There’s a reason we call those little portable phones we carry everywhere “smartphones,” and it’s because they’re loaded with features that make them a heck of a lot smarter than our old cell phones. These tiny devices all pack the power of a computer behind their touchscreens, letting us serf the web, download apps, play games and much more.
They also have handy features like voice-enabled assistants, predictive type, and autocorrect to help us make the most out of them. With all those smarts running under the hood, there’s no reason to look unprofessional while typing on your mobile device, so try to keep your communications error free by avoiding these faux pas.
Using Too Many Abbreviations and Emojis
Since the advent of text messaging and instant messenger programs, users have found ways to shorten common phrases and words. “Be right back” became “brb,” “are” became “r,” “you,” became “u,” and plenty of other words and terms got hacked down to their shortest recognizable parts.
These abbreviations may be handy when you’re in a rush, but chances are you aren’t still typing on a cellphone keypad that requires you to hit the 2 key three times to type the letter “c.” Your mobile device has a full QWERTY keyboard and plenty of assistants to help you quickly type out full words, so take advantage of them. Excessive abbreviations come off as unprofessional and uneducated, so save them for only the most casual of conversations.
Similarly, excessive emojis can be rather off putting for anyone in a business setting. While a “winky face” and other cute characters may be perfectly fine in a casual conversation, it’s best to avoid them for anything of a professional nature.
Writing Excessively Long Text Messages
Too much “textspeak” may make you look foolish, but excessively long text messages can do the same. If you’re sending someone a text message that runs way beyond the normal character limit, take a second to rethink whether you’re using the right method of communication.
Texts are generally pretty short and simple communicators. If your messages look more like a short novel than a tweet, consider either making a phone call or sending an email instead. Either could be more appropriate than a text message that requires the receiver to scroll down.
Using Poor Grammar
No matter who you’re typing your message for, chances are you want to be understood. Poor grammar and bad spelling are a surefire way for your writing to have the opposite effect. The written language follows a fairly strict set of rules so that everyone can make sense of it, and flaunting those conventions with improper punctuation or frequent spelling errors will make it difficult to understand.
Even if you’re not writing an important business email, bad grammar can be confusing for your reader, so avoid it whenever possible. There’s really no time when poor sentence structure and misspelled words are beneficial.
The point of typing, even in a casual setting, is usually to be understood by someone else. Make sure you proofread, be careful when using autocorrect, and don’t write something that’s too long or too casual for your intended audience.