Text Etiquette

HALP! I am so bad at this part of life. The last time I was in the wild as a single person was 10 years ago in college, when texting was not such a necessary and ubiquitous part of first communications. I'm trying to catch up with the culture, but I can't say I like it. 

The thing is, we all have a voice, a way of communicating. When I speak to people in person, I like to fully engage (unless I'm moody or sleepy). I get excited, laugh, smile, listen, respond, etc. When I communicate in writing, it's important to me to stay true to this voice. So you'll find in my blogposts, facebook posts, and emails, a lot of !'s and :) and :D and EXCITED ALL CAPS and superfluous letterrrrrsss!

But I've been told being this friendly over text is misleading: that an exclamation point is an invitation and a smiley face is basically a solicitation for sex. NOOOO~~ my innocent emoji :( 

Because of all this, I keep finding myself getting into uncomfortable texting situations. textuations. Maybe we met at a networking event so I gave out my card, or I had momentary dumb-judgment at a coffee shop. In any case, I don't really know the best way to end these communications. I start with subtle hints, like saying I'm busy. This doesn't work. I curb my enthusiastic punctuation even though it makes me feel like someone else. Eventually I do my version of blunt, saying "I don't have time or space in my life, but I wish you all the best in your endeavors!" (I'm not good at being mean, but I'm great at being really unsexy when necessary :D). This works. 

For a while. But then, like a zombie's hand abruptly breaking through graveyard turf, the texts pop up again. Weeks or even months later.

"Just ignore them!" the more text-savvy of my friends advise. I'm learning to do this, but it makes me feel bitchy and immature. Really society? We've come to the point where everyone agrees that the best way to treat other people is to pretend that they don't exist? It's a solution, but not one I enjoy being part of. 

My new solution? No more numbers to strangers.

Maybe an email address exchange first is better. Since I'm not good at ignoring texts, it makes sense for me to vet someone a little before giving them a straight path to my pocket. I dunno, I guess I've come to believe that texting should only be used for telling someone you're going to be late, or sending a parade of adorable emoji.

( ^..^)ノ  (・∀・)  (=^・^=)  /(^ x ^=)\  /(・ × ・)\ Happy Wednesday! Text me ;D

update: Chris Chien whipped up this cute comic after reading. Thanks Chris!