I won't have time to enter this in G@G’s weekly contest due to time, but that is completely okay because I want to write this myTake anyways.
I see all too often people trying desperately to decipher vague or confusing text messages from their person of interest, and others making GUIDES to figure it all out. When I see the way people communicate through text and complaining about things like a lack of emojis and all of that other gob … it makes me want to rip my hair out a little.
Because the solution to your texting troubles is as easy as talking.
Relax, call-phobics, I’m not telling you to pick up the phone and call the person you’re interested in (guy or gal) every time you wanna chat.
Nowadays texting is the more comfortable, simplistic option that frankly requires less immediate focus, which presents benefits and issues. The benefits are of course that you can respond at your own leisure, you can multitask much easier, you can think about what you say without the pressure of real-time ticking away, and so on. The issues of course are that you can get LAZY; you can be too vague, you can take too long in between responses and come across inconsiderate or uninterested, you can rely too much on emojis to convey your emotions which can be misconstrued again … as being lazy. Then of course there are the people who play GAMES with texting: don’t text back too quick, wait a few days, yada yada … you’d think they were playing Candy Crush.
What’s worse is when you’re on the receiving end … or, better yet, when you’re both on the receiving end of bad texting. Think about when you read a book: if the narrative consisted solely of lols, winky-faces and abbreviations rather than informative information, you won’t pass an essay when it’s passed your way now will you? It’s the same when you’re getting to know someone.
When people ask me:
"What does this mean? It’s so vague! Is he interested or not?"
"Why does she take so long to respond? Why be so inconsiderate? She seems so interested when we talk, but only WHEN we talk!"
"Why didn’t she respond to my eggplant? Wtf?"
Let me lesson everyone here today on what I feel your texting “etiquette” should ALWAYS boil down to:
Text how you would TALK
I’m not saying you need to be a grammar nazi, not at all, keep your lols, lmaos, and wtfs if you’d like, but I DO suggest you text in a manner that is either exactly how you would speak to a person or at least pretty close. Don’t feel pressured to write paragraphs, but complete sentences go a LONG WAY in conveying who you are and your level of interest. I mean, just think about what you’re texting as though someone is right in front of you. If you’re face to face with them, are you going to greet bae with: “Sup.” And then ignore them for an hour and a half?
No, you're not, not unless you're a jerk. You're likely going to want to be more sincere, because otherwise you run the the risk of giving off the impression that you could care less about bae's presence, which isn't exactly a cute trait. You don't have to serenade this person every time you meet them by any means, but you do need to work out those thumbs, pay attention, and give them something genuine:
Bad Tex Magee: Sup.
Good Text Magee: Good morning Violet, how are you doing? :)
See how much of a DIFFERENCE that makes? You even got to throw in an emoji there – I won’t take them from you as long as you don’t abuse them, which I’ll get into soon. It’s still simple, but it says more than the seven words you put when you compare it to a lax-a-daisy texter. It shows effort, it shows basic intelligence, and it shows interest. There’s no need to sit there and stress on it, it just “is what it is.” Who you’re texting not only will be likely to appreciate it, but it might just encourage them to step their game up. And if they don’t, at least you know where their priorities are.
Emotions NOT Emojis!
Emojis are great for adding that extra touch of emotional conveyance to your text, but that’s only if you actually use it in conjunction with clear communication. If someone sends you a full text like:
Chuck: I really enjoy talking to you, Sarah. You brighten up my whole day, I always get excited when I think about seeing you again. I’m so glad that we finally decided to meet up and begin dating, it’s been the best decision I’ve made in a while!
Sarah: :) <3
Don’t be this person. Whether you think so or not, it’s a douchey thing to do to get so lazy that you don’t bother to even respond to someone beyond a couple of emojis – and don’t get me started on those people who just use a string of them either. Sure, sending a little smile or a blow kiss in a lull in conversation or perhaps after a sweet goodnight is totally okay, even more okay when you’re talking to friends, but when you’re having a real heartfelt conversation, a red heart and a smiley face doesn’t say: I feel the same. It reads more like: I’m uncomfortable and don’t know how to respond. That might be the case, but there are still better ways to go about it. You can be honest, or be simple. Example:
Sarah: Thanks Chuck. I don’t know what to say, I’m honestly pretty shy so don’t take that personally, but I definitely like you too … a lot.
Sarah: Oh Chuck. You say the sweetest things. I feel the same!
Super easy, right? All it takes is a little thought, a little consideration, a little effort to make sure your SO never has to guess what you’re feeling and keep them interested for dates to come. Oh, but another thing I think I should mention ... don't abuse emojis. If you went to English class a day in your life, your texts do not need to look like this:
Be POLITE, CONSIDERATE and HONEST
This should be basic knowledge, but too many of us fall into a this detatched idea that texting just "ain't no big deal" and it isn't something to worry too much about. I used to feel the same, but with the way people interact with each other has changed (with the introduction of online dating, LDR relationships and easier access of information) we call benefit from giving different forms of communication basic respect. This goes for your partner too. While I always suggest you don't leave people hanging for hours on end, there will be time where life gets in the way and you can't respond right away, or maybe you had a bad day and you're heart isn't in the conversation ... or, maybe you just need a little break from the conversation, no matter how great it is. These things can turn into BIG issues if you don't handle them properly. Remember, you have to treat this person like you're really talking to them, not a screen that will just fall into idle and float in the same time and space until you respond.
So, if you can't respond right away? Be POLITE:
Jessica: Hey Brad, I'm sorry I didn't text you back sooner! This morning was soo hectic and the meeting was dragged out! I didn't mean to ignore you, I hope to hear from you soon!
Simple, genuine, real. All it takes is a little explanation, a little apology, and your books are good. The only way you may get out of needing to consistently do this is if you are in LDR and have time difference or are familiar with the person's general schedule.
Can't muster your gussy cause your day was crud? Be CONSIDERATE:
Maybe you're not feeling as jived to talk as usual, but you're not ready to put the phone down. That's fine, of course, you can't control your mood and faking it often doesn't do you any good. But was does do you good is be considerate of the person you're talking to. Don't take it out on them, don't give them one worded response, just let them know you're a bit bummed and so you might not seem as chipper, so not to take it personally.
Henry: Listen Stacy, I had a bit of a crap day, so if I seem a little off, it's nothing you did. I'm just not in the best mood, but I still want to talk.
Again, it's simple, it's considerate, and you may even get the chance to get a load off of your chest, so you both benefit.
Has the conversation run it's course? BE HONEST:
If the convo is dead, it's dead. If you're dead tired, you're dead tired. If you have other things you want/need to do, then you have other things you want/need to do. You don't have to linger in the conversation for the sake of satisfying the other person, especially if you talk on the regular. Even if you need a breather, there's nothing wrong with giving your bae a little:
Amanda: Hey Jeff, it's been a great chat but I have some stuff I wanna go take care of, so I'm going to check in with you later or tomorrow. Love ya!
I think you get what I'm getting at by now, right? It's just simple, basic human communication. There's no need to drop into dead silence and lie about it later. Unless you're dating a bit of a nut, that response there is enough to get a: Okay, ttyl <3!
Communication in society today has vastly changed the way we interact with each other, and as technology continues to advance, so do we. There’s no reason to fall into the trap of allowing our tech to do the work. We’re human, not robots, so if you want to be successful in intriguing all of your textees make sure that when you walk the walk, you text the talk.
Have a good one, G@Gers.