to katie: about texting

Hey Katie – now that you have a phone (congrats again!), here are some things about texting that might be handy to know.

People tend to use different forms of communication for different purposes, and every form of communication ends up being a little bit different.

Texting tends to be a form of communication that people use to tell each other short bursts of information, but it’s not necessarily urgent that you get a response right away.

WHY DON’T PEOPLE USE TEXT FOR URGENT MESSAGES? (important to get a response immediately):
There are a few reasons why people don’t use text for messages that are really important to get a response instantly:

(1) the person who got the text message may not have their phone right next to them, or it may not be on (for example: if I text you at noon on Tuesday, you won’t get the text until school is done!). That’s what happened today with a conversation with me & your sister – I asked her a question, she answered it, and I was in the other room making a snack, so I didn’t answer right away.

(2) the person who got the text message may be busy doing something else (like being in a meeting at work, or being at the movies where you’re not allowed to get text messages, cooking dinner, or being in the bathroom!).

(3) text messages are not always delivered instantly. Usually, when you send a text message, it’s sent right away, and it’s received right away, but sometimes, the message gets delayed a little bit.

The reason is that text messages and phone calls use the same phone technology, but if the phone network is busy, the text can wait, but the phone call can’t, so the phone call gets to use the network first.

This can make for possibly confusing conversations. Here’s an example conversation:

Aunt Angie: I worked out today
Katie: What did you do?
Aunt Angie: Just 20 minutes on the stationary bike, but it was raining and I didn’t feel like going
Aunt Angie: I’m proud of myself for sticking with it

But what if the messages came in the wrong order, and they showed up like this to you instead:

Aunt Angie: I worked out today
Katie: What did you do?
Aunt Angie: I’m proud of myself for sticking with it
… then 5 minutes later…
Aunt Angie: Just 20 minutes on the stationary bike, but it was raining and I didn’t feel like going

… before the last message arrives, that would be pretty confusing… what is Aunt Angie proud of herself for? And what exercise did she do? And why didn’t she tell me what exercise she did?

So the moral of this story is: if you get a text and it doesn’t really seem to make sense, wait a couple of minutes and see if another text arrives that explains it, and try to imagine what the conversation would be if the messages were in a different order.

Also, if you don’t get a response right away, and you want a response, you can either wait, or you can text again, or you can call.

WHY DO PEOPLE USE TEXTS TO SEND SHORT MESSAGES?
Most text messages are limited – you can only send about 140 characters in one message.

So when you need to send something with some detail in it, like telling someone about your trip, or explaining a few things about text messages (like this email!), then people tend to make a phone call, or send an email, or talk about it the next time they see each other face-to-face.

WHY DO PEOPLE SPELL THINGS FUNNY IN TEXT MESSAGES?
For someone who knows how to type, sending a text message is much slower than typing, and people get bored of texting out whole words, so they try to use as few characters as possible to get their point across.

That happened with Uncle Kevin & your sister the other day. She said she was watching Dancing With The Stars, and Uncle Kevin replied and called it DWTS — if you get a weird word like that, look at it and see if it might be something you were just talking about. Of course, if it still doesn’t make sense, reply back with “what is DWTS?” — everyone is willing to spell it out when you ask.

You don’t have to shorten – you can always just spell it out if you want.

WHAT ARE SOME SHORTER/WEIRD SPELLINGS THAT LOTS OF PEOPLE USE?
Uncle Kevin and I made you guys a document that has some common abbreviations / short / weird spellings that people use – I put them at the end of this letter.

WHY DON’T PEOPLE CARE IF YOU MISSPELL WHEN YOU TEXT?
Because everyone misspells when they text. Everyone. It just happens, so don’t sweat it. No need to apologize, just resend what you meant to say if you think someone may be confused. For example, if I sent “I love testing” but meant to say “I love texting” then I’d just resend it as “I love texting”

WHY DON’T PEOPLE CAPITALIZE WHEN THEY TEXT?
It takes time to do caps, and texting is all about being speedy, so usually people don’t bother, and most people don’t mind. It’s ok to text “i luv u” instead of “I love you”

WHY DON’T PEOPLE USUALLY “SAY BYE” OR “HANG UP” TEXT CONVERSATIONS?
Usually when two people have been texting back and forth, neither person says “bye” at the end. The conversation just kind of stops. That’s because you don’t know for sure when the other person is going to get the message anyway.

You can always just send one last text, and they can read it and reply to it whenever they want.

WOW, ANGIE, THIS IS A LOT OF INFO
Well, I’m an explainer — you don’t have to remember everything, but I thought it might be helpful

I love you very very very very VERY much, and I’m so excited that we get to text each other now!!

Love,

Angie

P.S. for your mom: here’s a interesting Newsweek article about how kids who text tend to be better at spelling! Very surprising! http://www.newsweek.com/id/150449

And here is the list of ways that people shorten words when they text:

Word or Phrase Abbreviation(s)
Address addy
And n, an
Are r
At the moment atm
Ate 8
Be b
Be back later bbl
Be back soon bbs
Be right back brb
Because cuz, bcuz, bcz, bcos, bc, cos, coz or bcoz
Before b4
Best friend or Boy friend bf or b/f
Best friend(s) for life bffl
Best friend(s) forever bff
Between btwn
By the way btw
Comment me back cmb (usually used for social networking sites)
Definitely def
Don’t worry dw
For or Fore 4
For your information fyi
Forever 4eva or 4evr
Friend frend or frnd
Girl friend gf or g/f
Got to go g2g or gtg
Great gr8
Have a nice day H.A.N.D.
Hold on hld on or h/o
Homework hw, hwk or hmwk
How are you hru
I do what I want idwiw
I don’t care idc
I don’t know idk
I love you ily, luv u, ilu, luv ya, or i ❤ u
If I recall correctly or If I remember correctly iirc
In my humble opinion imho
In my opinion imo
Jokes jks
Just for laughs jfl
Just joking jj
Just kidding jk
Just to let you know jtlyk or j2luk
Know kno,knw or noe
Later l8r
Laugh out loud lol
Laugh out loud (multiple times) lollies
Laughing quietly to myself lqtm
Love luv or ❤
Love ❤ or luv
Mate m8
Message (as in a text message) msg
Never mind nm or nvm (depending on context used)
No problem np
No thank you no tnk u, nty, no ty
Not much nm (depending on context used)
Obviously ovvi or obv
Of course ov cors or ofc
Oh My God omg or (comically) zomg
OK K
One or Won 1
Peace pce, pece, or \/ (V sign)
Please plz or plez
Probably probz, prbly, prolly, proly, or prob
Really rele
Reals rlz
Right rite
Rolling on the floor laughing (out loud) rofl(ol) or (comically) Roflcopter
says ses or sez
See c
See you/see you later cya, cu, or cya/cu l8er/l8a
Seriously srsly
Skate sk8
Skater sk8r
Something sth, s/t, or sumthin
Sorry sry, “soz”, or “sori”
Talk to you later ttyl or t2yl
Tata for now ttfn
Text txt
Text back txt bck or tb
Thank you ty or “thnk u”
Thank you very much tyvm
Thanks thanx, thx, tnx, 10Q, or tnx
Therefore thr4
To be honest tbh
To or Too or Two 2
Tomorrow tom, 2moz, 2moro, 2mrw or 2mara
Tomorrow 2mro
Welcome Back wb
What wat, wut, wht, or wha
Whatever w/e or wateva or watev
Why y
With w/
Write Back wb
You u
Your or You’re ur or yr
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