Greg. :/”

The addition of the extra vowels can shape the sentence into something completely different.

That being said, we really should utilize a little extra time and proofread our messages. This may sound like a contradiction, but the addition of vowels is how we enunciate our words. The misspelling of words just makes us look foolish. When we speak, generally, we don’t spew words out incorrectly. Take the time, reread your message for a second and don’t just leave it up to auto correct.

This holds especially true in emailing or, if you’re comfortable enough, texting a professor or any other professional.

Nothing makes you lose brownie points faster then when you can’t get there, their and they’re down.

Now, texting is cool and everything, but it can be very difficult to read people through their messages or emails. Phone calls are a step in the right direction, but actual in-person conversation is the bee’s knees.

After all, you don’t have to worry about emoticon-ing correctly if you’re smiling in front of someone.

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