The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. – George Bernard Shaw
Texting is so easy. When given the option between calling someone new and texting them, 86% of people will choose to text. That’s a statistic I just made up. But it’s probably true. And when it comes to online dating, texting people to get a feel for them before you actually meet them isn’t such a bad idea. Now I get the cons of texting. No inflection. Hard to tell sarcasm. Difficult to know if thsomeone hasth a thspeech impediment. But look at the pros:
- It’s quick
- It’s easy
- It allows you to multitask, like watch tv and hold a conversation without getting yelled at for not paying attention
- You find out pretty quickly if they are a good speller and their grammar skill level (something I like to look for in a guy. After the third time that he uses the wrong “you’re/your” or “they’re/their/there” in a sentence he has lost my respect…forever.)
I think the biggest reason why people begin communicating via text is because it allows for a certain social distance between them. It’s not as personal. You want to test out the waters with someone before you jump off the deep end and call them. Heaven forbid they hear the sound of your voice. And in some cases, this is probably the wiser course of action, it was for me at least. Allow me to regale you:
I’ve told you the story of Mr. Emoticon Buttslap with his ridiculous use of smilies and exclamation points. But at least he actually got a date from me. The last guy I met online who started texting me didn’t even get that far.
At first I thought I thought he was ok. He texted, “Hi, how are you? How’s your day going?” I replied with a standard, “Oh, ya know, work, work, work, blah blah blah,” to which replied with a “lol.”
(Sidenote: Who started “lol”? Was it AOL? Yahoo? ICQ? Remember when we all had AIM and were just learning how to abbreviate our words so that our parents never knew what the heck we were saying?
Sk8rboi7: Hey qt! U rok my sox.
L33tFTW: Lol u make me rofl, that was gr8. i literally lmfao.
Sk8rboi7: wft? literally? is that possible?
L33tFTW: no, j/k ok g2g, ttyl.
Sigh…we’ve come a long way from those days but still I doubt people actually laugh out loud as much as they lol. So why would you say it? That’s just lying. Lying is mean. And if you were actually, literally, rolling on the floor laughing, well, that probably took some time and I doubt you would have been able to get up, catch your breath and reply that quickly. Liar.)
Anyway, the next day I get a text from him, “Hi, how’s it going? How’s your day?” I texted him back, but then a couple hours later he sends me another text. “Hey, how’s your afternoon going?” to which I replied, “oh, same old, same old.” Later that evening he texts me, “hey! How was your day?” This pattern continued over the course of about a week. This wouldn’t have been so bad if there had been different texts in between or if he would have actually acted like he cared how my day was going. Like if I said, “oh work is really crazy right now” he might reply, “oh, that’s too bad, hope it gets better for ya” and then maybe text back with a funny joke or gif. But no, nothing. Just “hey how are you? How’s your day? How’s your afternoon? How’s your evening?” Over and over and over.
Eventually I was got really sick of it and had pretty much lost any interest in going out with him regardless of how cute he was. I was really tempted to type something like “oh, today was pretty crazy. I started my day with a car crash. The driver who crashed into me turned out to be Drew Carey. He felt really bad so he’s flying me out to L.A. to be on the next taping of ‘The Price is Right’.” I thought maybe something like that would give him a clue. But instead I resorted to being snarky with, “Yeah, things are about the same as they were two hours ago when you asked me that last time.” Alas, he just replied with, “lol, haha.” By that evening I had definitely had enough and when he asked me how my evening was going I asked him if he realized how often he asked me that question. I counted 23 times in a matter of five days. He apologized and said he hadn’t realized, and then never texted me again. Well, I’d say that problem solved itself.
Until next time, smile on,