Cell Mates

Ah,  x is inversely proportional to how long I’ve known him and *scribble* multiply that by the number of characters in his text message, square that–no, wait *erase*, cube that and then subtract *scribble* how often we’ve met, add a dash of salt and…according to my calculations, I should wait exactly 5 hours, 17 minutes and 43 seconds before replying to him. Let’s start the stopwatch.

Is there a scientific series of calculations you perform to arrive at that perfect number? There must be! How else do you even decide how long you should wait before replying to a text message? Why do you even have to go that route? What if you know the person well?

My phone beeps, I pick it up, read the text and respond. If my phone isn’t near me, I reply whenever I see the message. I wait a few minutes sometimes if I’m busy and there are times when I have to formulate the perfect response, but waiting hours?! Text messaging has become a well-accepted method of “proper” communication, right? If you were having a face-to-face conversation with me, would you deliberately insert long pauses into it just so I don’t think you’re over-eager? Would you do that while talking on the phone? Why the games via text?

Today’s a busy day and I have to get ready for an evening…out,  but I had to talk about this. What are these rules concerning text messaging for? I mean, if someone sends you a text message, won’t you reply to it as soon as you see it? I understand if you don’t know what to say immediately, or if there’s a good reason you’re waiting before responding, like you’re busy or you have fractured thumbs. But will you send a delayed response just because you think you should?

Sure, there are times when a message is inconsequential and I just don’t feel like responding, but most of the time I think it’s fine to reply right away, don’t you? Am I missing something? Is there a rulebook out there where Chapter 3 explains in extensive detail exactly what you should do upon receiving a text message? Please point me in its direction. I’m clueless; I respond to every text message I receive when I see it and, obviously, I need to educate myself. Chances are I won’t master the art of delayed responses, but at least I’ll know what to expect from the ones who have.


Add Yours
    • Karishma

      Yes, we ought to somehow learn that if we want to ask someone if they’d like to go for a movie at 8:30 pm then we must message them (for they aren’t phone-call-answerers) between 11 am and 12 noon to get a response in time. When a master of these textual behaviours lets us in on it…


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