Text messaging has its own language; many words and common phrases have been abbreviated beyond recognition to the untrained eye. In many instances, words are spelled phonetically, or represent an acronym for a common phrase. Numbers and letters are often used instead of the words they sound like (e.g. 4 = “for” and C = “see”). Additionally, the meanings of text-messaging abbreviations are not set stone. If you are unsure about the meaning of an abbreviation, Google it! Text language is always evolving, meanings may change over time and new abbreviations are developing.
The very informal language of text messaging may blur the line of counselor professionalism. Text messaging CU@1 hardly seems like a professional way to confirm an appointment. However, as a counselor, it is important not to overlook texting as a way to communicate with consumers simply because of semantic concerns. This doesn’t mean that you should start texting like a teenager. However, a basic understanding of text messaging lingo will help you become a more effective text messaging communicator. A general rule of thumb for using abbreviations in text messages is to avoid them until your consumer has introduced them to the conversation.