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Acting Constructively During Textual Panic

So what do you do when waiting for a text that may never come?

Texting. At the dawn of its existence, it was called Short Messaging Service (SMS for short), and the first one ever sent was in 1992, from a 22-year-old engineer named Neil Papworth in the UK. It simply and benignly said, “Merry Christmas.” People wrote it off at first as another eccentric tech development that would never fly.

Oh how far we’ve come from Christmas 1992. Not only is texting a commonplace form of communication, it is an integral part of our daily connectivity. It has even become the bane of most people’s existence.

Can Texting Have Etiquette?

For me it’s hard to understand what is so difficult about texting etiquette; you receive a message, usually one or two sentences, you open it, and you reply. Done. So why is it a source of excessive stress for so many people I know?

Well nowadays, not only do people wish each other happy holidays through text, they’ll also express love, divulge gossip, break up, or send birth or death notifications. You can ruin lives with texts! Technology is amazing!

(For the purpose of this article, let’s agree that the term “texting” is synonymous with any kind of direct message via any social media platform, such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.)

I for one have a pretty strong philosophy about this. I like to be very organized about my communication. If I receive a text, I try to answer it immediately. If I receive a text warranting a more thoughtful response than usual, I leave that message unread so I know to get back to it later. Sure, some slip through the cracks on busy days, but it happens to the best of us and it’s never intentional. However, once in a while, there comes a text that I don’t leave unread, but I don’t reply instantly. It’s no coincidence that these texts usually come from former, current, or future romantic interests.