The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need on Texting Etiquette

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When you go on vacation for spring break (to exotic and tropical locations like Hawaii, Palm Springs, and Siberia) you will no longer get to see your 5,000,002 Facebook friends in person, daily. However, you still need to stay in touch.

Sure, you can use a smartphone and go on Facebook, but if you really want that person-to-person connection, you need to employ something that requires the “phone” part of your phone: texting.

Yes, although we’ve offered you brilliant emoticons and texting explanations, we have yet to cover actual texting etiquette. This is because, of course, teens generally have about as much etiquette as cats have warm unconditional love. In both cases, I’m sure the root of the problem is genetic.

However, that does not mean that we should not try to force etiquette upon teens, mostly because etiquette is such a hip word. I mean, it starts “eti,” and then throws in a “qu,” followed by an “ette.” That’s definitely more hip than, say, “manners” or “custom” (you should be aware, however, that manners will soon be substituted out for the less-sexist “humanners”).

Therefore, I present to you the basic rules of texting etiquette.

Receiving Invitations

You should never decline a text-ed invitation to something, even if it is an invitation to a concert hosted by a country-western group that only uses spoons, washboards, and live livestock as instruments. Do you have any idea how rude this would be?

See, the nice thing about texting is that people don’t know when you get their text. You could check your phone everytime you exhale, or you could check your phone right before the new year, in an attempt to start the year with a clean ‘slate.’

Therefore, all you need to do is pretend that you didn’t receive the texted invitation until after the event already happens, and apologize for being so “careless.” 99 times out of 100, you’ll be in the clear. The other 1 time, well, let’s just say your friend knows one of the band members, and they are willing to stop by your house and play a quick set, provided you aren’t allergic to cows, pigs, horses, or donkeys.

Homework Questions

You forgot what your math homework is. What are you going to do? Text your friends, of course, asking them what the homework is.

However, you can’t just text this question immediately. You’ll look like a nerd. What kind of person uses texting just to ask about homework? A nerd, obviously.

Instead, you should slowly lead up to this question with a normal conversation. For example:

You: “Wat’s up?”
Friend: “Nm. Y?”
You: “Dunno. I was jus thinkin bout things”
Friend: “Like wat?”
You: “Well, I was thinkin about my pet fish”
Friend: “Wat?”
You: “Yeah, I was wonderin if every 18 days, my fish reproduced, producing another 20 fish, how many fish would I have after four months?”
Friend: “Wat? R u ok?”
You: “I’m fine”
Friend: “Dude u don’t even hav pet fish”
You: “I no that, but…doesnt that sound like a math problem?”
Friend: “It sounds like u hav a problem, period”
You: “Haha. Ur hilarious. Btw, wats our math hw?”
Friend: “Did u text me just to get the hw?”
You: “WAT! Noooo way. No. Of course not”
Friend: “Oh. K then. #s 1-99, multiples of 3, and #s 112-384, omitting #158 and #279.”


While abbreviations can be helpful in shortening your total text-time from 80% of your waking life to 75% of your waking life, you need to be aware of a few things. First, you probably have some form of a full qwerty keyboard on your phone, so it isn’t as if you have to hit the ‘7’ button four times to get an ‘s.’

With this in mind, abbreviations must be weighed in your mind: is the negative stereotype of the abbreviation worth the time it will save you? For example:

‘Haha’ vs ‘lol’: Do you want to sound like someone who is so shallow a simple “Wat’s up? Jus did the math hw” has you laughing out loud? Probably not, unless you were the one who texted your friend the math homework, plus a…few…additional problems.

‘C ya latr’ vs ‘gtg’: Well, are you leaving because you need to, and have time to sign off to your friend and tell them you’ll see them later, or do you have to seriously find a bathroom immediately to avoid having your bladder explode?

‘Nm’ vs ‘Fuhgeddaboudit’: This one’s easy. Are you from New York? If not, perhaps ‘nm’ is a better choice, unless you plan on joining the mob sometime in the near future.

Early Morning Texts

This, dear reader, is the most important thing on this list, which is why I saved it for last. Do not, under any circumstances, ever text your friend between the hours of 2 AM and 11 AM on a no school day or weekend, EVER. If you do this, you run the risk of waking your friend up.

Do you know what kind of hatred teens can bestow upon the thing that causes one to wake up earlier than necessary? Of course you do; you’re a teen. If you aren’t a teen, but are still reading this: do you remember what happened to the dome of the Vatican in the movie 2012 (if you never saw that movie, here’s a link)? Let’s just say those church bells shouldn’t have woken a certain teen in Italy up so early.

Now that you know how to text with etiquette, I expect the mass quality of teen texts to improve. Of course, if you wanted to spread this message, you could, you know, share this piece with absolutely everybody you’ve ever met, including that one guy you almost ran over when you were driving with your dad and you didn’t see him and now he’s in the hospital with a…fuhgeddaboudit. If you share, we at High School Humor Blog thank you.

If you’re looking for a different post more directly inspired by spring break, here’s “4 Reasons Schools have a Spring Break” from this time last year.

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  1. Hahaha. Honestly, I use like, pretty good grammar when I text. The only thing I don’t do is capitalize. But my friends text me things (they claim they are abbreviations) like “hwtbbgy? itiwpa lol” and I’m like “…what…” and they tell me “dude. i asked you how thought the baseball game yesterday was. I thought it was pretty awesome lol” and I’m just like “Oh. Of course. Sorry”. It’s so weird sometimes. And I really hate it when all the person responds is “k” or “lol”. It’s pointless, really. haha.

  2. Rosalinda says:

    Hey! That picture is so unfair, I’m British and we don’t all drink tea. I hate it personally, it tastes all watery and eeugghh! Yuk. You Americans ought to understand that us British don’t all know the Queen and drink tea and act posh. What you see on TV isn’t an accurate portrayal of how we are really like here in Britain. BTW I love your blog it is the thing that keeps me going after studying for my A-levels. :D xxxx

  3. Rosalinda says:

    Also at the moment in Britain it is 9:20pm not 1:18pm xx

  4. Rosalinda says:

    I think you should do a post about how American and British people imagine each other to be- it would be quite funny I believe. xx

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