Texting Etiquette Question

Updated on July 09, 2013
J.C. asks from Blacksburg, VA
25 answers

As an older mom, I mainly call people or send emails. But I text my babysitters because their moms say that is the best way. Well, I sent a text kind of late the other night, and received a reply right away. Then I wondered - did her phone beep and wake her up? Should I not text if it's too late to call? What is the etiquette on this? Thanks!

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Featured Answers


answers from Washington DC on

i think texting etiquette should mirror phone etiquette. if it's too late to call, send an email.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

In my house, if it's too late to call, it's too late to text, email etc. Most phones these days go off for everything, text, email, voicemail, call etc.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I could care less when people text me. I set my phone at a volume that if I am out cold, I will not hear it. So if I respond, I wanted to respond, if I ignore, that was my choice too.

Texts are just one of those things that it is fine to send any time of day, just like emails.

By the way, my phone makes the same sound when I get an email.
Okay, thought I would add, I did not regulate when my older kids or even when my younger kids receive texts. My kids know what is required of them, it is up to them to not receive texts if it will effect their sleep their school.

If I got a call asking is it okay, my first question would be, did she complain? Followed up with have you spoke to her?

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

I'm 30. I kind of have a rule that if it's too late to call, I don't text. That's with any age on the other end.
I really just don't want to wake someone up...I'm not sure of the etiquette involved.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Don't text late! It will wake her & lots of us use out phones as alarm clocks and the volume stays on.

So to answer your question: if you wouldn't call that late, then don't text that late.

~ I don't have a land-line so it only cells in my house & as a Mom/Auntie to teenagers I keep my phone next to my bed every night, in case of emergencies!!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

People text all day and night.
If the receiving person does not want to be disturbed, they'll silence or power off their phone when they go to sleep then when they turn it on when they wake, they'll see their messages.
I wouldn't worry about it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I would check with the parents to see if there is a cut off on when you can text their child. If there is and you need a last minute sitter for first thing in the am (for example) then text the parents. That is what the people my daughter babysits for do. If it is after 10pm and they need someone in the AM (before 10AM) then they need to either text or call me directly. My daughter's phone is shut down at 10PM except for family and emergencies

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If she answered, she was probably still up. My SD is mostly nocturnal. I'll get a response at 12AM but not at 9AM. I tend to not text past 10 if I don't know someone's habits. Just in case.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You probably shouldn't text late, but she was probably still up.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


If she has her cell phone on and not on vibrate or silent - it WILL make some noise. So if you sent it after she went to bed - most likely you did wake her up.

In our home? After 9PM? It better be an emergency to call or text. If my son gets a text after 9PM on his phone? he knows he better not reply to it UNLESS it's an emergency - and emergencies in our home are classified as death, fire, car accident, gun shot - where someone is in an IMMEDIATE life or death situation.

This will be the rule until they are on their own and paying for their own way. Until then - my house. my rules.

I would ask their parents their rules on texting.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Kids live with their phones by their ear. She was most likely up and it didn't bother her. If she didn't want to answer she would have waited until morning to respond.

If you ask her how late is too late I bet she says midnight or later...lol.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

My rule for my students (I used to teach at a small liberal arts college) was that they could call during office hours and text until 8pm. Then it was email only. We only have cell phones, so with no home phone I am not comfortable turning the sound down when I am asleep in case of emergencies. I had students that ignored it unfortunately and treated texting like email, texting me questions at 3am. Needless to say, they didn't get answered until the next day.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Yes, it will or can beep when a text message is received.
How late did you send it?
Some people have their phones on 24/7. Some turn it off at night.
If their phone is on 24/7, it does not mean they are awake.
Or if it beeps, it may wake them up.

Ask the parent, how late is too late, to text their child.
And how late is too last minute.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Here, here! Older mom here, too who (gulp) calls and e-mails. But kudos to you for going that extra mile to ask about textiquette! A lot of younger folks, i.e. your babysitters, may keep their phones on for fear of "missing out" on being connected. The more mature ones will probably turn down their volume so as not to be disturbed. I say just ask them if a text will wake them up and express your concern. You are so sweet :-)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Did anyone say this yet. My sis uses herb cell in place of landline and also as an alarm clock. So if I text late she gets mad, but will tell not to.hth

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I don't text any later than I would call and that is 9 pm

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

Everyone has their own opinion on this. Some think it's ok to text anytime because if people don't want to be bothered they would turn their phones off or set to vibrate. Others leave their phones on 24/7 because they don't have a housephone.

I think you don't text late unless you know the person is up or unless it's very important.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Hi, Mama:

Rule of thumb: No texting, e-mailing, phoning after 8:00 p.m.

Thanks for asking.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Roanoke on

I don't think it is good manners to call or text before 9am or after 9pm, unless it's very important, or if you know the person well and it's fine with them.

I leave my phone on at night for two reasons: it's my alarm clock, and we don't have a landline, so it's the only way to reach me in an emergency.

I do not like being woken by texts at night. If it's something so important that it can't wait until morning, then it deserves a phone call, not a text.

In your case, I would just ask your babysitters how late/how early you can text them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If their moms say texting is the best method, then I'd continue to text. Check with the mom(s) if you're worried about times of day. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

For me, texting is wedged between calling and send an e-mail. I respond to my calls/texts/e-mails according to what's going on on my end. If I find that I am being disturbed, then I change my notification settings. With all that goes on on telephones these days, it's rare that anybody I'm texting is using the phone as only a phone, so there are all sorts of notifications coming through at different times. It's not up to me to monitor somebody else's end of the line. I don't reply until I'm ready, and I expect the same from others. If it's outside of their acceptable receiving time, then they won't reply. If I do send a message "after hours" and get a non-urgent reply, then I don't have to carry on a discussion right then. I can still opt to "talk it out" the next day.


answers from Boise on

If we are talking teens, then I would text a late night text without thinking twice. A peer, I might think twice about, but since I usually forget during the day if I don't do it when I remember, the odds are I will forget lol

I turn my texting off at night, but leave the ringer on.


answers from Hartford on

My teen nieces and nephew text at all hours of the day and night during the summer AND school year. They're in high school and college. If they don't feel like answering a text or call then they turn their phones off. I would go along that assumption regarding text etiquette. When it comes to calling, I would use the same etiquette as if you were calling a land line.

With my own daughter, who is nearly 13, I just set parental controls so she wouldn't hear the phone ring or see a text during the night hours because during disallowed hours there's a block on her phone.


answers from Boston on

There are settings on the phone that allow you to hear only from certain numbers (useful at night, during meetings, and so on - even during homework! Yeah right...). Anyway, a lot of kids don't use that because, to them, everything is critical and immediate. So I wouldn't do it. She probably is using it as an alarm clock as well. She was probably up, but still, it might annoy her parents if she's still doing texting instead of going to bed.


answers from Houston on

I use my phone as my alarm clock. But, I turn it OFF every night and then the alarm will turn it on.

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