Unless you’re living a seriously alternative lifestyle, you’ve probably been communicating via text for a while now. You text your friends, your boyfriend(s) — even your parents. It’s quick, convenient, and usually makes your life a helluva lot more pleasant...except when you come face to face with the 10 worst texting offenses in the world. Check ’em out below, plus some advice on how to stop offenders in their tracks.
1. The Mass Text
It’s Friday night, you’re at home on the couch, and you get a text that goes something like this: “What are you getting into tonight?” You know for a fact that this very same text just went out to 20 other people at exactly the same time, and that the sender is just waiting to receive all his/her options before deciding what to do. So what if the only thing you have planned for the night is that lame-ass (but sooo good) Lifetime movie at 11? You refuse to hang out with someone unless they make specific plans to hang out with you. You know how you can block those newsletters that you never signed up for by sending an e-mail with “unsubscribe” in the body? We suggest doing the same thing in a reply-text.
2. The Texting Cult
There is always at least one point in the night — a lull in the conversation, a pause between thoughts — when it gets really quiet, and you look around and realize that all your friends are busy texting. One person pulls out her iPhone while everyone else is looking at the dinner bill, and then someone else starts doing it, and before you know it, you’re in the middle of the sacred circle of text. Resist the urge to choose some random person in your contacts to send a useless message to. Instead, pull out your phone and send a text to everyone at the table asking, “Should we order another drink?” It will make everyone laugh but also point out the silliness of the situation.
3. The Double Message
Of course you screen calls. Everyone does. Sometimes you’re in the middle of something and sometimes you just don’t feel like talking. But your phone is still working, and you see the missed call and the voice message alert. So why — why?! — do certain people feel the need to send a text letting you know that they just left a message? Don’t they realize that if someone is smart enough to read a text, they’re also capable of understanding what the little bobble head with the sound waves coming out of him symbolizes? Text back, “What’s next, a carrier pigeon?”
4. The Texting Tease
You’re seeing a really cute/smart/funny/cool new guy, and your heart skips a tiny beat every time you get a text from him. In the middle of the week, you get one asking what you’re up to this weekend. Assuming he wants to do something together, you let him know that it’s looking pretty relaxed so far. Does he then proceed to make a plan with you? No. He responds, “Oh okay, cool.” You stand there with a perplexed look on your face. Respond “Yeah, but call my secretary if you want to schedule something.” This way, the ball is in his court, but ultimately you’re the one who is in charge, thanks to your confident attitude.
5. The Bulk Texter
An example of what a series of texts from this person might look like:
Text 1: Hey!
Text 2: What’s up?
Text 3: What are you doing tonight?
Text 4: Some of us are going to Cool People Bar tonight.
Text 5: Around 10
Text 6: It’s gonna be me and Chris
Text 7: Are you coming?
Text 8: Let us know
Text 9: Byeee!
Text 10: lolz
An example of what that exchange should look like:
Text 1: Hey, Chris and I are going to Cool People Bar around 10 tonight. Let us know if you wanna come.
An example of what you could text back:
Text 1: Please
Text 2: never
Text 3: text
Text 4: me
Text 5: this
Text 6: way
Text 7: again.
Text 8: For “realz.”
6. The Bored Texter
You’ve just finished a sufficiently long and entertaining texting exchange with someone, and now you’re ready to put your phone down for a little while. But your phone dings, and it’s another text from said person. It looks like this: “Soooo...” Or, “What upppp.” Or, “la la la...” Clearly, they have nothing else to say and just want something to do. Send a text saying, “Running, watching movies, reading books, baking.” Your buddy will get the point that some people actually have a life.
7. The Show-and-Teller
Love is wonderful. We’re huge advocates of love and being in love and enjoying that love. People gushing on and on about their amazing love life? Not so much. Not only do you have to listen to them tell every insignificant story about how cute it was that their boyfriends ate pancakes for dinner and woke up with a funny hairdo, but you also have to read all of their SUPER-cute texts. “Guys, look what he wrote to me! Omg look at what he said now! Haha aww, look at this one!!” The cure? A dose of their own medicine. “Hey, look what my Mom said about her gallbladder! Omg you won’t believe how I’m planning to organize my sock drawer! Aww, my dog is wagging his tail. Oh, he’s doing it again!!”
8. The Goobers-and-Popcorn Texter
The previews are over, you’ve been waiting to see this movie for weeks, and here you finally are, snacks in hand. But the guy in front of you insists on ruining your experience by texting for the entire 96 minutes. Here’s a little secret he doesn’t know: EVERYONE sees his phone lighting up. And hears it vibrating violently every two minutes. When the lights come up at the end of the flick, call up a friend and loudly discuss how rude the guy texting throughout the entire movie was. Then get ready to start running.
9. The Lingering K
This one is especially aggravating if you’re not on an unlimited texting plan. You get a message asking how your day went or if you’ll be free at a certain time, so you send back a detailed and informative reply. Your phone dings again. You open the message and it says...“k.” Do people not even have the decency to include the o? The offender doesn’t even need to reply to the message. But if they feel the need to, could they not at least drum up something a little more personal/creative/not totally unnecessary? Respond by letting them know how much, to the cent, they owe you for superfluous texts the next time you’re together. Then hold your palm out expectantly.
10. The Needs-to-Grow-a-Pair Texter
Guys should never, ever get comfortable with using text slang and abbreviations. Whether he’s a friend, date, or boyfriend, no girl wants to associate the men in their lives with tween-speak. The next time he sends you a “TTY L8ER” or “C U 2morrow,” tell him that he should really consider an iPhone, BlackBerry, Sidekick, or “anything that gives you more room to text.” He’ll realize how outdated his text-talk is.