Sometimes, the lack of a smiley face can lead to problems.
After my friend tagged me in a Facebook post the other day, I sent him a private message.
“What the heck did you tag me in that for?”
In my head, it was playful banter. The question still valid; but it certainly wasn’t something I was upset about.
“Sheesh!” he replied. “Calm down!”
Now, there’s nothing worse to say to a woman than “calm down”. But that’s a post for another time. Nevertheless, his response made me suddenly realise the way he read my message was quite different from how it sounded in my head.
The addition of a smiley face at the end of the message probably would have fixed the problem – but my gosh, how I loathe having to constantly use those woeful little emoji. It brings me back to being ten years old and writing to my pen pal. I feel like I need to start adding an automatic disclaimer to all text messages that I speak fluent sarcasm, and am usually not angry.
Since so many messages are misunderstood on this basis, and texting is now such a big part of our lives, I’ve coined the term “textiquette”. I won’t dare Google it, because I’m pretty sure the word already exists <insert sad face emoji here>.
Having good textiquette is knowing what to text, when to text it, and how to show the correct emotion in your message. Clearly, I have terrible textiquette.
This is especially evident in the pre-dating world. You know, those couple of weeks where you pretend to just be “good friends”, while secretly sussing out the other person. You’re seeing if you’re interested, they’re seeing if they’re interested. In pre-dating world, everything can hinge on the lack of a smiley face, since neither party is quite sure where they stand.
Sometimes, you find yourself struggling with the correct balance of friendliness and aloofness, all without being a game player. Because, in the words of Sweet Brown, “ain’t nobody got time for that”.
In the pre-dating world, you have to be ready to play it cool. If the guy sends a message saying he met someone, you have to be ready to say how thrilled you are for them. If there’s ever a time to unleash the smiley face emojis, it’s now. Works both ways, and you always have the option of casually throwing something in the conversation to show they’ve been friend-zoned, too. You can both pretend you never ventured in the pre-dating bubble at all. Because in truth, neither one of you is sure if you ever did.
The older I get the easier it is. Perhaps because I’m more willing to offend. More often than not, I just blurt out whatever the heck I feel like. I mean, if a prospective partner loses interest because he mistook me as angry when I wasn’t, it’s probably a great way to find out that they aren’t all that interested – it’s pretty simple to ask for clarification.
Like, “what the heck did that mean?”
Just make sure you include a smiley face at the end.