Text message language is a highly informal way of writing that is often used in communication between friends. It is usually used when communicating by mobile phone messages, although it may sometimes be used in other kinds of written digital communication. This type of language is now widely used and many different people will understand it and prefer it to more long-winded, traditional ways of writing. So can it ever be acceptable to use text message language in a business setting?
As with any question about the appropriateness of language, much of this will depend on the context. In a formal environment, text message language and any other forms of abbreviated language should be avoided at all costs. This should include all internal and external communications and presentations.
It may very occasionally be acceptable to use colloquial and informal language in an email to a colleague who you know well, For example, if they have done you a favour, you may want to send them a smiley face or other sign of your appreciation. However, this should be reserved to email or instant messenger only – never use this kind of communication in an environment where it may be seen by others, and never use swear words or expletives.
The most important thing to bear in mind is to be aware of the language you are using at all times. If you feel comfortable using a highly informal writing style, that’s fine, just be conscious of how it could come across when communicating with people who are more senior than you. Take your lead from the company and the people around you. As long as you remain aware of your surroundings, do what feels appropriate to you at the time. This is how to create the most genuine relationships with your language.