This is article #44 to be published on the Get The Guy blog from my brother Stephen. Steve helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.
I’ve always been a useless texter.
Until recently I was a running joke amongst my close friends, who would always say that I must have given them a fake number, since they would text me and never receive anything back.
My friends found this quirk amusing. My parents did not.
I don’t know how I got so bad at messaging people back. Perhaps I was just over-exposed to texting as a teenager and got bored with it.
Before the days of Facebook, I would, like most of my friends, sit for hours punching away at my clunky Nokia 3210, sending pointless messages to classmates, forwarding lame chain texts, or trying (and mostly failing) to get a date with girls I liked at school.
Whatever the reason, text messages became a pain by the time I reached my mid-twenties. Something to be ignored and quickly brushed away so that I could get on with my day.
I always had a reason (excuse) for why I couldn’t be bothered with texting:
Excuse No. 1 – I prefer face-to-face contact.
Excuse No. 2 – I didn’t have time to text all day.
Excuse No. 3 – Texting is a WASTE of time that serves no purpose.
I’ve recently come to see how bad all these excuses are:
No. 1 – Even if it’s true I prefer face-to-face conversations (and it is true), using that as an excuse not to text is like me saying I should never eat chicken soup again because I happen to prefer pizza. Or that I should never go out and dance because I prefer reading books.
It’s a lame cop-out.
No. 2 – This one is also true. I don’t have time to text all day. But even if I need my phone switched off to concentrate on work, that doesn’t mean I can’t turn it on for ten minutes to give the people I love a quick message to let them know I’m thinking about them.
It’s a small investment of time to show people I care about that I care about them.
No. 3 – Ok, this one is just plain wrong.
Even in days long before texting, people realised the value of writing out their thoughts in the form of letters to the people they loved, as another way of reaching out, or even just sharing a funny thought or touching emotion.
Texting is only a waste of time if we use it for bland purposes, or if we use it simply to rid ourselves of boredom.
I’m sure a lot of texting serves no purpose. But that doesn’t mean yours and mine has to. I’ve recently re-awoken to the value of being in touch through texts and have found myself feeling happier and more closely bonded to everyone in my life.
11 Types Of Text That Will Change Your Life And Make You A Better, Happier Person
So now I’ve lost my old excuses, where does that leave me?
I feel a bit like Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas morning.
I’ve awoken to a new world and am eager to make amends for my previous miserly conserving of texts, desperate to shake off my reputation as ‘he who cannot be contacted via digital means’.
I haven’t exactly transformed myself though.
I hardly now have the texting proficiency of a teenage girl raving about One Direction, but I have found the untold benefits of pinging a message over to friends and family to make them smile, or even just to show them I’m alive and well.
I don’t want to preach to you why you should spend your life texting, since I don’t think you should.
But I do want to preach about the kinds of texts I’ve found to have enriched my relationships with friends and family and made me feel like a warmer, more socially engaged person.
Here are some of the texts that have changed my life in the past few months:
- Making my mum smile by sending her a picture of something that reminded me of her. In fact, sending my mum anything that lets her know i’m thinking of her and looking forward to catching up (usually followed up by a phone call).
- Sending my brothers messages about movies I’ve recently seen that I know they’d love.
- Forwarding a friend a link to an article or website that I think will be of interest for their work, make them laugh, or relate to one of their hobbies.
- Sending a personal, thoughtful birthday message to a friend telling them why they’re special to me.
- Restarting old friendships by checking in on people from school/university. e.g. Maybe I’ll see they’ve been abroad recently on Facebook and text them saying: “Tell me about Brazil! Where did you stay? What are the best things I should see when I go next year?” – something as simple as that has put me back in touch with so many people.
- Sending a flirty message to that ‘special friend’/partner you had a fun night with recently ;)
- Congratulating a friend on their job promotion after seeing it on Facebook.
- Asking a close friend out of the blue: “what books/movies have you seen lately that you’d recommend?” – Once I start the conversation at this level, it cuts out all the boring “what you been up to?” chat and goes straight to a subject that gets us both excited.
- Asking a friend for advice or a recommendation – People love sharing their expertise, so why not let them? If they’ve been to a good restaurant or know somewhere cool I want to visit, I’ll just ask for advice on places to stay and what to see.
- Sending a ‘nostalgia text’ to remind a friend about a fun memory we shared together (optional extra: add a photo or YouTube video that encapsulates the memory).
- Telling someone I miss them, for no reason whatsoever (other than I miss them).
Now, if all that doesn’t inspire you to send a text to someone today, I have something else to share that might give you the necessary kick to spread some inbox love.
I was inspired to write this post after a new song was put on Matt’s desk at his iHeart radio show recently.
Whatever your thoughts on Christmas songs being released in November, somehow this unbearably cute single worked subliminal holiday magic into my brain and encouraged me to fire-off texts all morning, as though each swoosh from my iPhone’s “Sent” tone was the sound of me posting a handcrafted gift-wrapped christmas treat delivered by Santa himself into my loved ones’ inboxes.
If you’re offended by Christmas coming too early, maybe save this one until December 1st!
Buy the track now by clicking here!
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11 Replies to “How To Text Like A Pro And Be Loved By Everyone For It (Even If You’re A Natural Loner Like Me)”
That song is so much cute!!! Can’t wait for my pants to start vibrating lol
Happy thanksgiving hussey bros I’m thankful for yall
Its a great article one problem for me though I haven’t got a cell phone I am old school here and I still call people. If I want to message them I have to either email them or message them privately on facebook that’s the only way I keep in touch via messages.
There is nothing worse than receiving boring, tedious texts. You can actually tell a lot about someone’s personality and sense of humour, or lack of either, from their texts. Short, funny, in-tune and well timed are the best. Save the rest for an actual conversation or e-mail. And I love Face-time, especially for when you’re long distance.
I’m just not feeling the festive spirit yet, although that song might help to get me there. My goodness it’s cheesy! X
I am all for texting but I do know some guys who just don’t answer or they will only answer once a while. There was a guy who did this and I took it for him not being interested but when I saw him in person he was super nice.
On the other end of the spectrum, I have a friend with a super personality but she is not very attractive physically. So testing is a way for her to have people get to know her she would not be able to connect with in person.
Do you have any advice about how ofter to test someone?
I’m not totally opposed to texting but some conversations just aren’t suitable for text.
For some reason I found this post insanely adorable…dang it I can’t post any emoji’s here :(
My texting process was similar to yours, Steve. Right now, in terms of communication, I like using my phone only for short notifications.
What always bothers me about text messaging and even online messaging is the lack of tone of voice and facial expressions. I am a straight forward person. Sometimes my sincerity and honesty might come out as attitude in message. But my voice and mimics makes a big difference in person. So if I disagree with something and if I know that the person can’t take disagreement, then I ignore their message however they send it. It is almost impossible to convey emotional subtleties through messages (unless someone has your profound writing skills), so it is best to stick to using texts only for short notifications and well-wishes.
I guess, it is also true that if someone ignores your message, it is because they are not interested in what you are saying. We make all kinds of excuses for not responding to make ourselves feel good but deep down we know that we are just not interested in what they are saying. Actions always speak louder than words.
If you are in a loving relationship, texts can also serve like, metaphorically speaking, a sexy lingerie or foreplay. But again it is important to know the difference between being seductive and tacky. Most people confuse these two.
Overall, like you said, it is important to keep in touch with people, as unlike myself, most people care about words more than actions. I can’t say ‘I miss you’ if I don’t miss someone, but I can always drop a hi and ask how they are doing.
Enjoy the rest of your week.
And, truthfully, I am not very good at keeping in touch with people either. I need to work on it. xx
That was such a cute Christmas video!! Thank you for sharing :)
I agree, people love it when you send that one message that identifies why they are different than everyone else you know. The regular “what have you been up to?” text doesn’t create that friendly energy you need to build with people.
Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Thanks N.P! Happy New Year to you too x
Wooow!(biggest smile i had alone @ dawn ever!!!) I was like reading the male version of me? Hahaha, i’m really having a good laugh here…and you know how hard it is to keep that giggle by yourself.”digitally static” that’s what they call me.
Excuses?:) i had my list too.
1.empty battery.couldn’t find my charger left it somewhere…(just under my bed;))
2.i did not receive any,well which was actually true (it happens). The message came in 1-2 days late and worst one week!
And blaming it to some electromagnetic waves you have in your body?! Though i barely know everything about it:)sound convincing huh? lol
3.how about i got no load! (Well of course, i really did not bought for the whole week!:)i intentionally did not want to.i am busy ain’t no time for that-etc.
4. I don’t take phone calls! I was in the restroom, i could be sleeping, airplane mode,travel mode and everything.lol
Yiikkesss- i have gone so nuts just to get rid of it.:) but then there’s this turning point when i went home and my niece was kidnapped!what will you do about that?(by her own mother ;), custody issues ) and lost my voice from time to time due to over fatigued/over-used voice…singing and teaching- but thank God,now i am perfectly fine after quitting my job last june….
NOW, i’m coping up ;) and is investing my time, my emotion and brain juices to anything i am writing/typing…keeping a mental picture that the one i am sending emails/texts/comments are just right there in front of me ;) considering any digital forms of communication as an old way of writing letters. Waking up that “shakespeare” side of me :)
i love the vid.my first time to hear this…is there any version of this for the Hearts day?:) this is quite late for Christmas! Lol
Advanced happy hearts day Pastor Steve :)
Oh by the way, i still don’t take phone calls!so don’t bother!lol
my excuse? I don’t like how i sounded over the phone ;) as if they were talking to some kind of a gay;) with a boy’s name “june”lol
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