Apparently in the olden days, our phones were used for speaking to each other. Like, actual voices piping down the… what is it – airwaves? Line? Cable? Anyway, whatever. Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away called the past, people would regularly use mobile phones – or just phones, as we now call them – to talk.
It was an awful experience. Either you would “screen” calls to avoid answering to somebody you wanted to avoid, or you would accidentally “pick up” and spend excruciating hours saying “uh huh, yeah” all the while wondering whose talk plan minutes this awkward chat was wasting – because things like that mattered then. Ha, minutes. Show me one person who needs more than 38 seconds of talktime a month and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t know predictive text has been invented yet.
Thankfully, to save us all from saying stupid, rash things like “Yes I will marry you” or “No, actually, the second series of Game On is much better than the first” (‘90s refrence!) someone invented texting. Its built-in functionality of helping us swerve any human contact or giving extra time to come up with the most fire responses possible have endeared it to our hearts for ever and most of us would now rather see the voiceboxes of an entire generation ripped out and tossed on a bonfire than lose one of their very own texting fingers.
Giving way now to iMessage, WhatsApp and that proprietary Facebook one whose invasion was more aggressive than Napoleon without any breakfast, texting is our favoured way of communicating and long may it reign.
Sadly, every god must have his flaws and every hero must have her downside and texting – or messaging – has the biggest one of all.
Employed at the wrong time, in the wrong mood, texting can make you look like a massive dick. Your best friend with the huge tits or pal who has leg weeks instead of days is no match for the cockblocking expertise of a simple text message.
And the worst thing is that you do it to yourself.
You will experience angst over lack of reply
A text message is like a cat – probably overfed and ginger and vaguely planning to take over the world when they have worked out how to milk a cow – and this cat has stunned a mouse and is keeping it teetering on the brink of death just long enough to mess with it. Guess who the mouse is? Yes! It’s you.
You’ve sent that text to the person you fancy or went on a date with. And you wait. And wait. Meanwhile your tiny mouse head is getting batted this way and that by this psychotic feline. When, you wonder, will sweet death come? Please, please just put me out of my misery. And you are frightened, not because no reply may ever come, but because you know, beyond all doubt, you are going to debase yourself and send another text to check they got the first one. Yes you are!
And… well. Either the cat will get bored and slice your head off, you’ll get a text back when saying “thanks but no thanks” or worse, you’ll just get a “hey” (no “x” or anything) and you are back to square one.
You will try to do sexting
Just don’t. You’ll get it wrong.
Writing sexily about the sexiest of sexy sex isn’t easy and almost always comes off about as pant-moistening as the instruction manual for a blender that you actually threw out four years ago. Don’t believe me? I have E L James on line 2.
You’ll either try to be too dirty and scare them off or not be crude enough and make them think you’re going to bring them a cup of tea in bed instead of a great big cup of D.
Sexting only really works if you have no intention of actually meeting up and having sex with this person.
You will get the “new number who’s this?” reply
Scorch the earth. You have been evicted. None shall pass.
Almost nobody, save for those who still cling on for dear life to their Nokia 3210, actually loses numbers these days. The Cybermen finally got into their contacts and it is bad news for you – you have been deleted.
You will send a sext to the wrong person
And then when you do finally craft the perfect sext, it goes to the wrong person.
Maybe as you carefully typed out the list of “what i’m gun do 2 u wen i see u” – no doubt your tongue lolling out the side of your mouth in furious concentration – you were thinking who definitely shouldn’t see that text. You will then send it to this person. Gua-ran-teed.
You will send a mistimed joke
Nothing screams “unsexy” than trying to be funny over text when you don’t really know someone that well.
Jokes on Father’s Day, for example, may backfire if your date’s relationship with their daddy is frosty or, even worse, is communicated entirely through prayer and tombstone.
You will destroy your potential as a Scrabble partner
As we all know, dick and boob size and ability to shag amazingly directly correlates to how well you can spell.
Or so you would think thanks to all the prim and proper grammarians out there who think that knowing how to spell onomatopoeia makes them somehow the world’s greatest gift to sex.
We are all human and at the mercy of the most vengeful deity of all – autocorrect. You’ll make a mistake. You’ll use the wrong “its” or type “your” for “you’re”. It happens. And for a disturbingly large portion of the population, it will immediately rule you out of ever banging them.
Personally, I’d rather knock one out on my own than slither into bed next to someone who doesn’t get that spelling isn’t for everyone, but hey.
You will text too much
Everyone has their own level of appropriateness or acceptability when it comes to the number of text messages they are willing to receive a day before they go running to the police station, and it is absolutely impossible for you to guess this.
More than four or five times a day – and especially if their level of texting doesn’t match yours – is probably going to get you labelled a psycho.
There is, of course, nothing wrong with being into someone and wanting to chat to them a lot, but we have all read too many sanctimonious dating blogs (HIYA!) and all those books about dating rules, and pored over listicles about the modern age, rendering us all cynical, suspicious carrier bags filled with self-doubt and air.
There are only two settings when it comes to messaging – “stalker” and “distant”. Pray you find someone who finds either of those prospects remotely fuckable.
It’s a weird old world out there, the chances are pretty lofty.
More like this:
X offender – the minefield of kisses on text messages
A beginner’s guide to breaking it off: The text
31 things you will see people do on dating apps
29 social media truths we’d never say out loud