Posted January 29, 2011on:
Text me. Sext me. Bbm me. Instant communication is all the rage these days. Some people even receive facebook notifications on their phone faster than it would take to receive a phone call- you know who you are.
With the current advances in technology, our expectations of the response time of others has also changed. I have friends that consistently take over 24 hours to respond to a text message and they live in the same city… an entire day! This is unacceptable. I know I am not the only one to receive this type of treatment. No matter our personal preferences, I’m sure we all have people in our lives (friends, family, lovers) that have frustrated us via text.
In regards to relationships, it should be common knowledge that communication is key. This applies to boyfriends, wives, friends, coworkers, the maintenance guy, and everything in between. Thus, to help keep the lines of communication open and flowing, we could all use a little lesson on how to excel in text messaging. After all, your text messaging skill level could be setting the pace of your relationships and determining their ultimate longevity.
As with most things, the longer you have been in good standing with someone, the more leniency you have. My best of friends could take 10 hours to respond and under general circumstances, it would not affect our relationship whatsoever… unless the text is, “hey, I am outside your house, please let me in.” I may love you but I will not wait outside your house for 10 hours.
Here are some general guidelines on proper text messaging etiquette:
1. Exercise timely response time. Whether or not your intention, how long you take to respond to a text message can signal to the recipient the degree to which you respect their time, romantically or otherwise. Based on the text message and nature of your relationship, use your judgment as to what should be considered poor, good, or excellent response time. If your response time is in fact poor, a simple apology text should suffice, i.e. Sorry for the delay, I was [at the gym, sleeping, at work, on a date, masturbating, etc.]. Of course, you can omit the apology text if you actually do not care.
Personally, I appreciate fast response time and thus try to reciprocate this to others. I am a busy bee, and so are most of my friends, so I can understand the relief when information is relayed quickly. Also, if I do not respond quickly, it is likely that I may forget to respond altogether, and I do not want to be misinterpreted or mistaken for rude.
Similar to the golden rule that we should have all been raised to abide by, text others as you would like to be texted. Do your best to avoid text that are ambiguous or could be easily misinterpreted. A little extra effort goes a long way.
General Rules to remember:
- If you are texting a love interest, a lapse of time in texts received does not automatically mean that he or she has lost interest. Have some self confidence.
- Give people the benefit of the doubt. For example, I am learning that most people do not have jobs where their phone is right next to their mouse pad or do not have a dangerous addiction to texting while driving (which I need to stop), like I do. Be lenient.
- Just be cool. Impatient follow up texts sent 5, 10, or 30 minutes later are not attractive. Choose to have some faith and let go of being uptight (remember, true ballers are never waiting).
2. Do not forget to use personality. It is definitely possible to be boring via text. As with all types of communication, quality is preferred over quantity. Just because a text is a brief message does not mean you can stop being interesting, creative, and witty. Put in some effort; it is obvious when you do not. Use punctuation, smiley faces, questions, silly comments, flirt, and do not be afraid to laugh. More than anything, be 100% yourself… and never send a text that just says, “K.”
3. Avoid texting too much and texting too little. Use balance to judge the quantity of your texts. For example, if you met a girl at a club and texted her 10 times with no response, she is NOT interested and you are rapidly approaching creeper status. If your significant other has sent you three texts throughout the day and you do not want the next text to read “you are so lame, it is over,” then I suggest responding more often. Put some thought into it.
Recap: be cool, text others as you would like others to text you, use personality always, and do your best to avoid ambiguous messages. If you can accomplish these things, you will greatly increase your communication skills. Then watch in amazement as the openness in your relationships, level of trust, ease of heart, and connection with others greatly increases.