Recently a friend told me that she’s been dating a guy who is “really bad at texting.” I rolled my eyes and stopped her mid-sentence before she could try and justify his behavior. If someone isn’t texting you, it’s not because they’re bad at it, they’re just rude, lazy, or uninterested (or all three).
- No one in 2018 is bad at texting—it’s just not a thing. Being bad at texting was an actual excuse in, like, 2005 because people, cell phone manufacturers, and cell phone carriers were legitimately trying to figure out how it all worked. These days, this is not a legit excuse. Texting is the easiest way to get in touch with someone in 2018 and most phone plans let you do it as many times as you want for free.
- Texting is instantaneous so they can’t say they didn’t get the message. Unless their phone is powered off, lost, sitting in a puddle of water somewhere, or broken into 10 million pieces, we all know that when a text message is sent at 1:00:12 PM, it is received basically within seconds. Obviously, if you text someone during typical sleeping hours or during peak work hours, you’re less likely to get an immediate response. Still, they got it and should respond at their earliest convenience. That’s just common courtesy.
- Being responsive isn’t hard, people are just lazy. Even the busiest of people can fire off a quick message letting the sender know that they got it. That’s what emojis and automatic dictation using Siri are for, duh. That’s why the iPhone makes it easy for someone to acknowledge an individual text message by clicking it and giving a thumbs up or down, an exclamation, a heart, or a “haha.” A simple thumbs up emoji at least tells the sender her text was received. It’s time for us to start expecting more from people! Responding isn’t hard.
- You have every right to be annoyed at a lack of response. I used to feel silly about being so upset when someone didn’t respond to my text messages, but then I realized that I have every freaking right to feel dismissed and upset given the fact that it would’ve taken two seconds to send me a quick text back.
- Clearly they’re just not interested in you. Texting, as we’ve established, is instantaneous. Usually someone has to make the choice not to answer within a reasonable time, so if they choose to put off responding to you, it’s likely because you’re not that important to them. If someone cares about you, they won’t leave you hanging. They will do their absolute best to make you feel heard and listened to—and part of that is communicating effectively via text message.
- Don’t fall for someone who calls themselves a “bad texter.” I used to hear it all the time, but then I would notice how quickly the guy I was dating would respond to texts he received from friends—or alternatively, look at his phone and ignore ones he didn’t feel like responding to at the time. I realized then that by calling himself a bad texter, he was really setting himself up to be unheld unaccountable for being rude, lazy, and non-committal. I never fell for that bs again.
- A truly “bad texter” is actually really good at communicating. In my experience, truly bad texters are people who don’t text often or in much quantity but make an effort to respond in a timely manner. Texters who claim to be that way are just selective, not “bad texters.”
- Learn to embrace the read receipts. It’s an amazing way to avoid being a crappy texter. I have mine on because it conveys to the sender that I received their message and that I’ve read it. If I don’t get an opportunity to respond right away, they know I’ve seen it. The bottom line is that our phones make it impossibly easy to communicate via text in a way that every type of texter can get on board with. As a result, let’s stop feeding into the myth of the bad texter—it’s not real!