How to deal with one-line (short) texters?

Hi MPUers, I want to pick your brain around how to deal with people who send multiple shorts messages for things that can be said in one message. Like they’d send:

msg1: Hi
<30 seconds later>
msg2: How’s it going?
<2 mins later>
msg3: I wanted to check…XYZ…

OR, even worse:

msg1: Hi
<30 seconds later>
msg2: I’m doing good
<1 min later>
msg3: I did XYZ during the weekend…
<2 min later>
msg4: How are you doing?

Notifications received: 4. Could have been one :expressionless:

I’d really appreciate if you can share some tips/tricks with me to deal with such texters? I dislike looking at my phone/slack every 1 min to see what the notification, it’s very distracting?

Although I could ask people to behave properly, most people I chat with are like this. I can ask some people to not do this, but not everyone, as this also happens in a professional environment and you can’t say this as people might get hurt or your relationship suffers.

PS: People just send multiple/one word msgs because they are free. I wish msgs were paid or at least limited (1000 msg/month) so they’d use them wisely. :slight_smile: lol

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One thing I could think of is always have DND enabled with some contacts favorited. But then I’d miss some notifications :frowning:

This. There are various ways to approach it. You can hide alerts for offending texters, or you could have a focus mode that only allows certain contacts/apps through. I only allow notifications for close family and my line manager. For everything else I check periodically during the day. You can leave the notification badges on if desired.

It is very rare that anyone needs to be notified instantly of a message/email. We’ve developed into a society of “always available/instant response” which is unhealthy (mentally, physically and productively).

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Hard agree to this! Unless you are both at the keyboard and in a mode where you can chat, there is no need to reply right away. Of course, when you are having a “live” chat, you won’t need notifications, because the window will be open.

Agree that it is good practice to just send fewer messages and while “Hi” is a good opening, you absolutely MUST follow through with stating your question. Treat it like an email, basically.

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email and chat have had different etiquette for decades, i’m not sure why you expect them to have the same standards for ‘proper behaviour.’

synchronous chat (icq, msn, messenger, discord, slack, etc.) is inherently less formal than forum boards or email, where the expectation is to articulate your entire thought in a single reply. organizing a single message to begin a conversation is a good idea because you don’t know when or how the other party will receive it. but in the midst of a chat, it’s not unreasonable to expect the other person to be following what you’re saying as you’re saying it.

maybe just wait until you’re confident the other person has finished speaking before you reply. shouldn’t take more than a couple minutes. which message notifications you choose to receive are up to you.

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Give them enough work to stop them from filling their time with “how are you”-chats? :smiley:

I have turned off all notifications.

I take a different perspective on this. I think you can tell most people what you’re encountering. They may or may not have hurt feelings or perhaps even be offended but I think it is full of integrity and is honest and respectful to tell them.

I realize that it can get a bit dicey when dealing with business relationships but if done properly and graciously, but candidly, the vast majority of people will respond appropriately.

Although I recognize that in the situation you are describing you are not a supervisor, I nevertheless highly recommend the book Radical Candor. I think you can pull principles from that book when dealing with this and many other situations.

For what it’s worth, I’ve reached a point in my career where I am much quicker to share with people problematic behaviors and why it will help them and me if they would be willing to adjust. It’s not a panacea but I have been pleasantly surprised by how many people do in fact adjust behavior and respond graciously when the issue is approached with them in a gracious but equally clear manner.

Here is an example of how you might approach this.

Hey , thanks for the text about … I appreciate … [Share something that you appreciate about the person or one of their last last communications etc.]

Would you consider doing me a small favor? Often when I receive your texts they are one line text with multiple lines in sequence. This can make it difficult for me to read contextually your text. in the future, would you mind the text message into a single message rather than as multiple single lines? This will make it much easier for me to read and to find what I’m looking for in the future should I be searching for one of your messages. I appreciate it, thanks advance for your consideration.

That said, I’d only send a message like this to serial offenders. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I am one of these people, AMA!

There may be a number of reasons it happens.

  • I’m at my computer and it’s really easy to break them up, and/or and people don’t know how to like break. (I am also guilty of writing entire paragraphs on my computer)
  • each new text is a new thought and therefore doesn’t need to be a part of the last message
  • I thoroughly enjoy new texts because I can reply to each thought separately with the newer ”threaded” feature.
  • it’s texting and my expectation is typically way less informal than formal. I quite honestly don’t think about other people’s notifications unless it’s very late at night.

With all of that being said, if it bothers you, say something. That’s how you deal with it. It’s a personal problem that’ll need a personal touch. You can approach it several ways, my favorites being “jeez, you send so many texts! lol” or “why do you send so many different messages?” or be the change you want to see in the world and only respond back to the relevant parts of the convo and maybe they’ll get the hint.

And it seems like people are prepping the message with formalities to get to the real topic because they see it as rude to just get right down to business. That’s how I’d think.

Frankly unless a text message is in BLUE I don’t answer it anyway! Call me a snob. :grinning:
Seriously I hardly get any of the kind you mention oddly I suppose as I can see how it happens. I do sometimes just have an ‘add on’ or something I thought of a little bit late. Most of us are overusing this stuff really as @nationalinterest says and new ‘rules’ are evolving organically? All my texts are free as far as I know, included in the monthly bill rather. I didn’t know anybody still paid text by text.
This ‘always available to anybody and everybody’ culture is insane and needs to be addressed.