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Texting "Etiquette" (aka help out the older generation)


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My friend stays up all night and sleeps all day.  She messages me frequently at 2 AM which is fine because I sleep right through the notification.  I do get my "revenge" by messaging her at noon, which I know is when she's sleeping.  And it's not a malicious revenge, just more of a reminder that I don't stay up all night and sleep all day like she does!

I do have one friend who used to drive me nuts with her texts.  For example, a few years ago I told her I had a job interview the next evening.  Well, I didn't think to silence my phone so she messaged me right in the middle of the interview to ask how it went. When I didn't answer she proceeded to message me TWO MORE TIMES, all of them to ask me how the interview went!  She'd double and triple messaged me before, so I finally admittedly lost my temper and told her that I probably wouldn't get the job because my phone kept going off and I didn't want to reach under my chair to get it out and turn it off.  I also told her there was no need to triple message me because I got the first and second messages.  I told her, if I don't reply immediately it's not because I didn't get her message, it was because I COULDN'T answer or was in the middle of something.  She got all teary voiced and said "I'm always getting in trouble for my texts!" Her sister was in the middle of chemo and she was always messaging her sister when she was sleeping or feeling nauseous from the chemo.  And I thought, well, maybe don't double and triple message people!  There's no need to do so.  BUT, she did get the message (hee!) and stopped doing that.  Unfortunately my cousin does the same thing; she'll message, then message again, then message AGAIN and then call two or three times.  And her explanation is "I thought you didn't get my message".  So she had to message and call a total of SEVEN times??? And I said, no, I'm not allowed to have my phone on me at work!  She still does this 😕

Ok, that turned into a rant.  But I will reply to messages when I get a chance to.  And 99% of my friends know this and don't take offense if I don't reply until the next day.  And fortunately, no one sends me memes.  I have to plow through enough emails at work so I don't like unnecessary messages or emails.  I take my "brain breaks" by posting on this forum and one other forum, but that's about it for workday leisure.

I think everyone has different preferences, so I do my best to adhere to what I know my friends prefer.  And I don't message past about 9:30 PM because I'm usually drowsy and about to go to sleep so I figure most everyone else is too.

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If you can't mute your phone, then force people to adhere to your preferences.  You will text, message, email, return calls or leave a voicemail dependent upon your schedule, convenience and / or preferences.  This is what I do and people will just have to live with it because it's all you're willing to offer of yourself which is fine. 

Regarding FB, do what you like and same with other people.  Navigate yourself.  It's all you can do.  No one can control what other people do.  However, you can control as much as you can on your end. 

Enforce healthy boundaries.

 

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Hello Batya,
I'm responding before reading replies, then I'll go back and learn something.

I have a millennial niece and nephew, both of whom display auto-notifications on receiving texts showing a moon icon, "[Name Here] has notifications silenced."]

So two things:

1) Silence your own, and then you've eliminated any expectations of immediate responses with an auto-reply.

2) Text whomever and whenever you want. If an older person ever admonishes you for this, you can suggest that they set their phones to silence notifications.

As for calls, I'm with you on time zones.

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8 hours ago, boltnrun said:

My friend stays up all night and sleeps all day.  She messages me frequently at 2 AM which is fine because I sleep right through the notification.  I do get my "revenge" by messaging her at noon, which I know is when she's sleeping.  And it's not a malicious revenge, just more of a reminder that I don't stay up all night and sleep all day like she does!

I do have one friend who used to drive me nuts with her texts.  For example, a few years ago I told her I had a job interview the next evening.  Well, I didn't think to silence my phone so she messaged me right in the middle of the interview to ask how it went. When I didn't answer she proceeded to message me TWO MORE TIMES, all of them to ask me how the interview went!  She'd double and triple messaged me before, so I finally admittedly lost my temper and told her that I probably wouldn't get the job because my phone kept going off and I didn't want to reach under my chair to get it out and turn it off.  I also told her there was no need to triple message me because I got the first and second messages.  I told her, if I don't reply immediately it's not because I didn't get her message, it was because I COULDN'T answer or was in the middle of something.  She got all teary voiced and said "I'm always getting in trouble for my texts!" Her sister was in the middle of chemo and she was always messaging her sister when she was sleeping or feeling nauseous from the chemo.  And I thought, well, maybe don't double and triple message people!  There's no need to do so.  BUT, she did get the message (hee!) and stopped doing that.  Unfortunately my cousin does the same thing; she'll message, then message again, then message AGAIN and then call two or three times.  And her explanation is "I thought you didn't get my message".  So she had to message and call a total of SEVEN times??? And I said, no, I'm not allowed to have my phone on me at work!  She still does this 😕

Ok, that turned into a rant.  But I will reply to messages when I get a chance to.  And 99% of my friends know this and don't take offense if I don't reply until the next day.  And fortunately, no one sends me memes.  I have to plow through enough emails at work so I don't like unnecessary messages or emails.  I take my "brain breaks" by posting on this forum and one other forum, but that's about it for workday leisure.

I think everyone has different preferences, so I do my best to adhere to what I know my friends prefer.  And I don't message past about 9:30 PM because I'm usually drowsy and about to go to sleep so I figure most everyone else is too.

Hey Bolt!

 

How come you didn’t just turn your phone off for the 45 minutes of interview? I always thought people would turn it off for interviews, school classes, cinema, weddings, funerals, aeroplane take off and land, things like that? Maybe your cousin presumed the same as me?
 

To give her the benefit of the doubt, she sounded really amped to hear about your interview results like a puppy dog wagging her tail - maybe she didn’t realise you were in the interview at that exact time? Just a side thought! 
 

Seems like there is a big habit and etiquette shift on phone rules between anyone over 40 🥲 Everyone I know just texts when they want and they reply when it’s convenient too them and if you really don’t wanna hear your phone ringing or pinging just silence it do not disturb or turn it off right? 
 

Or is it just me!? 🤣 I am starting to look like that ignorant texter but my Mum has the same opinion as the rest of you gals and she is 55 so maybe in a similar age bracket I imagine? 
 

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My Mum also says things like, she won’t answer the phone when it gets dark. As if, once it is dark, strange boogie men come out and start ringing people at random?!

 

It’s called a sales call Mum, just hang up 🥲

 

x

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And ladies, I realise my generation is absolutely TERRIBLE with their phone addiction and useage. I battle with it daily.

 

I hate smartphones as well, I want rid of mine I keep planning its disappearance but I’m not strong enough yet! 
 

I have about 4/5 days every couple weeks where I just dump it somewhere and don’t ever look at it or text or anything. If anyone wants me they can call my husband. Ironically those days and nights are very refreshing!

 

And just as another observation, maybe a generational thing and an age thing, all of the people my age who I know are still majorly up at 10pm, 11pm, but as people get older, they tend to turn in abs go to bed earlier but rise earlier in the morning. Getting past middle age seems to convert many into early birds! So many of my parents friends, when younger, we’re up at all hours, and then as time went on, they go out at lunch time and all want to be back for 6pm and then they are in bed by 9:30/10pm and their night is over, but they wake up quite early, say 7am, even if retired. That might play into when you think it is an acceptable time to text as well, if your body rhythms have changed and other people are on different time frames?

 

I only know one night owl like myself who have kept their night owl habits and that is my husbands aunt Joan. She is 89 and is up till 3am but then sleeps in till 9/10am. My husband has told me she has always been like this. Last year she laid her own garden paving slabs, her energy levels are quite something else. When we were staying with them, she would start cleaning and loading the dishwasher at 1am, we used to talk till the sun came up, I very rarely get that anymore, even younger friends I know, we can talk till midnight but after that even they are getting sleepy.

 

My Grandma went from staying up late to at the end of her life, she would go to bed at 6pm and wake up at 4am. This isn’t uncommon for very elderly people. I always found it fascinating how peoples need for sleep seems to diminish and fluctuate throughout their life. 
 

Maybe I should just text Joan at 2am but she doesn’t use her smartphone like that 🤣 Maybe I should call!

 

75D62523-9732-4319-87EF-D15B25481FA9.jpeg

Edited by mylolita
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Just like any technology, it's best to master it rather than let it control you.

Whether it's the phone ringing or the answering machine etc.

Unfortunately many devices and apps come with defaults that facilitate constant pings, notifications etc.

The best thing to do is go through your device and all its apps and reset access and notification settings to your personal needs and preferences.

As far as dinner time bedtime etc. Same goes for that.  There is no universal code for when to text or call. However devices/apps can be muted, set to vibrate, etc. 

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5 hours ago, catfeeder said:

Hello Batya,
I'm responding before reading replies, then I'll go back and learn something.

I have a millennial niece and nephew, both of whom display auto-notifications on receiving texts showing a moon icon, "[Name Here] has notifications silenced."]

So two things:

1) Silence your own, and then you've eliminated any expectations of immediate responses with an auto-reply.

2) Text whomever and whenever you want. If an older person ever admonishes you for this, you can suggest that they set their phones to silence notifications.

As for calls, I'm with you on time zones.

Thanks so much! I do silence my phone and as above (I didn't expect you to read all the responses and thanks again!!) - I can't silence for large parts of the day.

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58 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Just like any technology, it's best to master it rather than let it control you.

Whether it's the phone ringing or the answering machine etc.

Unfortunately many devices and apps come with defaults that facilitate constant pings, notifications etc.

The best thing to do is go through your device and all its apps and reset access and notification settings to your personal needs and preferences.

As far as dinner time bedtime etc. Same goes for that.  There is no universal code for when to text or call. However devices/apps can be muted, set to vibrate, etc. 

Yes, I can't as calls that are essential from work or school or mom can come through on different numbers -can't tell.  Thanks so much for your input!

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Boltnrun -I have had friends like that and I feel you -it's awful.  I have a friend who's called me at work, then I tell her I am at work and can't talk -"please just a quick question" - fell for that once.  She really didn't get it - why I had time for a quick question but not beyond -I didn't want to hang up on her but I essentially had to because a coworker walked into the copy room where I had been alone to answer her quick question.  I also have a friend -who I've now "trained" as you did up above - who would call, I wouldn't answer, I'd text back quickly "can't talk -will call you later (or I'd give a time range) -and she'd call again.  And sometimes again. 

Or I'd text her that I tried to call and got voicemail and then she'd say she didn't get the text and on and on.  Now I simply do the auto respond with "can't talk now" and I ignore any other calls from her. Yes, of course if it were an emergency I'd call sooner (I don't play a game -I have specific times in the afternoon when I know I can call without interruption and get laundry folded!).  

I do see more control over text responses than calls as far as any "etiquette" - and I appreciated your anecdote so much -I would be dying if I was at an interview and that happened.

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2 hours ago, mylolita said:

And just as another observation, maybe a generational thing and an age thing, all of the people my age who I know are still majorly up at 10pm, 11pm, but as people get older, they tend to turn in abs go to bed earlier but rise earlier in the morning.

I'm 55 but my reason is -I have a 13 year old and have to be up to get him off to school, I am a morning person and right now I need to get to my fitness center by 5-ish or I might not get on a treadmill (plus it's more covid-safe to be there alone).  My sister is 60 and stays up very late, my husband is 55 and does as well.  My parents always were in bed by 11-ish when they were in their 30s and 50s and 60s. 

I try to be in bed by 10 but more importantly during the pandemic I started limiting screen time and social media time and reading more.  So I started shutting off the phone by 9-ish and now it's more like 8-ish. Helps me sleep better.   I won't text anyone before 8am-ish other than one friend who sometimes texts me at 7-ish.

I don't have a separate cell for work so that's one reason I can't just put it aside particularly with all the telework right now.  And my mom - late 80s -as I mentioned above -she doesn't text and hates her flip cell phone and has no computer/email/messaging so my sister and I subtly keep tabs on her (she's awesome and awesomely independent) to make sure we can reach her -we try to talk with her once a day (one of us).  

Edited by Batya33
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4 hours ago, mylolita said:

How come you didn’t just turn your phone off for the 45 minutes of interview? I always thought people would turn it off for interviews, school classes, cinema, weddings, funerals, aeroplane take off and land, things like that? Maybe your cousin presumed the same as me?
 

To give her the benefit of the doubt, she sounded really amped to hear about your interview results like a puppy dog wagging her tail - maybe she didn’t realise you were in the interview at that exact time? Just a side thought! 

I had specifically told my friend I had an interview that evening, so it didn't occur to me that she'd text. I mean, if she knew about it why would she choose to text and keep texting when I didn't reply? Even if she was "really amped", that doesn't mean she couldn't wait until the next day. She said "I didn't know what time your interview was", so wouldn't it make sense to play it safe and just not text that night? I didn't end up getting the job. I have no idea if it was because of my phone going off, of course, but I'm sure I looked embarrassed and uncomfortable.

My son is 31 and he is definitely not in love with his phone lol. He often leaves it in another room and doesn't even look at it for days. Or he sees messages and responds a couple of days later. To him it's just a device.

Edited by boltnrun
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15 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

I had specifically told my friend I had an interview that evening, so it didn't occur to me that she'd text. I mean, if she knew about it why would she choose to text and keep texting when I didn't reply? Even if she was "really amped", that doesn't mean she couldn't wait until the next day. She said "I didn't know what time your interview was", so wouldn't it make sense to play it safe and just not text that night? I didn't end up getting the job. I have no idea if it was because of my phone going off, of course, but I'm sure I looked embarrassed and uncomfortable.

My son is 31 and he is definitely not in love with his phone lol. He often leaves it in another room and doesn't even look at it for days. Or he sees messages and responds a couple of days later. To him it's just a device.

That sounds like me, I’m 32 and often don’t look at it or even have it on for days on end and then I will go through spates of having it on too much for my liking!

 

Maybe your friend made a mistake and forgot what time you said you had her interview? I’m sure she didn’t mean to sabotage your interview on purpose?

 

People aren’t perfect they have quirks make mistakes some people are more full on then others I guess!

 

x

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36 minutes ago, mylolita said:

Maybe your friend made a mistake and forgot what time you said you had her interview? I’m sure she didn’t mean to sabotage your interview on purpose?

And that's even more reason to exercise caution. Plus I had promised her I'd call when I got home from the interview. And when I reminded her of that, she said "I thought maybe you forgot to call." So she decided to text three times in the space of 30 minutes??

And yes, of course she wasn't trying to sabotage or be malicious. She's a super sweet person and she cares about her friends. I didn't stay mad at her at all and we're still good friends to this day. I just get riled up when I think about that particular situation lol. But I definitely do not bring it up  (nor did I after that day), it's a closed issue.

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35 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

And that's even more reason to exercise caution. Plus I had promised her I'd call when I got home from the interview. And when I reminded her of that, she said "I thought maybe you forgot to call." So she decided to text three times in the space of 30 minutes??

And yes, of course she wasn't trying to sabotage or be malicious. She's a super sweet person and she cares about her friends. I didn't stay mad at her at all and we're still good friends to this day. I just get riled up when I think about that particular situation lol. But I definitely do not bring it up  (nor did I after that day), it's a closed issue.

Apart from today 🤣

 

She is forgiven for her text transgression, spirit anointed and cleansed to live another WhatsApp Day! 🥲😂

 

x

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1 hour ago, mylolita said:

Apart from today 🤣

 

She is forgiven for her text transgression, spirit anointed and cleansed to live another WhatsApp Day! 🥲😂

 

x

Well, yeah, I said I get riled up when I think about it. As for not bringing it up to her, I didn't bring it up to HER today or any day after that day.

We don't use WhatsApp lol. We're in the US. I think WhatsApp is a Europe thing? Could be wrong about that.

And of course I forgave her. We're friends, she didn't do anything unforgivable.

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On 4/2/2022 at 12:49 PM, Batya33 said:

My sense is the answer is - people text whenever and don't expect any sort of prompt response.  People call with sort of the same mindset. To me texting and calling are different.

100%  Call if there is an emergency.  Text for an emergency if you've been kidnapped and can't make much noise.  Either way, there aren't any expectations anymore.  Everyone is different.

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24 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

We don't use WhatsApp lol. We're in the US. I think WhatsApp is a Europe thing?

I guess then it must be a Europe thing, even though I am not using it, lol. A friend of mine mentioned, she has a WhatsApp group with her family. Apparently, they have the same ritual every morning. Everyone who wakes up sends a text to the group “Good morning”, so before her day starts, she is already bombarded with “Good Mornings”. Every single day, 365 times per year. I mean, really? LOL

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13 minutes ago, Blue_Skirt said:

I guess then it must be a Europe thing, even though I am not using it, lol. A friend of mine mentioned, she has a WhatsApp group with her family. Apparently, they have the same ritual every morning. Everyone who wakes up sends a text to the group “Good morning”, so before her day starts, she is already bombarded with “Good Mornings”. Every single day, 365 times per year. I mean, really? LOL

I’m sure it can’t be ladies!

 

I know someone in New York who has it? And he’s 89! 
 

Don’t get me wrong; WhatsApp - bane of everyone’s lives! Group Chats tend to end in undercover catty back stabbing in other created chats outside of the original one and there is always a fall out or some kind of drama or disagreement only amplified because people are much bolder over text than they are face to face!

 

x

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45 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Well, yeah, I said I get riled up when I think about it. As for not bringing it up to her, I didn't bring it up to HER today or any day after that day.

We don't use WhatsApp lol. We're in the US. I think WhatsApp is a Europe thing? Could be wrong about that.

And of course I forgave her. We're friends, she didn't do anything unforgivable.

I was joking Bolt, I don’t know what vehicle you girls were using to communicate, I said WhatsApp for some attempt at comical timing 🤪

 

X

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2 hours ago, boltnrun said:

And that's even more reason to exercise caution. Plus I had promised her I'd call when I got home from the interview. And when I reminded her of that, she said "I thought maybe you forgot to call." So she decided to text three times in the space of 30 minutes??

And yes, of course she wasn't trying to sabotage or be malicious. She's a super sweet person and she cares about her friends. I didn't stay mad at her at all and we're still good friends to this day. I just get riled up when I think about that particular situation lol. But I definitely do not bring it up  (nor did I after that day), it's a closed issue.

I am of a different opinion obviously to all of this!

 

There is no need to exercise caution when using your phone or calling or texting, it’s not a bomb to diffuse, there is no oncoming traffic, we’re not flashing our torch lights from the cliff tops morse code style SOS.

 

I don’t get the seriousness ladies, I am obviously missing something! Turn it off if you don’t wanna hear from people, ignore a text or don’t read it if it’s at a bad time for you, and put it on silent and vibrate if you need it to be on incase someone calls you in an emergency. I don’t get the dealio! 😎

 

No one is forcing you to answer your phone, you are at the helm of your own wheel for that. Take responsibility for your device - LOL! Don’t hate the player, hate the game! 😉

 

x

 

 

Edited by mylolita
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3 minutes ago, mylolita said:

I was joking Bolt, I don’t know what vehicle you girls were using to communicate, I said WhatsApp for some attempt at comical timing 🤪

 

X

A prime example of how nuances don't translate to words on a screen! Which is why texting can be so clunky.

I text to say "OMW" or "Does next Tuesday at 4:30 pm work?" And to post on here of course lol (not texting but same idea).

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1 minute ago, boltnrun said:

A prime example of how nuances don't translate to words on a screen! Which is why texting can be so clunky.

I text to say "OMW" or "Does next Tuesday at 4:30 pm work?" And to post on here of course lol (not texting but same idea).

I kinda agree with you but texting to me is like writing in a diary or penning a novel, it should translate okay if you do a good enough job, and especially if you know the person well.

 

Things do get lost in translation sometimes but, like writing a letter, when done decently it should be clear. It’s just like writing a letter to me, but shorter, in real time, and you get an instant response, no need to wait by the letter box in three days time.

 

Don’t get me wrong I despise phones and technology in general. I only got a smartphone because my husband (then boyfriend) bought me the new iPhone that had just come out. He gets me a new one every few years but I have asked, no new models, I want to return back to the old school Nokias. We carry around these mini computers with access to the internet and everything else and for most it’s just too tempting to use it as your main communication. My generation and the ones below are outrageous for it, I will hold my hands up myself and say, it’s the worst!

 

I haven’t had Facebook for 7 years and I never had Instagram or any of the rest, I don’t like social media and I only have 4 people on my WhatsApp, no groups. I only just got that back as well after deleting it. It’s good because it’s free messaging and it costs nothing to send image and video, so for my Mum, who adores sending my photos of her art and whatever her and my Dad are up too, they kinda have me on there or I am making them spend about 50p  for every photo or message they fancy sending me. 
 

Just turn your phone off next interview or funeral or any other important event, don’t rely on others to remember what’s going on in your life, be it big or small, would be my main guess.

 

One persons 6pm dinner time is another persons 8pm dinner time, one persons breakfast at 6am is another’s at 9am. I’m a late eater myself so I’m not personally sitting down to anything at 6pm. I eat early with the kids 5:30pm because they are young, but often if it were up too me, I would do like the Italians and eat late and stay up late so; you can’t always keep track of when all your friends might be sitting down to dinner either. Just ignore your phone if it bothers you right? Just silence it at meal times. I agree, it’s a lovely time, sitting down with family and eating without distraction, I get it, but it wouldn’t annoy me in the slightest if a friend had text me at 8pm when I was having my hot chocolate and pancakes 😉

 

But I think after reading this I must be a very relaxed kinda person when it comes to these things, I really don’t mind either way anyway!

 

x

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7 hours ago, Batya33 said:

Yes, I can't as calls that are essential from work or school or mom can come through on different numbers -can't tell.  Thanks so much for your input!

So blowing a whistle into the phone when they call at rude hours is out then? 🤣📲

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1 minute ago, Wiseman2 said:

So blowing a whistle into the phone when they call at rude hours is out then? 🤣📲

I used to do that to phone sales people until I started feeling sorry for them. So instead I switched to "I know your job totally sucks, but stop calling me". 

Now with my new phone I have this cool Google screening service that plays a recording asking the caller to state their name and why they're calling. That always just hang up. It's so fun 🙂

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