Monday, January 3, 2011

Texting Etiquette 101

Texting: the wonderfully practical but often easily and horribly misinterpreted middle ground between the informality of email and the seriousness of a phone call, it has become the go-to way to communicate with those around us. It’s immediate (as most of us seldom stray more than three feet from our phones), it’s quick, and it’s easy.

That said, texting requires a delicate hand, especially at the beginning of a romance. If you say something that gets misinterpreted, it can spell disaster. Taking too long to respond or responding too quickly takes on significant meaning. Witty banter is a must, and so is the requisite agonizing over clever word play and/or alluding to your vast knowledge of obscure but humorous pop culture (obviously making sure it’s not so obscure that your amour won’t get it).

The problem is that not everyone subscribes to the same version of Texting Etiquette 101. As a result, misinterpretation, confusion and emotional agony can surface — Yikes. Here’s how to avoid the worst of it.

In my experience, both personally and professionally (and I’m going to gender generalize here, so bear with me), the ladies and the gents have very different views of the dos and don’ts of texting. For example, the ladies (in general) appear to require (and give) a response — even if no question was asked and no response was necessary. The ladies want to know that the guy received the text (and want the guy to know that they received his), and attach a lot of emotional significance to how long it took said guy to respond, what he said, how it was phrased (and if there was any hidden meaning), and if the guy (deep breath) didn’t respond, many an agonizing hour will be spent analyzing why he didn’t respond.

The gents (in general), view texting a little differently. If the text received requires a response, a response is given. If it doesn’t, the information is absorbed and the day continued. If a guy doesn’t receive a response, the assumption is that the lady receiving the text was busy and will get back to them later — only after a couple days have passed do they wonder if something is amiss. Also, the gents (in general) don’t seem to analyze the “hidden messages” in each text (as the ladies want to do), unless said text says something totally weird.

The most solid piece of advice to keep everyone happy (no matter which gender you subscribe to) is to always provide a reason for your crush to reply. Say what you were going to say, but end it with a question or say something witty and entertaining enough it deserves a response. Bottom line, avoid the open ended statements that can be read, absorbed and require no response. Response is everything when you’re in a new texting relationship — and the more witty, fun and sexy the response, the better.

Yours in titty wexting, S