In South Africa, we call the text message itself a SMS. But the acronym stands for Short Message Service and is actually referring to one of the many options offered by your chosen service-provider. This is why, overseas, people refer to it as a text message.
But whatever you call it, texting is a wonderfully cheap tool that allows quick messages to be sent without having to get into a long conversation over the telephone or in person.
Don't b a txt msg abuzr
As with a telephone conversation, there are certain basics you should bear in mind when sending an SMS. Follow these simple guidelines to avoid SMS abuse and make sure you don't annoy those around you:
SMS in private if possible. Composing an SMS while you're in a one-on-one conversation someone is just plain rude.
SMS is informal. It shouldn't really be used for formal invitations. It definitely should not be used to break up with your partner!
Before you text someone make sure they are familiar with SMS and that their cellphone accepts messaging from yours.
Don't SMS while you're driving!
Use the SMS slang when texting close friends. If you're SMSing your boss, avoid slang and opt for
a more formal tone.
Be aware of other people's schedules. Don't assume the
person you're texting is in a position to receive or reply to your message.
Texting has taken off as a fantastic flirting tool. Showing an interest in someone no longer has to include blushing and stumbling over your words when you bump
into the object of your interest at a party. 'Will I see you at the party tonight?' or, if you must, 'C U @
the ParT 2nite?' is a great way to let your love interest know you're thinking about them.
It also allows you to fi nd out how that person feels about you. A quick message saying 'sry – got other
plans' is much less humiliating than an awkward telephone call. The only danger of SMS flirting is ambiguity. 'Will I see you at the party tonight?' could have been sent as a group SMS.
Replying, 'Yes! Can't w8 2 C U!' could expose you as being
a little too keen. At the same time, although not receiving a reply after sending a flirtatious SMS may mean a lack of interest, it could just as easily mean the
recipient has no idea how to use the SMS service or hasn't
received your message.
To avoid ambiguity, you can always risk being obvious
by sending an extra-flirtatious message such as 'R U free 4 D rest of Yr Lfe?' (Are you free for the rest of your life?), or 'I C ** wn I think of U!' (I see stars when I
think of you!).
Smilies for you
Instead of typing words, images made up of characters can express how you are feeling. Try these so-called 'smilies':
I-O – snoring
:- – sceptical
:-D – laughing
:-X – not saying a word
%-} – intoxicated
;-) – winking
Y! – typical man