When text messages were invented in 1992, I am sure no one knew how it will take over our lives. Since its creation it has metamorphosed into newer and better formats but in reality they are all still short message Service(SMS) or otherwise called instant message(IM) (whatsapp, Bbm, facebook messenger etc)
These plartforms have even gone to the extent of turning lazy teenagers into abbreviation inventors, abbreviations like SMH, L8R, OMG etc are now becoming acceptable on plartforms as a proper means of communication.
Now I am not pointing fingers at people because I am also at blame but I want to point out two of those abbreviations that make me go mad. An example of there usage is in the conversation below:
OY - good morning to you too
Unknown - hw ya end?
Oy - Very well thank you.
- pls who is this?
Unknown - your BFF
and that is how I have not replied this BFF since that day
I am so sure many of you have experienced worse, on various platforms, and the only reason I think this is on the rise apart from laziness is the fact that maybe, just maybe no one took the time to teach them how to use short message service so am going to try to give a crash course on SMS;
1. Manners apply here too
I understand that most times in other not to forget the message we want to pass to that person, we just go straight to typing and sending the message. I too have done same but when i am done writing I try to greet the person. Our manner of approach matters a lot, you might think it only has to be when you meet with the person personally but the way you also converse with someone depends on the manner of response you get.
2. Stop being lazy
I think the energy channeled to type the three letter word "sup" which has nothing to do with greetings or "hawaye" will be well appreciated if it was a hi, hello or good morning. In my case this dude was awake by 7.20am and felt to say "HI" but the word "SUP" was the choosen medium of waking me up from sleep. Now there are some cases that this rules don't apply, for example when you are chatting with a close friend, you can even open your chat with "LOL". (Just joking). Abbreviations are wonderful but please when you can do without them please do, and when you can use a little more common one please do,that leads me to my next point.
3. Don't leave people guessing
I know you are the new oxford dictionary of abbreviations and you update your software everyday. Some of us don't, we just know the basic abbreviations to help us get by, so try as much as possible to help us understand what the new ones mean, the first time I saw "IDK" I could not understand what it meant because it was used inappropriately, and for the fear of looking old, I didn't reply, I just asked a friend who it took over 4hrs to reply me the meaning and I was able to continue the chat, so please even with the abbreviations try to make sure the other party understands what you are trying to communicate.
4. Age has nothing to do with SMS/ IM
In Africa seniority has always been carried over to everything that we do, so much that the person who sent the first message will wait for the person repling to say the greetings, come of your high horse, greeting your younger ones, does not mean they are now your age mate, just greet and you then scold them if that is the aim why you sent them an SMS.
5.They are informal
Most people have lost Jobs or relationships because of SMS /IM, this the reason emails are there, have you not stopped to wonder why almost all smart phones when you type and chose options has the email and Text side by side, the email is just a formal version of your SMS/IM platforms. Someone sends you an email and then you reply on BBM. (You need help). Now there are people who take this to the extreme too, I have seen friends who query you because you have not called them in a while but you have kept in touch through SMS.
As I said its a crash course on SMS/IM not a project topic *tongue out*, I hope we all learn to use the "sup" when necessary, come to think of it, waking up to "sup" as the first greeting of the day is not a good thing abeg.
Feel free to write any other SMS/IM habits that you have come across