Don’t End Text Messages With Periods. Period.
The rules, they are a-changing. At least that's what Victoria Turk, editor at Wired UK and the author of Kill Reply All: A Modern Guide to Online Etiquette, from Social Media to Work to Love says.
According to an article in the New York Post, Victoria says there are a few antiquated rules we can throw out the window now that we're deeply into the 21st century. One of them being Reply All; unless everyone on the original message needs to know your response, just don't do it. I have to agree with this one as I've been on the receiving end of a few company wide Reply All shenanigans. They just pile up in your inbox and you can't find the important messages for the clutter.
Another habit we're supposed to get away from is leaving voice messages. There was a time when leaving a voice message was the polite thing to do. You call someone, they can't get to their phone in time so you leave a brief message and they'll get back to you when they can. It seems those days are gone. The appropriate thing to do when they don't answer after a few rings is to hang up and send a text message. The reason for this is essentially convenience for the other person. It take just a few seconds to glance at the text message and decide whether to text or call back, but it takes much longer to navigate the voice message functions on your device and then have to listen to the actual message in real time. I'm also told that some of the cell phone carriers don't even give you a notification that you've received a voice message. You have to deliberately check to find out.
Another item that she says is totally out of date and useless is a period at the end of a text message sentence. The millennial generation reasoning being that really, the message ends, why would you go to all the trouble to add that one little dot at the end? The recipient knows the sentence is over, right? I'm going to disagree on this one. I've struggled to discern the meaning of a punctuation free message one time too many and have come to really enjoy the texts that use proper punctuation all the way to the end. At least those who make an honest attempt.
While some of the items in her book were things to NOT do, there were some things that Victoria says we SHOULD do. We should respect a coworker's downtime. Yeah, we've all sent a business text message to someone after hours, but try to only do that when absolutely necessary. If it can wait until the next day, send them an e-mail but don't expect a reply until they're back on the clock. If they check their business email accounts after hours or on the weekend it's up to them when to reply.
We can use emojis, but keep it under control when it's a business message. A simple thumbs up or smiley face can help get your tone across and that's something that can quickly be misunderstood when we communicate more by text than by voice or actually face to face.
She says we should also text before calling someone to make sure that they're somewhere that allows them to talk. It's kind of like asking permission to call and talk. If they reply quickly they weren't in the middle of anything complicated, and maybe they'll respond to your text by calling you.
Essentially, the rules that Victoria Turk lays out in her book are ways to use modern technology while thinking about the other person first.
Courtesy, it's something we can all appreciate. But I'm still going to finish my text messages with a period.