Last semester, I had an English professor who made us analyze and interpret a fake text conversation he created between a boy and a girl who had just gone out on a date. We looked at the times the texts were sent, the use of punctuation and emoticons, and the general enthusiasm of the messages to determine that, despite the girl’s high hopes, the boy is probably never going to ask her out again.
The point of the lesson was to teach us to look for details while reading in order to understand the overall meaning of the content. It was a creative and effective lesson, but aside from its intended purpose, it got me thinking, 'Why must it take a group of people, analyzing a hypothetical text message conversation as if their grade depends on it, to decipher a text?'
More importantly, why can’t people straight-up cut to the chase?
Don’t get me wrong, I love to text, and I have definitely partaken in a fair share of group texts sessions, with the common questions that arise, needing outsider interpretaton:
"What should I say back to him?"
"Should I answer right away or make him wait?"
"Does this exclamation mark make me sound too interested?"
It's frustrating; today's dating world insists you 'talk' before you 'date.' SO MUCH PRESSURE goes into the exact phrasing, length, and hesitant use of the smiley face (Advice to follow, NO WINKY FACE). It’s a pretty superficial way to get to know someone; people aren’t really candid through text. They don’t have to respond immediately with whatever pops into their head. And don’t even get me started on context. You mean something one way, they take it another. Sarcasm just comes off as a bad attitude, and everything is so 'lol' and 'haha' that you don’t know what is genuinely considered funny anymore.
At the risk of sounding nostalgic, I wish we could go back to an era of dating that didn’t involve technology. Life would be so much less confusing and time consuming.
I’m busy. I don’t have time to text you nonstop in order to prove my affections for you. If you want to talk to me, do it in person, to my face, without a team of experts helping you string together each sentence and then decode mine. I know I'm not the only one who thinks this way from time to time.
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