5 Things You Need to Know About Texting

Take your text messaging to the next level with texting tips that’ll make communication faster, easier and more courteous.

Every year LG hosts the Mobile U.S. National Texting Championships, pitting the best texters in the country against each other. These QWERTY queens and kings compete for bragging rights through rounds that challenge speed and accuracy.

Whether or not you’ve got your sights set on a championship title, chances are you’re among the 75 percent of cell phone owners who use SMS. Here are five tips anyone can follow to become a faster, more courteous and safer texter.

1. Never ever (ever) text and drive

The first step to better texting? Safety. Avoid temptations to check or send messages while you’re on the road. If you know you can’t resist the urge to check your texts when you hear a new notification, make a habit of silencing your phone when you get in the car. Every text, tweet, status update and photo will still be waiting for you once the drive is over.

2. Upgrade your predictive text program

Sometimes, speed is key. Most phones offer their own built-in predictive text features such as T9®. Humorous auto-correct mishaps aside, these programs are indispensible to the texter who appreciates getting it said and sent in a hurry. Enlist your phone’s default program or download a third-party app such as SwiftKey to boost your speed.

3. Know when to call and when to text

A text message is the ideal way to relate straightforward bits of information, such as “Be there in five minutes” or “Running late.” When a more complicated, delicate issue presents itself, do yourself a favor and do the old-fashioned thing: call. A two-minute phone call will be greatly appreciated rather than 20 minutes of back-and-forth text messaging. Of course, it goes the other way too. Sometimes a text message is best when a phone call might be perceived as irritating to those around you—or the person you are communicating with. Being judicious and courteous are the marks of a top-notch texter.

4. Avoid the one-word response

Texting is all about getting your point across quickly. Still, a single-word response to a question or comment can come across as passive-aggressive. Without the helpful context clues of facial expressions and tone of voice, it can sometimes be harder to decode someone’s mood or intention through text messages. Saying more than just “Okay” to confirm plans will help communicate your excitement about them.

5. Strive for accuracy

From a usability standpoint, phone keyboards aren’t as easy to use as their full-sized counterparts, so the occasional text typo is forgivable. However, if your text messages are littered with abbreviations and dropped letters, it starts to signal that you don’t care much about the conversation at hand. Slow down, use full sentences, and strive for correct grammar and spelling. If you find touch screen keyboards difficult to use, consider a smartphone like the Enact™ by LG with a physical QWERTY. That way, what you’re trying to communicate is sure to get through loud and clear the first time you send it.

Put these texting tips to work in your own messages and you’re on your way to becoming a champion texter. Practice makes perfect, after all.

This article was written by an author contracted by Verizon’s Insider's Guide to provide helpful information on wireless technology. The thoughts, opinions and suggestions of the author may not necessarily reflect those of Verizon Wireless.

Enact is a trademark of LG Electronics, Inc.

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