If, as Carol Ann Duffy once said, 'Poems are a form of texting', then I am a laureate. I love texting. I love Whatsapp. I love BBM. I also love my friends but I hate talking to them, especially the boys. I prefer communication IRL because I’m not weird, but the truth is between getting a Motorola aged 17 and my Blackberry Bold now, turns out I’m very expressive with my thumbs.
So when I read a piece by Jeff Wilser of It’s Okay to Sleep With Him on the First Date: And Every Other Rule of Dating, Debunked-fame about How Men Text, my first thought was: LOL, I know the answr 2 this.
Because some do, right? And by some, I mean Russell Brand. I don’t know what he said to Katy Perry when he dumped her via text and while I’m sure it was composed with his usual spirit and vim, it sure as hell made Katy cry.
With that in mind, here are my thoughts on Jeff and his guide to man texts:
1. The Tweener
Sample texts: ‘omfg no u didn’t’ and ‘lol’ and ‘rofl lol’
Why it fails: I never knew I needed good grammar to be turned on but there we go.
2. The Gusher
Sample texts: ‘I have been thinking about what you said and have mulled it over several times and while I think you have a point I also think you’re wrong on several levels, four of which I will relay via email.’
Why it fails: despite the fact that I use texting in place of a conversation, I realise this is poor form. I am aware that texting should only be used when you’re running late or when you haven’t got credit and since no one’s used a top-up since 2006 and, well, since I just saw you and you weren’t late: *deletes*
3. The Vanisher
Sample texts: ' '
Why it fails: Everyone has That Guy in their life, you know, That Guy with whom you make an arrangement and with whom you leave it, relatively tied up, the operative word being relative, because hell it warrants a confirmation and right now you’ll take one word (see no.4).
4. The Passive-Aggressive Texter
Sample texts: ‘OK’ and ‘yup’
Why it fails: It’s one thing being passive aggressive. An entirely different thing if you don’t even mean to be. Also, lazy, and requires lengthy deciphering (selfish).
5. The Cliff-hanger
Sample texts: ‘me too…’ and ‘if you’d rather…’
Why it fails: in their mind, artfully multifarious. In reality, the text-ivalent of a wink.
6. The Exclaimer!
Sample texts: ‘hey!!!’ and ‘Great to meet you!!!’
Why it fails: ask The Tweener.
7. The Sexter
Sample texts: ‘What are you wearing?’ and ‘[at 2am]are you still up?’
Why it fails: To adopt a point made unexpectedly well by Alexa Chung: there are (and I paraphrase) two texts between sweet and stalker, and these are two of them.
8. The Carver
Sample texts: “Film. Was good. See you soon.’ And ‘I enjoyed dinner. Good friends.”
Why it fails: it doesn’t! *Shout out to my postmodern American fiction tutorial group 2006*