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If there are two things that you could justifiably accuse me of, they would be looking in every mirror I walk by and texting too much. That’s just how I live. When my buddy Stew and I discovered how to text on our Nokia 3360s in high school, I ran up a $500 SMS tab that my mom grounded me for, only to follow it up the next month with a $300 tab. When The Notorious B.I.G. said, “Word is bond,” I’m pretty sure he was talking about written words on the face of a cell phone. And money didn’t matter to him so it didn’t matter to me either.
Accuse me of being a Larry David-esque type of person, but most of the time, human contact just isn’t for me which is why I resort to textual healing. I’ve got an inner-circle of people I regularly text with (sup, Douchebag Pete?) and our rapport is unshakeable. With that being said, I’m not just going to engage in text exchanges with strangers just for the sake of texting. There are commandments to follow and actions to avoid. If you slip up, you’re out. It’s a one-strike policy, so avoid these inexcusable actions at all costs.
Or engage in them if you never want to talk to me again. I’m fine with that too.
You take forever to respond.
The only person that’s allowed to take forever to respond is me. When I’m texting with you, I want answers, and I want them yesterday. No, I don’t want them badly enough to call you, but that’s beside the point. If you don’t respond immediately, I’m just going to assume you either hate me, or you’re dead — there’s no in-between. Responding to a text is about as hard as remembering to breath, so don’t leave me sitting on pins and needles when I’m trying to give you the time of day.
A great woman once said, “We don’t need to share the same opinions … but we need to be respectful.” That’s how I feel about texting. And that great woman was Taylor Swift.
You send numerous short messages rather than one long message.
If I wanted to have a long ongoing conversation where there were pauses in between your sentences, I’d dial your number and we’d audibly speak. You need to craft me a text that’s long enough to where you get your point across but short enough to where I don’t have to 1) slide the keyboard down to see your entire text, and 2) scroll up and down because your diatribe took up the entire damn screen. This is the age of information, so unless you’re a cute little biscuit trying to holler at me, tread lightly and combine your texts into 200 characters or less.
You use abbreviations I don’t understand.
I’m not trying to open Safari on my iPhone or decipher what emotional state that Emoji is in. I’m trying to have a baseline conversation with you, not solve a treasure map to you saying you got Eggs Benedict at brunch. I’m 28, so if I have to go to Urban Dictionary to figure out what you’re saying, I’m most likely going to read a whole slew of other weird shit that I never knew existed. If I wanted to have no clue what someone was talking about, I’d listen to an unedited Nicki Minaj song. And if you want to confuse me even more? Text me mom-style in all caps so I can’t figure out if you’re yelling at me or not.
You try to call me instead of texting me back.
Sup with the ambush? I’m about to 2003 your ass and tell you I’m running out of minutes. I like surprises about as much as I like forgetting to put on deodorant. Give me some space, get back in your Trojan Horse, and send me smoke signals like a civil human being. I need distance.
Frankly, people that call in response to a text message are fucking psychos. Calling me after I toss you a text is a one-way ticket to getting blacklisted. The only people I answer calls from at this point in my life are my mom and my boss because one pays my phone bill and the other pays for the life I lead. Any other phone calls make me think I defaulted on a student loan or someone died. Don’t put that anxiety on me.
Your texts are fucking green.
iMessage, ever heard of it? SMS is for homeless people and Android devices, neither of which I want anything to do with. You could give me a burner Android with only Candice Swanepoel’s number on it, and I’d still probably never use it just because iMessage is how I operate. If I can’t see when you’re typing or when my message has been delivered to you, I feel like Helen fucking Keller with her hands cut off. It’s debilitating, confusing, and downright scary.
That being said, if anyone has Candice Swanepoel’s number, please put it on a burner phone and mail it to me in an unmarked envelope. .
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