The Art of the Text: the Response

What could possibly feel lonlier?

I send a text; no response. A few hours go by; no response. Twenty-four hours later I feel like a person who’s standing, uninvited, on the porch of someone they believe is their friend, ringing their doorbell, knowing they’re on the other side of the door, peeping through the peep-hole.

I don’t get it.

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Feeling loved: Late-night text with my granddaughter. 🙂

In my mind, texting is the answer to communication. What could be simpler? There’s no intrusion. You type your message, hit send and go on about your business. The receiver of the message is not on a time schedule to respond, unless you’re in the middle of a conversation already. But a response is part of the texting deal is it not? And for an introvert like me, texting is almost the preferred method.

I can’t stand the silence in a telephone call.

Ever call someone out of the blue and you’re carrying the conversation? The silences, the one-word answers; clues that there’s probably 50 things they’d rather be doing at that moment, but they don’t want to be rude and end the phone call. It’s a horrible thing to feel like you’re intruding on someone’s time and they’re just being tolerant out of politeness.

For me, the absence of a notification tone or buzz after I’ve texted someone gives me the same uncomfortable feeling as the silence in a phone call. Hence the reason I like text messages for quickie messages. Rather than feel like a phone call from me might be an interruption rather than a pleasant experience, I’m more likely to swipe a message, hit send, and hope for a response.

It’s just that simple: text and respond; text and respond. Why didn’t people get that

memo?

Now I say that for me texting is almost the preferred method.

I draw the line at pissed-off, standard-paper-length messages that automatically convert to mms because the phone interprets it as media, peppered or doused with so many all-cap words, you can almost hear the person screaming at you. Now, once again, for an introvert like me who doesn’t like confrontations and who gets flustered when someone is talking fast and loud, sending a text gives me a venue to get my own point across. But if the person I’m sending the text to is in attack mode, sending back-to-back angry messages, texting is useless.

In the most basic sense, the art of the text is the response. It’s about communication; an easy give-and-take between two or more people. It’s the fastest and most effective written mode of communication next to letter-writing, with the potential to bond or alienate.  When we text others, we’d like a response – anything will do.

“Eating; text you later.”

“I don’t feel like talking to you right now.”

“I’m calling; stop texting and pick up!”

Anything!

Silence isn’t always golden.

 

4 thoughts on “The Art of the Text: the Response

  1. I am obsessed with how long a person takes to respond. If I text a friend, who is always on their phone in my company, and they take ages to reply I feel low down on their priority list and mega unhappy with them!

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      • When I’m in a very good mood I will typically overlook the lateness of replies as other people do have lives and they might genuinely have a good reason for not replying when I expected them to. On a day when I feel the world is against me I tend to play dirty and play them at their own game – take ages to reply and use phrases like ‘I’ve not been up to much lately, not been that busy’ to drive the point home! Kinda childish but I don’t do it that often. Only when the mood takes me!

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