If there is one thing in this world that I have always, more or less, thought to be true, it is that texting is the worst form of communication that there is now, has ever been, and ever will be.
This is an exaggeration, probably. Texting is always better and more reliable than using carrier pigeons to send information back and forth, and it is almost always preferable to talking to someone you don’t like very much face to face, and it is useful, I guess, to be able to send people little ciphers and emojis at any point of the day for no real reason other than that, simply, you can.
But, if you think about it, it’s probably pretty likely that you have suffered for texting more than you have gained from it. It’s annoying when you’re in the “talking” stage of a relationship with someone you don’t know all that well and have to convey your usual sparkling, witty personality over text, which seems to work so well with everyone but your crush.
It’s also annoying when you have to deal with rejecting someone over text–it sounds better at first, but crafting the perfect message is much harder than just blurting something out in person. Plus, with all forms of texting and messaging, there is an ever-possible chance of having any less-than/stellar behavior screenshotted, which leads to being sent in screenshot form to a group message you are not a part of in the form of a receipt.
It’s enough to make one want to throw their phone into the ocean and never text again, I think. But you don’t have to do that! Instead, you can just learn how to be better at texting. To start, check out the annoying things you didn’t know you’re doing when you text:
1. Using punctuation:
Or, to be more specific, using periods. An exclamation adds emphasis and a question mark can clarify what you’re saying is, in fact, a question,but you should only ever send a period in a text if you’re trying to let someone know that you hate them.
and sending four or five texts for a message that could have very easily been just one:
Full disclosure: I am 100% guilty of doing this all the time. And, to be fair, it is a good way to seem low-key and casual if you have a lot to say, and communicate a lot of thoughts in a stream-of-consciousness way, but it can be hard to process everything at once if new texts keep coming in.
3. Sending a novel in one single text:
But many disjointed texts are preferable to one overwhelming block of blue text. If it’s something that’ll take up an entire phone screen, take a break, drink some water, and come back to it. Chances are good you’ll find some superfluous elements you can delete.
4. Read receipts:
There are a few good reasons to have your read receipts on–some people think that they maximize texting efficiency–but, for the most part, they just send a message that you want everyone to know that you’re purposefully ignoring their texts.
5. Just saying “K:”
So rude! If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
6. Or sending a thumbs-up emoji:
The emoji equivalent to “K,” obviously.
7. One-word answers:
To something that very clearly requires more than one word. It’s rude, and it makes the person who texted you wonder why they even bothered to text in the first place.
8. Sending a follow-up text if it’s been under an hour to the person you’re texting:
If it’s a time-sensitive matter, feel free to send as many follow-ups as you like. But if you were just checking in to say hi, and it takes a while to get a response, do not send a bunch of follow ups, and definitely do not say something like “do you not want to talk to me?”
9. Starting a conversation and expecting the other person to carry the whole thing:
One of the worst things in the world (superficially speaking) is when someone else sends a text to you and, for whatever reason, thinks that this makes it the other person’s responsibility to carry the rest of the conversation.
Guys are usually the worst offender in this particular area, so chances are good that you don’t do this that often. But, if you do, don’t.
10. Always expecting someone else to send the first text:
Swallow your pride and send out a first text every now and then. You shouldn’t ALWAYS be doing this–this can be a sign that someone doesn’t want to talk to you–but if you want to text someone, don’t let your assumption that you shouldn’t be texting first stop you.
11. Sending out mass “wyd” texts:
Not in, like, the sense that you’re creating a group message of all the people you might conceivably be hanging out with in one night (you are more sophisticated than that, I assume). But if you send out a bunch of impersonal “hey, what’s going on later?” texts to a bunch of people in hopes that everyone will respond and you can cull the best night out of of the responses and ignore everyone who didn’t make the cut, this is transparent and annoying.
12. Creating huge group message threads with people who don’t know each other:
If you have ever been forced into a group message with one of your friends and, like, sixteen random, faceless phone numbers you can’t place, you will know that it is one of the worst things that you could subject another human to. Spare your friends from this!
13. Switching between messaging mediums for no apparent reason:
You know, like, from texting to Facebook messenger to Twitter DMs to email. It’s annoying and, unless you are doing it for the sole reason to annoy your friends, don’t do it.
14. Starting a conversation and then falling off the face of the earth:
Don’t text someone “hey, can I tell you something?” and then proceed to ignore them for three hours.
15. Not answering a question that was specifically asked of you in a text:
Come on. Answer your questions. It’s common courtesy.
Do you do any of these texting habits? Which ones? Let us know in the comments!