I need to stop my text obsession according to my friend Twin Kat. I had apologised for not messaging her back straight away after she asked how I was after a big week at work. “Mate, texting back straight away is for urgent questions and emergencies, not general chit chat. This bullshit idea of people catching up over text is ridiculous, Call if you wanna talk to someone, otherwise return their text whenever you want. If it was urgent, you’d pick up the phone. Texts don’t have to be replied to straight away.”
She has a point. I am guilty of two things when it comes to texting: 1. Texting someone back straight away so I don’t keep them waiting – and 2. Getting upset / depressed when someone (usually a man) doesn’t text me back within a certain amount of time.
We’ve all been there. You send an SMS to someone you’re keen on, and if they don’t text you back after say, 30 minutes, the mind games start. He’s just not that into me. He’s with his girlfriend. He’s with his wife. He’s read the message, rolled his eyes and put his phone away as there’s no way he’s replying to your stupid semi flirty text. Silly girl.
If hours go by with no reply the following scenarios may also pop into your head: He’s had an accident. His battery is flat. Your message didn’t go through (check phone immediately). The network is down. His wife found your message and is currently throwing his clothes into the street.
Let me just point out that you didn’t know he had a wife. You’re not a cheating mole, you’ve been hoodwinked by a married man who doesn’t know how to delete your messages. Or return them.
Twin Kat’s comments made me think about the way most men text as opposed to women. Men write short messages with basic info and abbreviations. Women are chatty and add all the niceties you’d expect in a phone call.
Girl Text: Hey hon, how are you? It’s a beautiful day! Thought we could go to the Smith Hotel for a few drinks. Invited Rach and Jase too. How is 2pm for you? Let me know. Ta! Xxx
Boy Text: Wanna grab a beer? Smith Hotel – 2pm?
The word efficiency of men texting is akin to the word count on Twitter. Once you work this out, you’ll avoid being upset when he sends you a super short message and you misread it as him being abrupt and therefore disinterested. He just doesn’t want to press more buttons than he has to.
Most men also don’t feel the need to reply to a text straight away. When Sports Buddy and I would spend days together on the couch (watching sport), his phone would beep all the time with messages. I wanted to jump up straight away and see who it was and what they wanted, but he’d stay planted on the couch, only getting up to check them if he needed a toilet stop or another drink. I now know that when I text him, he’s not going to reply for a few hours – maybe even the next day. Do I like that? No, not really, but at least now I don’t freak out when I don’t hear back from him (or other boys) straight away. And when we do finally catch up, it’s all fine.
Actually, it’s been three days since I sent him a text. If that bastard’s married, there’ll be hell to pay.