This is how you respond to a group text

 

human

If you’re a human being with cell phone contact to the outside world, you’ve surely come across a group text. You know, the kind between your roommates updating each other on visiting guests or griping about how dumb it is to pay rent. Or the ongoing thread between close friends where you share ridiculous posts of people you used to go to high school with. But there’s another kind of group text out there lurking behind the matrix: The Event.

The event group text is something you get informing you about-DUH-an upcoming event. Maybe your friend is coming back in town and has texted you along with 9 other numbers that are foreign to your phone’s contact book and thus your IRL social network. There’s nothing wrong with sending or recieving a group text like this: the sender wants to get a quick, informative message out to a select number of people. Efficiency at its best in the modern age. However, it’s how the recipients act that can make this particular group text a pleasant stroll in heaven or a boiling soup of textual hell.

group text

Most of the time, it is an unwritten rule that you don’t have to respond to a group text of this nature. “Hey everyone. Party tonight. 11pm. My place. BYOB. PEACE SUCKAZ” is pretty straight forward. But there’s always a couple of dinks who responds to the entire anonymous group of folks with either a useless “wooooo” or a vacant “k”. Stop it. Stop it now. You’re flooding the inbox of people you don’t know with useless responses, and setting them up for the falsest hope we could ever imagine in this cold, dark, dependent technological world.

When I hear my phone sound off with a text, it sends me into endless possibilities of heavenly plans. Maybe it’s that sexy beast asking me out finally. Maybe my mom sent me a picture of the family dog. Maybe my friend Jeff is finally out of his existential funk and wants to get some cheese fries! But no. It’s still the empty responses from the group text sent an hour and a half ago about the party that had all the information possible in the lead text. The same empty group texts that transform faces around the globe from sheer excitement into gray-tinged smart phone-induced disappointment.

Of course it’s not the end of the world to recieve these kinds of texts, but that doesn’t mean it’s not annoying. If anything in this world full of murder, chaos and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood addicts, lets try to bring the daily annoyances down a little. Who knows, you might save a murder someday by refraining from texting “k” to a group of strangers. So next time you get a group text, do the right thing. Either accept it with a symbolic nod of your IRL head, or open up a new little text to the OT (original texter) and send your jubilations or follow up questions there. You could be saving a life.

 

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Social Butterfly: The Voicemail

Quit leaving voicemails, and stop wearing that hat. Image via ehow.com

Somewhere between the shift from phone calls to text messages died the use of the voicemail.

I admit, I am sometimes guilty of leaving a voicemail here and there. After all, they aren’t totally useless if you need to get some excitement or personality through in your message, that sometimes text messaging just can’t do.

However, I will never understand the type of person who leaves 6 voicemails that say the exact same thing, only changing the fake severity of each message as time goes on. “I need to talk to you, call me back.” “I really need to talk to you. Call. ME. BACK.” “I’m going to shave your eyebrows and make you eat them the next time I see you. CALL ME OR YOU and everyone you know will DIE.”

Voicemails can be confusing. When is it appropriate to leave a voicemail? Here are some situations that might help guide your next voicemail decision in this increasingly text-y world.

Voicemail Appropriate:

  • You got a new job and are REEEEEEEEAAAAALLY excited about it. Excited voicemails are always fun to listen to. Just no screaming right into the mic plz.
  • You just came up with the best comeback ever, and said it to your arch nemesis. You’re on a high from being so awesome, and you gotta share it with your BFF. Or your nemesis if you have their number, so they can relive the humiliation FOREVER.
  • There’s a deal on sun hats at Target.
  • You’re stoned, and you feel like explaining your homemade taco to your college roommate. Just like old times!
  • Somebody hit your car and ran. You’re pissed. Gotta let off steam. You’re saying “fuck” every other word and out of breath from yelling. You’re threatening everyone around you, even the baby in the stroller and the yippy dog barking at your from the comfort of it’s window perch. You’re totally gonna “kick somebody’s ass.” Empty threats are voicemail gold.

These, not so much:

That shit is creepy. Image via innogage.com
  • Breaking up with someone. Seriously? No. If this ever happened to you, thank the lord of the galactic universe that he/she did, because that shit is LAME and they need to erase themselves from your fabulous life like, yesterday.
  • The “just to chat” voicemail. It’s obvious you were calling to talk. I’m not above it though. I totally do it. When I’m really bored on a long drive, I leave these sometimes to feel like I’m talking to someone so I don’t go nuts. Caffeine and driving equals PHONE CALLS TO CHAT. Chat chat chat. BAH!
  • Someone died. What a horrible message to leave!
  • Any kind of bad message, like “Hey just calling to let you know I broke your French Press and took a shit on your pillow. Have a nice day.” True story. Just kidding. Only the second half is true.
  • Calling someone to let them know they need to call you back. Yeah. That’s what that whole ‘missed calls’ section on your telephonular device is for, genius! (Mom’s are reeeeally guilty of this one. But we can forgive them. They are Moms, they get a free pass for almost everything. ALMOST!)

Dating: The uncharted territories of phone numbers and texting

This could be you, if you could only stop texting like a fucking moron. Image via topdatingadviceforwomen.com

Dating has always been complicated. Carrie Bradshaw and company have certainly shown us what it’s like to be a successful 30 something amiss in the dating world woes of the 90s. But well over a decade (yikes!) later, dating seems even more complicated with the ever present joy of text messaging.

I’ve asked a couple of friends this same question and every single person is just as stumped as I am. What IS the protocol in dating when it comes to giving someone your number and when (and what) you text them?

Sorry Tommy, 8 weeks is waaaaaay too long to wait in between texts. Image via pinterest

I’ve heard anywhere from 2.5 days (jokingly) to Park and Rec‘s Tom Haverford suggesting that men get phone numbers, wait 8 weeks and then text “What’s crackin” or something equally as uncool.

It’s all just a big gray area. On one hand, you give your phone number to someone and you hope they do something with it. In this day and age, it probably won’t be a phone call because phone calls are seemingly right up there with meeting the parents and getting a joint Netflix account. So everything pretty much lies in the art of the text message.

It sounds lame, but is there really a subconscious time limit when it comes to texting? 8 weeks is a little extreme, but is there some truth in waiting a couple days to make plans so you don’t seem too available? Because believe it or not, no matter your good intentions, being too available or too busy hurts your chances an equal amount. So are we screwed, or is it written in the fates when you’ll meet someone and your weirdo texting customs may just be someone’s big ol’ cup of weirdo love tea?

Breaking: Sometimes dating is awkward

Will this be us? Image via gizmodo.com

Yes, dating is awkward. But how will you ever know what you like if you don’t try on a bunch of turds for size? You may just find the perfect sized turd for the toilet bowl of your life. How perfect would that be?

Also, when did we get too busy/too lame to go on a date? It’s fun, right? You get some drinks, talk about stuff and then decide if you like each other or not.

I can’t tell if it’s just our lazy as fuck generation being totally insecure d-bags when it comes to going on a simple date, or if we all just don’t know what the fuck we’re doing when it comes to the approach. Probably both.

All I know is, we need to get over our hang ups and hang out or we’re all going to end up alone forever. Or with a shit ton of animals that make us smell like a barn. Cuz you know the mens/ladies luuuuuv that shit!

When unlimited texting plans are your enemy

This has NEVER, not once EVER been true. And if you're taking advice from a pair of boobs and an ad that looks like that, PLEASE GOD don't take that advice. Image via textingagirl.com

I’d like to say that modern day dating is a lot more annoying that our ancestors 20 years ago. We can thank unlimited text messaging plans for that!

Have you ever given your number to a cute guy or gal and then get bombarded with way too familiar texts using pet names you haven’t created together yet? Those people should be excommunicated from the dating world and sent to text each other into oblivion. Or, we can make them stand in a foot of water and dare them to keep texting. Or make them be cannibals so their thumbs fall off a la The Road. It can be called “The Texting Games.”

Maybe these serial texters think it’s hot, or attentive, or a good way to drag you down and make you cave into hanging out with them (in their parent’s basement or worse-Applebees). Buuuut just about everyone I know gets immediately turned off with a newbie that doesn’t know when to stop sending the dumbest messages alive. Don’t you? I’m not talking about a guy or gal you’re really into keeps texting you because you’re BOTH really into each other. I’m talking, met last night, drunkenly handed over your number, and the grammatically incorrect texts haven’t stopped since then.

Yup! Image via stoppopculture.com

Seriously, where has society failed these people? Was it our dwindling class schedules during the Bush years? The unavoidable era of emo kids who didn’t speak but emoted through text and spoken word recitals? The cancellation of Arrested Development? Or is it those $40 all-inclusive phones you can buy near the register at Walmart and the gas station? Great. So the people you and I hand our numbers out to probably buy their cell phones at gas stations and wore black exclusively from 2003-2008.

My advice for them: If you want to have a long conversation to get to know someone, get a fucking cocktail, don’t text them for three hours and then stalk their facebook ‘likes’ for possible points of interest. It’s creepy, unattractive and every other apalling adjective you can think of.

I’ve always thought the “text three days later” thing was bullshit. Of course there are exceptions, but maybe there’s some serious truth to it for most interactions. It’s nice to want and miss things, right? If they’re just handing over their affection immediately, it feels cheap and mass produced, like a hamburger from McDonalds. There’s nothing special about a hamburger from McDonalds. Don’t be a hamburger from McDonalds! For the love of God, make a plan to be with humans and put the phone down. It’s really best for us all.