Thumbspeak: Talk About Texting – Katrina

It’s time to break out that regular debate that you can’t get enough of: the texting debate.

Is it impersonal? Is it convenient? Is it impersonal at the expense of being convenient?

Really, let’s talk in print about how impersonal and hard to read text messages are, and all the while watch each other occasionally space out of the conversation to respond to said text message — admit it, we’re all guilty of it.

While texting may be something that a few people may frown upon, it is simply a part of life now. Our conversations and concerns regarding texts boil down to the content of these messages, too.

Does a “k” response mean the person is angry? Is the person in a rush? How on earth do I read this reaction!?

Does “?!” mean that the person is not only asking me a question but is also excited about and anticpating the answer?!

I find that if you have known a person for some time, you can pick up from previous “texting etiquette” whether their simple “Haha” or “K” is a response in a rush or as a cold lack of words to type otherwise.

Having recently gotten a smartphone two months ago (hold the applause, please), I am rather “vocal” with my text messages if you catch my drift. The convenience of a touch screen makes it all the more easy to try and express myself as if I were talking to you in person — with as many adjectives and smiles as possible.

This equates to a wordy (hopefully not so much that it’s overwhelming) response followed by some appropriate “emojis.” When I’m in a rush: now that’s when the short responses come up.

You got me angry? Most likely I just won’t respond to the text. Anything offensive can be detected and addressed to me vocally, like adults should do.

Short responses aren’t a bad thing. If you’re into “text conversations,” I’m sure it can be a downer to try and chat up that one friend and get a varied response of “hahas” and “lols.” Don’t take it offensively! Hopefully you’ve spoken with the person and know them, once again, well enough to pick up on the kind of person they are electronically versus physically.

A lot of the time, they’re way livelier in person than on the screen (which is what we’d rather get than the other way around right?).

It is really a matter of picking up clues on a personality to judge whether or not you should be frustrated by those short responses or not.

And even if you are frustrated by an uncharacteristic set of short ones, should you really go even further and address such responses with even more texts? When it comes down to it, it’s that good “old fashioned” person-to-person conversation that is really going to get to the bottom of the problem… if there is one, really.

A lot of the time also, those “hahas” and “lols” are genuine too. A friend could just be “not a good texter,” which is surprising to come across this day in age.

Again, if you’re a fan of the convenience of text conversations, you’ll just have to find other ways to talk to that friend if you really do want to check up on them.

Although texting is common and it may be considered uncommon to simply call up the person and chat, it is surprisingly a pleasant thing to do after getting sore thumbs from typing.

Call it the nostalgia of early cell phones and landlines, but it truly is humbling and fun to just speak on the phone, get what you want to say said, and hang up!

So guys, don’t take short responses seriously. In fact, try not to take text conversations in general seriously. If you do, know the kind of person your text “respondee” is, and use those in-person characteristics to draw on the on-screen persona.