Do you Facebook chat your boss? Send a booty-call-shootouts over Twitter DM? While these convenient products of the tech boom allow for drastic shortcuts in communication, they are drastically inappropriate in more situations than you would think.
With instant communication available on a multitude of platforms, our generation has become rather clueless in understanding which forms of communication are appropriate at certain times.
It is far too easy to take the coward’s way out of a situation. A proper barometer for understanding whether or not to call or text a co-worker is, unfortunately, solely impart to your own discretion. So here is a good rule thumb: if it is a situation where you actually have to question whether or not it’s okay to text or call then the chances are that you’re being soft and avoiding confrontation.
We’re not referring to the long-distance relatives you have in Prague or your friends in the Maldives where phone calls are the only option. But rather, we are referring to the day-to-day communication with the people you are exposed to on a daily basis. From seeing their posted Chat Status Icons on Facebook chat to their feed of feverish texting, there must be a code of conduct you can properly refer to for appropriate communication in 2012.
G-Chat and/or Skype
G-Chat & Skype serve only one purpose in life: to provide the only work-safe communication platform to use during the 9-5. This messaging system is good for work-appropriate conversations. But if you want to start sex chatting, we may highly suggest that you take your conversations off the record or delete your history. There is nothing more mortifying than looking back at the solid proof that you’re filthy and have been trying to bang your girlfriend’s best friends since day one.
Who: Family members, close friends, ill advised booty calls, overseas colleagues and coworkers.
When: Whenever your boss is nearby and you don’t want to be caught texting feverishly all day at your job. Or if you want to call your boss an asshole, intra-office venting is easily accessible. Otherwise, there are no other feasible option for you to use these platforms.
Once the most beloved private communication platform for our generation, Blackberry’s product’s decline over the last few years has left only a small bastion of holdout users around the planet. As a whole, BBM users under the age of 21 have ceased to exist.
BBM will assuredly go down in history as the best sexting tool in the history of modern technology. Before iChat, BBM was the only service which allowed you to observe the status of the user. From read, writing and delivered, it offered us a completely new opportunity to creep on people.
Who: Heiresses, Europeans, anyone 25+ that works in a professional setting.
When: BBM takes a relationship to the next step, regardless of if that was your intention or not. The ability for an individual to have instant access to the device which is in your hands for 24 hours a day is a big step. Use BBM only if you are prepared for this.
Facebook’s messaging platform has taken hold as Gen-Y’s excuse for emails. What many users fail to account is that these messages are grossly overlooked. Also, no one on God’s green earth wants to be seen on Facebook all day. We get it, you work in tech or social media and it’s your job to be on. But guess what? You still look like an idiot.
Who: High school sweethearts, old friends and family members.
When: Anytime you want to engage in a conversation for under 2 minutes, Facebook is your solution. Signing off without saying bye is good-to-go.
The mobile-accessible option for sexting and Skype-sex. While huge fans of the technology, we hesitate with an air of vague caution when using it. Perhaps because our hair is not up to par, or because you’re not in the alleged location you promised you would be. Either way, FaceTime is a tad bit creepy and overly obtrusive. We’re not trying to see some idiot’s face for the sake of making a connection.
Who: Your wife, girlfriend, mistress and best friends.
When: You’re better off powering down your mobile than facing the ramifications of a missed FaceTime connection.
This godsend of a function only serves one purpose in life: coordinating a sexual rendezvous with fellow twitter followers. The limitation of 140 characters allows for users to be blunt and to the point. Hell, it even encourages spelling and grammatical errors. Frankly, you can’t put enough emotion into the 140 characters to be truly offended with the way your advances are received.
Who: Individuals you’ve never actually met in person.
When: During your attempts to get into the pants of another.
As our society’s go-to source of communication in 2012, SMS messages have taken a new rise of importance. From sexting to bullying, text messaging has received a great deal of media attention, and the ramifications of abuse or illicit communication can lead into serious jail time.
Who: Everyone. We can’t stop you.
When: The only time texting should never be used is to break up with someone or cancel plans if they are within the same hour. Grow a set
As teenagers, we’ve probably spent thousands of minutes talking on the phone to the individual whom you thought would be the love of your life. The ear sweating and falling asleep with the phone at your ear is something that our culture just doesn’t understand today.
Who: Your boss, co-workers and colleagues.
When: Should you be running late to work or feigning an ill-day, then calling in like a responsible adult is always your safest choice. If you have to duly contemplate whether or not texting is appropriate in any situation then chances are you should definitely just call.