On Texting Etiquette

Hopefully, you are familiar with the tumblr Male Minded, which is both hilarious and very instructive about popular culture, especially in regard to the relationship between men and women. 

This diagram is a reflection of a conversation I have hear among my friends many times. People say things like, “Oh, yeah, he’s obviously desperate, he texted back in like three seconds,” or “Yeah, I never text people back immediately.”

I think we should all call ourselves out a little bit here. When I get a text, my phone buzzes. When my phone buzzes, I hear it. I then proceed to read the message. If I don’t answer it, it lingers in my brain and adds another item to my distracting, internal to-do list.

Consequently, I usually answer my phone immediately, or a number of hours later when I have retrieved my phone from wherever I left it. 

Because I think it is COMPLETELY ridiculous to read a text and then WAIT three to five minutes until you have reached the acceptable window of time to answer the message. This is especially true if the response does not require and lot of syllables and/or thought. I respect people so much more if they answer back immediately than if they make me wait ten minutes. You are not putting on your cape to go save humanity from the forces of evil. You are not discovering a chemical equation that will change the trajectory of science forever. Everyone understands that you are just WAITING FOR THE SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE MOMENT to answer a text message. 

This is especially true in flirtatious relationships, where timing seems to be a moment of life and death-by-killer-bees. I think it is incredibly attractive when a guy texts me back immediately. He is saying, “I value both of our time more than stupid rules that people make up because they don’t have any confidence.”

I’m not saying we should all forever at the mercy of our ringtones, because that is a terrible way to live. I usually leave my phone somewhere where I can’t hear it when I want to make art, read, write, or do other things that require focus. You can usually tell the difference between people who are really busy and people who are pretending. 

So go on, comrades, and be free of the social stigmas that we make for ourselves. Do whatever you want, spending the least amount of time doing stupid things like waiting for the right moment to answer a text message. So that you can make time to do fun things like eat popsicles and apply chapstick to shimmering perfection. 

Love and kisses,


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