January 28, 2011
OK, all you text addicts. In the wake of our recent column about text etiquette, our readers mostly agreed with our expert: It's not smart to text an important conversation with your boss or superior. But as our e-mail and Facebook comments reveal, many of us still seem too attached to our handheld devices.
"My former employer turned off texting on cell phones and killed access to social networking from company computers," wrote Diane. "One of the employees must have been going through severe withdrawal, so she started excessively updating her Facebook page from her cell phone throughout the day. This wasn't exactly smart because her senior managers were her Facebook friends."
David said texting co-workers is a no-no: "Call them or have a face-to-face. Texting has become the coward's way out!"
Bob, however, thought that if an important conversation or apology needed to happen between co-workers, a text is OK to get things started. "I'd send a text requesting the conversation," he said. "The text gives the other person time to think and collect their thoughts without putting them on the spot. Ideally the apology will be over the phone or face-to-face so that they can hear the sincerity of our tone and see it in our body language too."
Bela said texting is best kept for your personal "inner circle." "People misinterpret texts all the time (personally and professionally)!"
The issue extends beyond the workplace, and our readers wanted to talk about that too.
Ozzie said, "I was at dinner the other night, and all four of us at the table were on our Facebook pages! That's bad."
"On New Year's Eve we were out to dinner," wrote Judy. "A couple nearby were both texting away ... I just find that rude and a waste of money. Why not go to a fast-food place if you're not there to enjoy the place and the company?"
Kate added: "These two men were out -- their body language definitely said they didn't know each other well. From my vantage point I could see BOTH of them texting under the table! Then when one guy got up to use the restroom, the other guy quickly shoved his phone between his legs so his date wouldn't notice he had it in his hand the whole time. I guess you had to be there, but it was pretty funny to watch."
"Unless it is an emergency or a quick question or answer, I think it should be done in private, while you are not walking or driving," wrote Mindy.
Lisa wrote: "Texting is replacing having real conversations. We're becoming robots fixated on hiding behind a facade of what we think is real."
And the BIG WHOOPS award goes to Larry.
"I tried to send an explicit text and photo to my girlfriend and accidentally hit 'all' to my contact list when firing it off," he told us. "This means all work colleagues, my MOTHER, my child's teacher. It was weeks of apologizing and begging forgiveness. I still can't look my kid's teacher in the face without blushing. Your expert was right: Don't drink and text! It leaves room for 'operator error.' "
Have you got a good texting story? Tell us about it!
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