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I hate getting texts from my boss. I have enough social anxiety as it is. I don’t need the added pressure of making sure there are no common texting faux pas like grammatical errors or mentions of eating ass – y’know, millennial stuff.
But it got me thinking about the etiquette behind texting your boss, and how there really is no standard. I was on the bus the other day, looking over peoples’ shoulders as they texted (as you do), and this old man was drafting a text to a love interest. His text went as follows:
We haven’t spoken in some time and you were on my mind today. How are you?
Hell yeah. Get it, Richard. Keep in mind that he was including line breaks in his text message. I know some people who don’t even do that in emails. All of this made me think that the baby boomers prefer professional correspondence when it comes to texts, but at the same time, my boss will send me memes about eating Tide Pods.
[As a quick side note, I’d like to say that I don’t appreciate him pandering to me with the Tide Pod memes just to get on my good side. Will I say anything about it? No. Will I reply with a “haha so ridiculous!” instead? Yes. Also, does the pandering even work? Yes. I just want it to be known that I’m woke to the game.]
I think the big takeaway is that you can relax a little knowing that the correspondence is now a bit more casual nowadays than it used to be. But how casual is it? Are you on gif terms now? Can I stop lying about how much I drink on the weekends? What’s the proper progression here?
I’d like to make the argument that it’s okay to emote your boss’ texts, at the very least. I did a Google search and I realized that “emote” isn’t really an established term, but my friends and I use it to describe those things like “haha,” “!!,” “thumbs up/down,” “heart,” and the “?” that you can put on text messages if you have an iPhone and hold down or double tap somebody’s text that they sent you.
First of all, kudos to the team at Apple that made this happen because it’s made me and my friends engage way more in our text groups. We used to be normal guys but now we emote and giggle over our texts like schoolgirls. We actually fight over who has gotten the most “haha” ‘motes (short for emote) in the group’s history, which is a ridiculous thing to squabble over, and is promptly ended by me sending a screenshot proving that I got the most ‘motes. I can feel you judging me from the other side of the screen right now but you’d do it too if you knew these animals.
But the increased engagement is what I’m trying to focus on here. Emoting a text shows the other person that you’re engaged with the conversation, and more importantly that what they’ve said has struck such a strong chord with you that you feel the need to emphasize it, or laugh at it, or give it a thumbs up, etc. Emoting your boss’ texts could make your life a little easier by giving them a little ego stroke. I’m not saying be a brown-nosing POS, I’m just saying respond how you would usually respond, but throw some emotes in there.
Let’s say your boss texts you “How’s that important numbers thing for that one guy going?” (chill out, I don’t know what you talk about with your boss, alright?). Normally, you’d probably say “It’s going great, I’ll have the good business stuff on your desk by COB tomorrow” (you like that business acronym, don’t you). But with my emote method, just have that typed out, then throw a thumbs up on her/his text before you send your reply. Then, do that with every single text you exchange with your boss. In no time, your boss will be saying, “Well count my stars. That young employee of ours sure shows prudence and gumption. I reckon we have an early candidate for biggest Q4 bonus in the history of this company.” I realize not every boss talks like late 1800s small townsfolk, but my ideal one does.
It’s possible that your boss sends you a meme about Logan Paul using a fidget spin hack in Fortnite. Just remember what I told you about pandering, then throw your boss a “haha” or a “!!” emote and reply something safe like “Oh man, so crazy!” which is basically the equivalent of leaving them on read, but they don’t know that. They don’t fully understand what’s happening on the Internet these days, they’re just excited to be a part of it.
At the very least, the emote on your boss’ text will make you stand out from the pack and make you more memorable. It’s a little life hack that’s free and easy to do and could leave some sort of an impression on someone with influence over your life, which may or may not be what you want. If that’s not what you want, then disregard this whole article. Also, disregard this whole thing if your boss has an Android because you can’t emote green texts. If your boss has an Android, then they probably have no emotions and wouldn’t care about your cute little emotes anyway. .