“Answer my text, you b*tch!” cries PWR BTTM’s Liv Bruce emphatically in a song about boys who don’t reply texts for hours.
The lyrics are totally relatable. Many of us fuss and fret over text messages gone unanswered by people who say they’re just bad at texting. I’m not convinced by that excuse, and worry incessantly about all the possible explanations for their digital disappearances. Maybe they’re too busy for me, or perhaps I offend them with something I said. Or maybe they’re trying to send me a cryptic message by not replying my message. MAYBE THEY HATE ME.
This week, I sat down with my friend Benjamin Aw, one of my favourite people and also one of the worst texters I know, to find out the truth about people who claim to be “bad at texting”.
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1. Deborah Tannen’s article in The Atlantic
2. Forgays, D. K., Hyman, I., & Schreiber, J. (2014). Texting everywhere for everything: Gender and age differences in cell phone etiquette and use. Computers in Human Behavior, 31, 314-321. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2013.10.053
3. Carleton, R. N., Collimore, K. C., & Asmundson, G. J. G. (2010). “It’s not just the judgements—It’s that I don’t know”: Intolerance of uncertainty as a predictor of social anxiety. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 24(2), 189-195. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2009.10.007
4. Baldwin, M. W. (1992). Relational schemas and the processing of social information. Psychological Bulletin, 112(3), 461-484. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.112.3.461
Sound design by Lee Zhe Ren. Special thanks to Ben for answering my texts almost immediately when I asked him for help with this story.