There are some texting rules that exist for our own good: don’t text while driving, always text back quickly when the subject is important, and it’s helpful to text someone your name when they give you their number. Some exist thanks to some weird understanding that we as a society came to without, like, discussing it beforehand: using “lol” as filler text instead of using it when you’re actually laughing, putting a period at the end of a word to show that you’re PISSED, and saying “hahahaha” when you’re genuinely finding something funny. Then there are the texting rules that we all need to stop following ASAP.
Why? Well, because they never should have existed in the first place. Texting was invented to make our lives easier, and unfortunately, it often ends up making things more confusing than they need to be because of the silly rules that we’re all following. In other words, we’re making things much harder than they need to be. Communication that isn’t face to face can be tough enough as it is – you can easily read something incorrectly or take something the wrong way – so why make it worse? If you want to start having better conversations and having a better idea of WTF someone is saying, then trust me: you have to stop following these texting rules right now.
1) Don’t text first unless you want to look desperate.
Never feel bad for initiating a conversation, even if it’s with someone you like, someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, or someone you don’t know very well. There’s no shame in being the person to text first. Shaming people for showing genuine interest in others to protect your coolness is… dumb, to be honest.
2) The person who texts last is pathetic.
IRL, having the last word is seen as a victory. But in texting, having the last word is considered pathetic. Why? Just say what you want to say and stop trying to act like you have sooooo many better things going on.
3) Don’t double text – ever.
You can have more than one thought at a time. Don’t text back to back novels, of course, but a few lines? Who cares. You can double text to your heart’s content. If someone doesn’t like it, they’ll tell you, and if they make fun of you behind your back, they’re trash.
4) You need to make someone wait before texting them back so you don’t appear thirsty.
We’ve all done it: received a text from someone, looked at quickly, and then thought, “Let me just wait, like, 20 minutes to respond so I don’t look lame.” Then we either forget and look rude, or we just waste a few minutes counting down the seconds until we can answer. Uh…. this is not cool. Waiting to text back just makes you seem like you’re trying too hard.
5) You have to respond with a greater gap of time than the person who just texted you.
They took five minutes? Take fifteen. Set a timer. They’re going to crown you the Queen Of Being The One Who Cares Less if it kills you… and kills this relationship. Oops. Why are we like this?
6) Read receipts = pettiness.
Uh, when did I miss the memo that turning on your read receipts means you’re a petty person? IDK, but I guess I did. Some people just like them!!
7) No sarcasm ever.
Sarcasm is my love language. You can pry it from my cold, dead hands. Admittedly, tone is hard to read on text when you don’t have a voice to go with it to indicate tone. Maybe reserve it for people who know your sense of humor, or do what I do and literally type “(sarcasm)” so you’re wayyyy clear about how that should be read.
8) Emojis indicate sexual interest.
Unless they’re overtly the unofficial sexyparts emojis (hey, eggplant and peach), send all the cat heart eyes you want, literally who cares. Emojis are stickers you put on your texts. When you were a kid playing with stickers, did you get so pressed about what kind of sticker you used? They’re fun, so have fun. Overthinking a text is one thing, but overthinking emojis? Stop it.
9) You need to text bae every day or the sanctity of your relationship evaporates into thin air.
You don’t need to constantly be texting the person you’re with. That’s not part of what you MUST DO as a couple, so relax. Wouldn’t you rather, IDK, talk about that stuff in person?
10) Proper punctuation is for losers.
You actually need to go out of your way to not use the double tap to make a period and then un-capitalize the start of your new sentence. You’ll get crap for speaking in too many abbreviations and you’ll get crap for using commas. Do what you feel like and quit calling your friends nerds for punctuating their sentences.
11) You need to justify the window of time it took you to text back.
How many times have you sent or received a text that went something like this: “OMG I’m SO sorry it took me so long to answer, I was at work/watching a movie/at a funeral/eating dinner/so busy doing work and totally forgot” etc. etc. Okay, chill. Apologize if it takes you a while to respond with a quick, “Ah, sorry for the late response, I was so busy before!” No need to profusely apologize as if you just accidentally chopped their hand off.
12) All group texts are evil.
Sometimes you need to message the group if your birthday party got rained out. Yes, you know that not everybody knows each other. You can leave group chats now. What are you supposed to do? Copy paste and individually send the same thing to more than five people? No thanks.
What texting rules do you follow? Which ones do you ditch? Do you actually think some of these rules are worth keeping? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.