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Texts From Last Night

February 24, 2014

I came of age with the first cell-phone technology, and I vividly remember the day when a high school friend first taught me how to use t9 to text. Since then cell phones have become even more ubiquitous, and today most people are never without their phones. My brother’s phone is constantly vibrating and beeping, alerting him to yet another text message, despite the fact that he claims not to have any real friends.

But I’ve been out of this world of texting for a while (living in a foreign country can do things like that to a person) and I’ve gone from sending dozens of texts per day to 1-2, if that. I vaguely remember the days when I would text my friends random things as I waited for the bus, or even while sitting in class. I remember agonizing over those precious 160 characters when composing a text to a guy I was interested in. Texting was a big deal, a major form of communication, but now I kind of feel like I’ve forgotten how to do it. I can’t text anymore.

textingLast night I got a text-message out of the blue from a high school friend. He offered a friendly greeting and we exchanged a few texts, just chatting about life and what was going on. But the entire time, I felt uncomfortable! I wondered, why is he texting me? Is he just really bored, or does he actually care about what is going on in my life? The fact that I was texting a man who was not my husband made things even weirder. Of course, this is a relationship that is completely platonic—I haven’t even kept in touch with him over the years, until just recently. But pulling out my phone and texting him immediately reminded me of texts from my past—late night, emotionally charged messages to and from my ex-boyfriend, flirty responses to a “How’s it going,” text from a cute guy, desperately trying to come up with a reason to text my latest crush…

The guy who was texting me wasn’t flirting or interested in me, and he’d probably think I was nuts for even worrying about whether our casual text-versation was okay. But I couldn’t help feeling weird about it. I purposely waited at least 10-15 minutes before responding to his initial message, eager to not be seen as too eager. I reminded myself to refrain from using emoticons of any kind. And I kept asking myself, what’s his agenda?

Is it sad that when a guy texts me, my first thought is to question his motives? It probably speaks to the fact that I’ve never had close friends who were guys, so my only experience with them is colored by either purposely keeping things ultra-platonic (no texting) or secretly wanting to be more than friends. Laughably, it honestly struck me as weird for someone to just strike up a conversation with me via text, although I know I used to do that quite regularly myself. But these days I’m more used to maintaining my relationships via long Skype dates and the occasional email. I don’t even text my closest friends much, unless it is with a specific purpose in mind, like making plans to actually hang out.

Ultimately, I couldn’t shake the awkwardness I felt about texting this guy, so our conversation naturally died out after a while. And I felt relieved! I don’t need the weirdness of wondering why he’s talking to me, or the stress (albeit minor) of crafting those 160 characters into an appropriate response. For me, a married twenty-something currently living thousands of miles away from my husband, I don’t want to even mess with that elusive area, being “friends” with the opposite sex. But this experience was also a reminder of a way of communicating that I had nearly forgotten about. Maybe I’ll pick up my phone more often and shoot a text to one of my friends. But, then again, maybe I won’t.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2014 12:05 am

    After going abroad myself I felt the same way. Texting is just so impersonal that if I really want to talk to someone I’ll call or Skype them. Plus, conversations move way too slow for me in text form.

  2. thelittlemerskank permalink*
    February 25, 2014 9:59 am

    I still text sometimes.. but it annoys me. SO SLOW.

  3. February 27, 2014 2:00 pm

    interesting. super agree with the texting things. im terrible at it. sometimes i remember that i should be thinking of people in the middle of the day so i purposely think of something random to text them just so they feel loved. texting is so much work.

    as for the boy girl friend thing, you know how i feel. there will always be tension. if you’re happier without it then yup, cut him out, but if a little drama is worth the friendship then you’re fine. you both know nothing will ever happen so nothing ever will. but the drama will still always be there.

  4. jennifermatkowsky permalink
    March 11, 2014 9:59 pm

    Your blog is perfectly organized! Love the content and topics as well.

    Feel free to check mine out at whenwemumble.wordpress.com!

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