Monday, April 11, 2011

Textiquette: Entry 1

Hey peeps. Let's jam for a bit. I want to take a few moments to discuss human interaction via text messaging or instant messaging. I've noticed for some time that people engage in some rather odd behaviours while communicating via texting and IMing. Since it would take forever to talk about all the weirdness in the texting/IMing world, I'll split it up over a couple of entries.

Have you ever been chatting with someone via text messaging and they respond with close-ended statements (such as "lol," "ya," "haha," etc.) or no reply at all? Everyone does it, myself included. It seems to have become acceptable and commonplace in the world of text conversation. However, when translated to in-person interaction, such responses (or lack thereof) would be considered rude, inappropriate, and dare I say unsociable. Imagine talking to a good friend and asking them a question. They reply with "no" and then simply walk away. Or worse yet, you ask a question and they walk away without saying anything, only to come back to you six hours later and answer your question. Unheard of. But somehow, it's the way of the texting world. Most, of not all, who have text conversations has both done it and had it done to them. Why is this not considered rude and unsociable in text conversations?
Communicating with someone via text message when the person only replies in single-word, closed-ended statements is not "communication"'s interrogation, and boring interrogation at that. Chatting with a person via text and having the person take hours to respond (or not respond at all) is not true communication either. And the WORST offender of all...people who reply with closed-ended statements or no reply at all, and then have the audacity to accuse the other person of not talking!

I can only speak my own opinions on this matter, and so I shall do just that. If I am chatting with you via text message or instant messaging and you respond with something closed-ended that does not facilitate the conversation, I will not waste my time trying to get you to be more talkative. I will not respond to a reply that offers nothing to the conversation. To me, that is rude and I automatically assume it to mean that you do not wish to talk at the moment, do not wish to talk to me, or are so boring that you cannot come up with anything interesting to say. I'm certainly not going to waste my time following up to get a person to talk to me more. Lame.
If we are chatting and you drop out of the conversation for a half hour or longer, I will not accept that you suddenly became busy and could not reply. Screw that excuse...send a message saying that something came up and you'll message me later. It takes two seconds to type such a thing. No one is "too busy" to reply to a text message. It's an obvious, transparent, and pathetic excuse, so don't insult the intelligence of others by using it.
If you do one of the above things and then you dare accuse me of being the person who is not communicating, I will become quite frustrated with you. Such an accusation is so mind-bogglingly illogical that it hurts my brain.
In person, you would not laugh at something funny I say and then be silent, respond "yes" or "no" to a question and then say nothing more, or fail to say ANYTHING in response to me. So why should I accept that in a different medium of conversation?

I am going to make a conscious effort to personally avoid the above textunication pitfalls (I admit I am often guilty of failing to respond whatsoever) in effort to try and change the way instant messaging is headed. I hope that those of you who read this understand why improper textiquette frustrates me and how it is detrimentally effecting how we interact with one another.
Speaking of detrimental textiquette behaviours, stay tuned for my next textiquette entry about shorthand and improper spelling and grammar. Oooooh, im frustrtd aboit tat alredy!

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