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I’m watching my brother spiral. He’s into a girl who, in my opinion, just isn’t into him. That’s fine. But when you watch a friend go through that you want to scream, “Walk away! Plenty of fish in the sea. Masturbate to her Instagram and walk away feeling like you should talk to a priest.” But you really can’t. There’s too much emotion for them to listen. Too much pride to hear that this person they’re debating exclamation points about isn’t the match. Instead, I help with the texts. I give him, what I call, “Banter Producers.” Texts that are fun, light, and witty that should produce a back and forth (sometimes it’s good to live with the genius behind “10 Surefire Ways To Get A BJ”). And if she can’t (or won’t) return those volleys with similar gusto then there’s your answer. If, “How was your day?” Gets answered with “Fine.” Then I, the friend, can point to that “Fine,” the texting version of a girl giving a loosely gripped handjob, and say, “Look, this girl isn’t excited. She’s just pushing things along. She’s the conversational starfish. Maybe she likes you but why would YOU like the “Fine” girl?” His response? “She’s just a bad texter.”
There are people reading this that will think that’s a valid explanation or make that same excuse for someone they’re hooking up with or even include it on their own resume. Some would go on to say that I’m making too much of the word “Fine.” I call bullshit. You’re not bad at texting. You don’t care about the person you’re texting, so you don’t take the time to do it well. You didn’t think of them at all, so you didn’t get in touch. You didn’t really connect with that person, so there wasn’t much more to say than “Fine.” You spent ten seconds texting someone you once touched tongues with while the buddy who needed to see the huge dump you took got ten minutes. You weren’t bad at that. You weren’t bad at sending the emoji muscle arm to show that you were proud of said dump. You showed a personality. You showed a person on the other end of that conversation that a huge dump made you think of them and would make them smile.
That same thought and care and imagination wasn’t put into that other person, the person who YOU made think that you were an amateur texter.
And this isn’t about texting first. I understand very well why a girl would want a guy to text her first. Why she would want to be chased in the year 2015, the easiest year ever to do some chasing. If our grandparents knew all it took to get blown was to text first, then they’d probably stay alive long enough to run through our inheritance out of spite (Is that what they’re doing?!?). This is about admitting that texting matters. That just because our parents didn’t have the technology doesn’t mean it’s just a passing fad. That the general tone of your texts is at least a little related to how much you care. Sure, a guy should text first, be creative, have something to say. A girl should respond with a similar tone and maybe a question or two. And if those things aren’t happening, it’s time to admit there’s no interest. It’s time to admit that the in-person conversation probably isn’t much better. It’s time to stop blaming a skill we all seem to be pretty good at when we feel like being good at it.
I’ve watched the sappy YouTube videos of black guys doing slam poetry, telling me to look up from my phone, and how our generation is the most connected but still feels the most alone. I don’t blame the rain when I get wet, and I won’t blame the phones. I blame the people among us not admitting to how they feel. To how alike we all are to one another. There’s a group striving to be special by casually denying the stupid feelings everyone is having. The people who put up that rainbow hued profile picture who say they are just showing support while ignoring the dopamine produced from a “like.” The ones that “don’t watch tv” but yell at you to watch “Breaking Bad.” The people who say they’re horrible at texting as if they’re above something everyone else is doing as much as blinking.
We’re past the point of “not being good at texting.” It’s been around long enough, and now we have a world of Mario-Brothers-looking emojis that let us have an actual personality while we text. That eggplant in bright purple means penis in every language. That dancing girl in the red dress says she finally got her period in Zimbabwe just like it does in the good ole United States. The ability to show you care is right in the palm of your hand. The excuses are over. Lets stop blaming our texting skills and start admitting that texting is a part of the pie that makes a relationship, and some mean more than others..
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