It’s funny to think about how much our personalities come through in modern communication.
Take texting, for example. After a few years of not really understanding why it seemed so confusing and why one person would answer my texts four days later, while another person’s answers were so prompt they almost seemed like they were preceding my questions, I finally realized there must be different texting personalities.
Take me, for example — I’m your basic texting Labrador.
We’re loyal, sincere, cool, present, affectionate.
Which can easily raise the question: does that girl have no life?
There are a lot of us in my group. There’s my friend Marcela, Laura, Emily, Delphine, and lots of others. And I have to say, since we all have similar personalities, we get along super well.
We’re the type to check messages often and answer immediately, even putting our lives at risk (texting while walking can be very dangerous, but if someone texts me, I can’t keep from responding. It would be like if someone threw me a ball and I just let it float in the air. Can’t do it. It’s beyond my control. Would a Lab do it? No way. See?)
I’m the type to be like, if I can’t text, I’ll explicitly say: “I’m walking and texting it’s bad give me a second to make a stop.”
The only exception to that rule (and yes, Laura, I know I didn’t answer your last text and it hurts my little Labrador heart)(hey, actually, hang on a second, I’ll take a break from writing this post to respond)(ok, done!)(oh no, but if you answer me right away, I can’t do it right now)(oh no, we started having a whole conversation!!!) is when I check my texts and I really can’t answer right that second. And when that happens, it’s terrible – unless it’s super important (and sometimes even when it’s super important) I might forget about a text. Forever. Ugh.
Oh, and of course, I uninstalled the iMessage function on my computer and iPad. It was driving me completely insane I had so many balls floating in the air.
There are the perfect texters
Totally open to everything, super cool, nothing to hide, funny, they don’t take themselves too seriously, have nothing to prove — the most adorable texters of all.
My friend Sam falls into that category, and my friend Ali — my two favorite texters in the world because not only is an immediate response assured, they’ve also activated the “message read” function, which means, unlike me who occasionally doesn’t respond right away because I want people to think I have a life for at least 5 minutes (but no, the reality is that just like everyone else, I have no life: I’m stuck to my phone all day), they let us know they’ve read our messages.
The nice thing with them is that everything is super transparent. If they don’t answer, you know it’s because they’re busy, but they did receive the message.
Aaaaah, if only everyone could be like that!!!
There are the “I don’t get it at all” texters
Like Chris’ friend Falk who has the “message read” function activated, but who then pretends he didn’t receive the messages. Ahahaahoooh, caught you!
There are the 518,165 unread messages texters
That’s something I could never do. While I have 70,878,676 unread emails, I keep my unread texts at 0, otherwise I don’t feel like I’m in control of my life.
When I see someone with 642,345 unread messages, I think I must not be a very important person who receives a lot of texts if I’m able to read them all.
My friend Lauren is one of those (but generally, she’s more in the Labrador category)(she’ll have to explain) and Chris, but Chris almost deserves his own category for how little he responds to texts.
I don’t know why, it’s just the way it is. It’s like he doesn’t even see his texts. Or he’ll respond four hours later to a message like “want me to get you a coffee at Starbucks?” or he’ll send me a nice “So, how’s your day going?” and I’ll answer (immediately with emojis and photos and details) and then he’ll never answer back. Ne-ver.
At first, obviously, it drove me crazy. I wanted to text all day long! But now, other than important messages, I only send things that don’t require a response (a heart, for example) that way I don’t spend all day waiting for my
ballanswer like the good Labrador that I am.
Which makes me think of another category entirely:
Guys at the beginning of a relationship
Ooh boy, that’s just hell. After wooing us for weeks with tons of cool, sweet, funny, and romantic texts (without too many emojis, because the modern man knows the modern woman can only tolerate a certain level of masculine emoji use) you finally kiss them, and can’t wait for the next date, and right then, not only does the texting slow down, but it becomes totally enigmatic. Like:
Girl: “Yesterday was great, thanks for the amazing night (insert funny and touching detail about said night)(which she spent four hours talking about in detail with 12 friends in a group message)”
Guy’s answer: (minimum four hours later, maximum 1 week) “Sweet!” (or some other mysterious response you could take in a positive, negative, encouraging, or depressing way that mostly leaves the girl in a state of deep disarray: HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO RESPOND TO THAT?)
And I’m telling you right now: it lasts for MONTHS. It’s as though the guy’s lost the use of his texting tongue. It’s terrible, it’s annoying, borderline humiliating, and most of all it leads to totally meaningless conversations. So here are the two lessons I learned from my own experience and the experiences of my friends (yeah, the ones in our group texts).
1/ Whatever is said in the text doesn’t matter. What matters is the fact he sent a text at all.
2/ Don’t try to be funny or clever. On the contrary – be super clear and direct, and don’t send any “funny just because” texts. At the beginning, you have to be clear and simple.
“Want to go to the Rihanna concert tonight?” That’s it.
There are also friends who love group texting
You’re at a meeting, trying to look serious and professional, and suddenly your phone moves across the table like its possessed by the devil.
It’s a group text. I’m calling out Sam, Natacha, Magali, Carine and Alison. I LOVE them and I love their super fun girl group spirit (and also the texts can get kind of raunchy and hilarious) but if I can’t participate in them for some reason or another, they explode my battery and make my phone flash like the disco ball at Happy Endings the other night.
However, when I can participate, I text back super enthusiastically, of course. My Labrador personality demands it. And everyone probably gets tired of me at that point.
Fortunately, Apple created the “Do Not Disturb” button just for crazy friend groups like us.
There are the “super busy” friends
They’ve got kids, or a job with crazy responsibilities, or they’re famous, or for whatever reason, their life doesn’t really belong to them anymore, they’ve got three phones (one of which is a Blackberry, you still don’t understand why, and they can’t explain either) they call from blocked numbers, they text weird things at weird times and respond in a totally unpredictable way, sometimes four weeks later (sorry, I was on set in Asia!) sometimes right away, and they start up long text conversations that get deep and psychological (they’re bored on set in Asia) and sometimes, if it’s an important text, you’re allowed to text them the same thing five times without them getting annoyed (no, seriously, I swear, you have to keep bugging me, sometimes I forget, especially when I’m on set, you understand, right?) which I’ve finally understood and accepted, no problem. My friend Jenna falls into that category.
I’ve finally understood that we all have different texting personalities.
I don’t get annoyed anymore, I just adapt.
Hey, by the way, I’m not even going to try to seem busy anymore.
I accept myself for who I am, as I am, the good texting Labrador who’s slightly too affectionate and can’t let her ball hanging in the air.
Just be careful if I ask you to exchange phone number, once you got me, you can’t get rid of me!!!!
What about you, what’s your texting personality?
Translated by Andrea Perdue