The Fabulous Familiar

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Monday, May 17, 2010

ROFL, LOL and TTYL



I just read an article that discussed whether texting hurts or helps romance. I found this very interesting considering I have been asked out via text messaging, I have been dumped via text messaging, and I have had guys who wanted to carry out a relationship via text messaging. Oh, and let's not forget about creepers who pounce via text messaging.

When the men in the article were asked about texting etiquette, many said the problem is that some men just don't know how to do it right:

"Funny, flirty, and confident messages will nurture the attraction between two people. This requires that men be original, think creatively, and author with purpose. Send something that reminds a woman who you are or how you made them feel."

Amen, good sirs. I absolutely, positively cringe when I receive a first text message from a guy that says, "Sup?" Though "what's up" isn't much better, it far surpasses the lazy combination that is "Sup." The only proper response to this really is "Nm. u?" which I refuse to respond with.

If they want to know 'sup', by golly, they are going to get it: "I went to work out around 9 today, then went to the grocery store to get some cereal because I was out of it for breakfast this morning, and I have a feeling tonight I will watch the Lifetime movie network."

When getting creative, however, please don't overdo it. A guy once found out I was having a rather bad day and sent this gem: "Hope you get to feeling better. Remember, it could be worse. You could be a female sea lion. They are pregnant 364 days out of the year." In this case, falling back on the traditional, "Thinking of you. Feel better soon!" would have sufficed.

Also, when a girl responds with something witty or original, don't just respond with "Well" or "LOL" unless you are indeed laughing out loud, which I highly doubt you are. Respond with something that really lets her know you appreciated and understood what she was writing to you. One-word answers seem like the easy way out. According to the women interviewed, questions like "Sup" gave them these 3 impressions:

1."I'm scared of you."

Every time you communicate with someone, the recipient is aware that you had multiple methods available. You could have called, e-mailed, showed up at her doorstep, sent a singing telegram — the possibilities are endless. When a guy texts, it's clear he chose to do so, leaving the suspicion that he's too scared of you to actually speak with you, doesn't have clue how to start a conversation, or is suffering from a social anxiety disorder. None of those things are sexy. Ever.

2. "I don't really care if you respond or not."

A text loosely translates to: "I don't really care about you. It might be fun to go out tonight, but I'm too tired/bored/uninterested to make any real effort. So if you get back to me, great. If not, I can finally catch up on Lost. Bonus if you drive over here and I can do both."

3. "I just sent that text to every single woman in my address book."

I think texting is great, don't get me wrong, but I don't think it should replace all human interaction and replace good old-fashioned communication. It is so much easier to ignore a one-word pick-up line on a cellphone screen than it is a deep, human voice.

I know that dating is hard; rejection is often feared and break-ups are looming. That is no excuse for our recent obsession with the choppy, abbreviated written word. Don't send me a text message saying you can't see me anymore, talk to me like I am an adult. If you think I am interesting and funny, tell me after I say something witty, don't send me a text later saying that you LOL-ed later about my comment at dinner. It is time to tap not onto our keypads, but rather into our courage. Perhaps when that happens, we will actually follow through with our romantic TTYLs.

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