Tips for online messaging

online messaging

Imagine this: after weeks of scrolling through endless online profiles and waiting on replies that never seem to arrive, you’re finally having a conversation with someone – and you feel like you might actually have a shot with this person!

But then one night you check your inbox for the umpteenth time and see no reply to your last message. What gives? Did your message get lost in the Internet’s black hole?


Don’t panic just yet, because here are four quick tips to keep your instant messaging from turning into an instant disaster!

Timing is everything. Well, almost.

Before you give up on online dating, check the timestamp of your message. Messages sent during work hours or when your match is offline run the risk of getting buried among other messages delivered during this time.

The next step? Follow up on your message at a better time when it’s convenient for them to reply.. There’s no need to look to stars for answers: just consider your match’s schedule. If he/she works office hours, send out your message during lunch or after dinner time.


Quick tip: take a peek at his/her online status. If both of you are online at the same time, it increases your chances of getting a reply if he/she is really interested in you.

More than words

Without being able to draw cues from body language or facial expressions, interpreting the tone of online messages can be a challenging affair. Mimicking the language of the other person can make your messages easier to understand, but for those who want a quick fix, emoticons are a good bet.

Attaching an emoticon to your message can help your match to read the tone of your message better while softening an otherwise curt-sounding text. As a bonus, they can also help you score more dates according to a TIME magazine research!

emoji 1emoji 2

Another great way to keep things from being drab is to share pictures of what you’re up to. It gives room to bring up new topics if he/she spots something interesting in your pictures. Saw a funny picture online? Why not share the laughter!

Fun fact: “emoticon” is a mash up of the words “emotion” and “icon”, best representing the value of these expressive pixel faces.

Ping! You’ve got a message!

Ever been intimidated by a wall of text? Keep things short and sweet so your match actually remembers what you said without having to reread your message – it’s called instant messaging for a reason!

Another pitfall is when too much slang or short forms are used. A string of alphabets may mean something to you, but to others it could involve time trying to figure out just what it means, and chances are nobody has time like that.


Quick tip: loosen the tie when you’re messaging! You can be polite without being overly formal, which can mask your true, bubbly personality.

Keep the ball rolling

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a dismissive “Hahah oic!” reply, you know how difficult it can be to continue the conversation. Keep things going by sharing something fun you did over the weekend or talk about an interesting piece of news you came across that morning.

For some inspiration, check back on his/her profile to see what their hobbies are, but don’t start an interrogation, now! Offer your opinions to build on the conversation or add in something about yourself. The ball is in your court once that reply comes in, so it’s up to you to return a hit!

crushed it

Quick tip: when you feel that both of you are ready to bring the conversation offline, initiate a meet up to get to know the other person better*. Invite him/her for a casual cup of coffee or a safe date on!

Just keep these simple tips in mind and you’re ready to reply your inbox messages or start a conversation. Replies are good indicators of interest, but don’t be disheartened if your smiley face is left unanswered – you never know when your inbox will next ping with a reply from another interested match!

*Don’t disregard safety when you’re meeting someone online for the first time! Click here for some safety tips from


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