Chatting online is now a national pastime in China, especially among the post-'90s generation. To the uninitiated however, online chats can seem like the wild west of polite conversation. Yet hidden rules and standards do exist, as long as you take the time to look for them.
So today, let's take a closer look at some WeChat do's and don'ts.
- 1 -
When sending a friend request, include your real name and any other identifying information. Remember, everybody's time is precious. If there's something you want, cut right to the chase.
- 2 -
Never send an "are you there?" without any follow-up messages. The quicker that you get to the point, the more likely the other person is to reply.
- 3 -
Please send texts, not voice messages. It might be easier for you to speak than type, but what about the person on the other end? They may be unable to listen to a 59-second message right now. Also, never send personal information by voice message — that is hard to note down.
- 4 -
Emojis, GIFs and memes can save the day when you find yourself in an embarrassing conversation, or words fail you. Also, try adding a tilde ("~") to the end of your messages, it can help soften the tone.
- 5 -
Think before you type, and then type quickly. There's nothing worse than seeing the flickering "typing..." indicator for minutes on end, without anything being received.
- 6 -
You can always judge a person's mood by the length of their text messages.
- 7 -
If the person you're talking to says "good night" or "I'm going to take a shower" that's probably not what they're actually going to do, it's just an excuse to stop talking to you.
- 8 -
Use WeChat to communicate with friends and relatives. Use phone calls for acquaintances and strangers.
- 9 -
If someone hesitates for longer than three seconds before saying "yes", they probably really mean "no".
- 10 -
If you receive these emojis
from friends who are older, read them literally (as a smile, a wave or a laugh). For the post-'90s generation, however, they could indicate speechlessness.