Although texting is a convenient and useful means of communication, it admittedly opens the door for misunderstanding more than many other communication avenues. The brevity, lack of body language, and lack of tone of voice can all contribute to confusion if we’re not careful. Even emojis can be misinterpreted. But never fear! Simply follow these basic steps to help avoid miscommunication in your text messages (and avoid the awkward situations that might result!).
- Be precise.
Say exactly what you mean. Don’t assume that your recipients will automatically follow your line of thinking. What is obvious to you may not be obvious to the person on the other end of your text message! Be clear about what you’re trying to say.
- Get to the point.
Although you should clearly specify exactly what you mean, you should also make sure you don’t go overboard on the wordage. Don’t be overly flowery or long in your description. Be as brief as possible while also being as clear as possible.
Before you hit “Send,” look over your message for any mistakes in grammar, spelling, or punctuation that might make it confusing for your recipients to understand. Read the whole message to yourself to make sure it makes sense!
- Know your recipients.
It’s important to be aware of your recipients and how they might react to what you’re saying. A 75-year-old retiree might interpret things differently than a 20-year-old college student.
- Slow down.
Don’t be in a rush to send your message out! Slowing down and paying careful attention to what you’re doing can help avoid mistakes. It can also help you be more thoughtful in your approach.
- Keep your message as one text.
As much as possible, you should try to keep your messages from splitting up into two or more texts. Not only do people generally dislike receiving and reading longer texts, having your message split can also create confusion as different parts of the message are not always delivered in the correct order.
Following these tips will significantly increase your ability to communicate effectively via texting! Be confident in your ability to get your text messages across without any confusion.