Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Awkward: Texting

It's been said, "Texting is the best way to miscommunicate how you feel, and misinterpret what other people mean." Be that as it may, texting for many is the primary and preferred method of communication. People text everyone from best friends to relatives to casual acquaintances. It's become the norm and with it has come potential awkwardness.

It's happened to all of us. You send a text and get no reply. It isn't urgent, of course, but you say something witty or even propose to hang out and it's nothing but crickets. You give it several hours. People are busy. Maybe it’s a network issue. Perhaps they have problems with their phone. It's certainly possible for people start to reply but then forget to press send. Right? But then 24 hours later, still no response. Did they not get your joke? Did you offend them? Should there have been an exclamation point instead of that period? Maybe you should’ve added an “LOL” or winking emoji to let them know you’re kidding. You get increasingly annoyed or anxious depending on what you wrote. Now, you have to decide your next move.

Generally, double texting or sending a text before someone responds to you is a social faux pas in this generation. It makes you seem desperate. You wonder if it’s okay to make an exception just in case they really didn’t get your text. You could be hurt for no reason. Isn’t it better to confirm that they’re a flake before writing them off completely? You also don’t want to seem over eager by doing too much. What is one to do?

It’s useful to realize that texting offers a glimpse into your feelings about the relationship. I know that when I text my family or my closest friends and they don’t respond, I typically don’t worry too much. I don’t over think the silence. I don’t assume the worst. I figure they’ll get back to me when they can. I might jokingly give them a hard time when we do connect, but it’s usually in good fun and I definitely don’t obsess about their non-response. But if I’m already a little anxious and insecure in the relationship, if it’s a newer friend or someone I want to impress, I’m much more in my head about the social interaction. I’m definitely more apt to read into what they say and what they don’t. But that’s not really fair. Doesn’t everyone deserve the benefit of a doubt? Can’t they be excused for being busy or absent minded or even a little self-focused sometimes? I say yes because we all are at times. So, just relax and breathe easy. Everything you need to know about that person will unfold in time and offline. Up next…Awkward: Friend Requests.

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