Texting has become a “thing” within my lifetime. When I was in high school, I had a Nextel that I called the Silver Brick because it was heavy and indestructible. Sure, I could use it like a walkie talkie, but texting? What was I, rich?! I sent maybe 10 texts total in high school.
In college, I upgraded to a flip phone and then a slide-like one. I was texting long before touch screens. We would have to hit the “7” key four times to get to an “s.” The struggle was real, kids. As I have literally grown up in the texting generation, I know a few things about it:
1. Texting is easily the laziest form of communication. Except for maybe voice texting. That’s lazier and I do it all the time. But it’s like 1,000,000x better than calling. Why does anyone ever call?! We should just eliminate the calling function from cell phones.
2. Emojis were total game changers. I have an old friend (hey, Dave Speers!) who used to always call girls out for being passive aggressive in texts. He used to say that girls can say the meanest thing in the world and follow it with a smiley face, expecting it to cover all evil. Por ejemplo:
“I wanted to punch you in the face at dinner, lol, ;)”
See? It kind of works. But now with emojis, you can run the entire emotional scale without even using words.
3. I literally have to put my phone in my back seat and out of reach to prevent myself from texting while driving. I’m a horrible person and I give you every right to judge me. I’m a work in progress though and I’ve gotten a lot better about it in the last year. (You should stop texting while you’re driving too!)
4. Introverts come alive through their phones. (This is a generalization that I’m 100% sure isn’t 100% accurate.) I’ve noticed so many times that the introverts in my life are so much more expressive through a texting conversation than an actual face to face one. Why introverts? Why don’t you like to look at me when you tell me your secrets?
5. Group texting is the very best and the very worst. Sometimes (and my sometimes I mean once a week), I’m woken up by my siblings texting me on the east coast. I text with them almost every single day and it’s always very funny so I don’t want to miss anything, but I also want to kill them when they wake me from a deep slumber. But 95% of the time, it’s the highlight of my day. Group texting can also be the worst when your friend texts a mass “Merry Christmas” because it feels a bit like being held hostage. Whatever you do, you can’t leave. You’re stuck there for eternity.
6. There are certain unwritten rules to texting. But I’ll write some down so you know. Attn: old people. If someone is typing at you in all caps, they are clearly yelling at you. Or, if someone (someone being me) says “Haha, nice” in response to something you say, they are finished talking to you or are too busy to respond but they are subtly blowing you off.
7. Texting is way more fun when it’s intentional. I send up to 100 text messages in one day sometimes. They are rarely of substance. I talked on this here blog a little while ago about how my husband and I used to only text in haikus. It forced us to be creative and mindful about what we were saying. It wasn’t just romantic, it was meaningful. I encourage you to text with meaning. Unless you’re sending a funny meme—those are always worth it too.
Also, leave it to Ellen to have a hilarious video about texting.