SMS: Text Messaging Gets Redesigned

SMS: Text Messaging Gets Redesigned (Photo credit: pouwerkerk)

Someone recently said I should write a piece about the type of man that I wanted to date.  At this point, I have honestly completely given up any specifics.  Sure, I tend to like tall lanky men who look like they could use a sandwich or two, but honestly I am not that specific.  I don’t date fellow comedians for obvious reasons and I would prefer someone close to my age.  But when asked, without thinking I wrote simply, someone who follows through on a date and returns text messages.  That’s it.  Just show up and acknowledge my existence.  That’s all I’m really asking for, but it seems next to impossible.  I have had this problem with most of the guys I have attempted to date, even causally date.  They repeatedly cancel on me at the last-minute but then won’t bother to reply to the least committal text messages.

I have a joke in my stand up that once men figured out they could rely on text messages – all phone conversations between men and women would cease forever.  Which is sadly pretty much true.  I don’t call anyone often besides family members.  The telephone is just too personal and it takes too long.  Texting is so much easier.  The problem of course is that a lot is lost in non-verbal communication.  Most of the times my sarcasm is misunderstood.  Or when I am being serious people think I’m joking.   Recently I sent something along the lines of “You should learn how to fellate yourself.”  The man who received this message thought I was kidding.  I did add that he should take some yoga classes, as well as a sword swallowing session or two to help him in that task.  To be honest I was half joking.  What I really meant is that I was not going to fellate him, and he could basically go fuck himself.  He thought I was flirting, until I pointed out that it would be kind of gay for him to give himself oral sex.  He might be sucking his own dick, but he would still be sucking dick.

The recipient can also not really understand tone.  Most men tend to take me way too seriously in that I tend to write in a very blunt manner.   They sometimes think I am upset, when I’m not.  I once sent a “I’m disappointed” type of message to a man who thought I was basically screaming at him, when in reality I was calm and not even remotely angry.  I was in fact, disappointed, not a raving lunatic.

Then there are the guys who don’t realize I am mad, no matter what I send them.  It is almost as if I have to type profanity repeatedly in order to get my point across.  A few fucks, motherfuckers, and are you fucking kidding me?  Texting might be quicker, but the communication has certainly gotten worse.  The abuse of the English language is at an all time high and some misspellings are so poor that I have no idea what the person was trying to say.  Textspeak causes me to physically cringe, especially since now we have little keyboards on our phones and texting is much easier.  My favorite subsitution was “KK” for “OK” I couldn’t help but think, it’s still two letters – have we gotten that lazy?  Text language has gotten so bad, that I honestly think words could one day be replaced with symbols or actual photographs.  We will simply get a photo of a penis, then a vagina, then a home followed by a question mark. We will move on to a form of sexting and hieroglyphics.  When someone sends me a message like “U R Hot? Lol.  Do U want 2 C me 2night?”  I just want to scold them, not get it on.

I can’t help but think if I was someone they wanted more, they would at least return a simple “What’s up?”  My new strategy is to send them nothing.  I try as much as possible to avoid starting a text messaging thread.  I just can’t handle the silence on the other end.  Sure they might be working, or in a situation where they can’t answer a text, but in my mind I picture them looking at their phone, sighing and then debating if they should even answer me.

There are times I almost want to call a man when they send a text.  Not to actually speak, but to scare the crap out of them.  How could they claim they didn’t get my call when they just sent me a text message?  They could say they aren’t in a good position to call me back, but most of the time they can’t think of a decent lie to get out of it.  I just get voicemail, and then I delete them from my phone.  🙂

Of course I can’t help but wonder if they really wanted to see me would they call me?  Would they answer text messages back quickly?  Or is this all part of the disposable culture of constantly having new potential partners.  Why bother with the woman who is blunt when i can find one that won’t challenge me.  I don’t know, but I am waiting for my pictogram cock shot any day now.

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5 comments on “Dating in NYC: Texting – Dating with as little effort as possible

  1. Megan

    First, there is a difference between dating and being courted. That being said, many women who have have experienced a guy who abuses texting (including myself) are not being courted. I think that this is the point: If he was really interested in her, he would court her. Meaning he would take the time to pick up the phone and actually call her to ask “How was your day?” versus sending it in text. After all, a man can send 1000 women the same text message with one press of a button.

    Second, guys continue to engage in this kind of behavior because females let them. I truly believe that most females do not know their own worth thus we have an abundance of men who are accustomed to shenanigans like the subject of this blog. In any case, when I am in the process of getting to know a guy, I tell him upfront that my cell phone plan will not allow me to send or receive text messages. I really hate to lie, but this weeds out lazy men, men who don’t know any better, and the socially/emotionally retarded men. This also significantly lessens the likelihood of either of us ending the relationship via text, which is truly insulting as it denies the other party a voice or closure. (I read an article stating that people in their early 20’s and cowards of any age believe this to be an appropriate way to end a relationship.) Again, I hate to lie, but this lie has benefited me so much by connecting me with men who are truly interested in me.

    1. julietjeske

      I think it’s partly generational as it seems like younger guys just text all the time. I find most guys don’t even bother “courting” me or when they do they come on way too strong. I get emails from men who go on and on about how they want to date me and it honestly just freaks me out. If they just said they wanted to meet for a drink, it’s much less intimidating. Or the opposite is the guy that asks me out and I vaguely say OK, but we don’t set a date and then he starts emailing me every day. That also freaks me out. It seems they are either extreme. They play these crazy non-committal games or they get way too obsessed too quickly. That is what I have honestly found since my divorce. I trust neither approach.

      I have flat out called guys on their nonsense. My favorite thing to do is when they text “What’s up?” I just text back…how many women did you send this to? Or once a guy begged me to come see him, only to then cancel and I flat out asked him “Did another girl show up?” I just don’t hold anything back…if they are going to deal it out, they better be able to take it. HA!

  2. Barry Lyons

    A guy here, with a few scattered things (“scattered” as in several disparate items, not as in unfocused, you silly goose).

    I suppose text messaging is ubiquitous these days, but I’m still holding out (mainly as a way to save money). But I figure there are three ways people can reach each other: by sending a letter or postcard via the United States Postal Service; making a telephone call; writing an email. Wow, all these terrific ways to communicate (I’ve excluded semaphore and Morse code)! Incredible.

    That said, here’s the problem with text messaging: the more we see text messaging as a normal activity, the more we will come to believe that NOT communicating with someone in an instantaneous fashion is ill-mannered. That world, I fear, is upon us or nearly here. But I’m a guy with old-world values (read: pre-21st century). I think it’s important (and healthy) to not be reached on occasion, and no one should think anyone “weird” for wanting to step away for a while from the Electronic Hive. There’s a reason why books exist. We need to re-embrace slowness in our world. Slow reading, slow cooking, the world really could stand to take things down a notch or two, speed-wise. In the meantime I suspect that this race to nowhere is driving everyone batty but no one wants to admit it. (Apart from certain specifics, “The Gutenberg Elegies” by Sven Birkerts, from 1994, is hardly dated at all.)

    Another problem: because instant messaging of whatever stripe IS so ubiquitous, most men (and most young(er) women, no doubt) simply can’t imagine a world prior to this one. Texting is the new norm because everything, you see, has to happen NOW. Viewed as a primary method of communication, texting is depressing, it’s shallow, and it’s cold. Courting may be a thing of the past, and pervasive instant communication has something to do with it. But I like Megan’s idea even though it has to be a little difficult to pull off because, I suspect, very few guys (or women, for that matter) would believe that anyone in 2013 (except for moi) would not have text-messaging capability.

    By the way, as for men not getting your dry humor, I had a similar experience recently with a woman on Match. She had posted several photos, and there was an alluring one of her in a bikini on a horse on a beach. It looked like dusk. She looked great, the lighting was perfect, and it was an all-around great photo. So I wrote something like “Judging from that photo of you on the horse, it looks like you were having a rough time. Sorry for your ordeal.” She shot back, saying that I should take down my post immediately because I was such an angry guy. Wow. How is it that some people are tone deaf to deadpan humor? As everybody knows, humor is a sign of intelligence, and this woman clearly is a bit vacant in the head. Hmm. I guess with dating I’m supposed to rein in my humor and “snarkiness”. Sorry, it’s hard to do!

    Finally, regarding you pictogram remark, was that your way of saying that you or many women really do receive photos or depictions in whatever fashion of turgid genitalia from men you don’t or hardly know? How weird if that’s true. Sorry that you have so many Cro-Magnons in your midst (and that’s an insult to Cro-Magnons).


  3. Summer

    Agreed – very few men bother with the whole courting thing anymore. It’s sad how excited I get when the man actually takes a moment to call just to ask how my day was.

    There are way too many women out there making it too easy for men to do next to nothing.

    1. Barry Lyons

      “There are way too many women out there making it too easy for men to do next to nothing.” That’s an intriguing line, and it sounds like a great opening to a comic novel. But what exactly are these women doing that makes it too easy for men? Okay, fine, I’ll wait for the novel!

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