Texting Rules: He Said What?

Being young in the 21st century means that the “dating world” extends beyond face-to-face communication. I’m talking about Facebook, email and, of course, texting. Texting has become the main form of communicating between almost everyone these days. We are all addicted to it. Whether we’re BBMing our best friends from the elliptical machine or texting under the table at dinner, it’s become a national habit. I text my friends to make plans, send mass messages about important events, and even text my mom on a regular basis. My girlfriends and I have had countless debates and discussions about texting rules when it comes to relationships, though.With all the new technology out there, it’s hard not to get caught up. Some of my friends swear by certain rules: Don’t respond to his text right away, so he doesn’t think you’re waiting by your cell phone for a response, even though we all know your Blackberry never leaves your hand. Don’t text him more than one message at a time — a “double text,” oh the horror!

Then comes the interpretation of the text message you finally receive: “Out tonight?” Wait, is that a question, or an invitation? Let the over-analyzing begin. It means he wants to see you. No, wait, maybe he’s just curious. Be vague in your response, or maybe be bold and invite him out instead. It’s exhausting and pointless. We start forming opinions about people based on their iPhone syntax and word choice instead of hearing what they have to say live and in person.

Is there any validity to these texting rules and guidelines? Some of my friends say screw the rules, be yourself and do what you want. It’s more natural that way, and it helps to avoid getting caught up in “the game,” which is sticky and never seems to work out well. And what about phone calls, which have virtually become obsolete? Is texting, which is supposed to eliminate a communication barrier, actually putting one up? What do you think?