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// At Le Moyne College

Texting Etiquette 101

Who knew talking could be so difficult?

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Meeting someone for the first time is great. You guys click and have a great time. Everything seems really great. Then one of you asks for the other's number. But here comes the hard part: Now you have to text the other person. If you're anything like me, you will spend a good amount of time consulting friends, Google, your stuffed bear, pretty much anyone to make sure you make the best, first impression via messaging.

Before beginning timing is key. The last thing anyone wants is to be stuck waiting forever for a response right? The time in which a text is sent is so relevant. Does this mean you have to creepily learn this person's schedule? No. Just proceed with caution. If you send a text too late, like around 10 pm, that can be misinterpreted as just wanting a hookup, or that the person who is being texted is not a priority. Another problem, is texting too early. This could give off a vibe of being too excited or interested. The person may not even get up that early, so your chance waking them and ending up with a short, grumpy response is very high. I'd recommend sticking to sometime during the day, or early evening, if your schedule is simply too packed--that way in between class or as they finish dinner they can focus on you.

When starting, a "hi" or "hello" or even a "hey" all seem harmless right? WRONG! These all have sneaky little connotations which could lead to disastrous consequences and misinterpretations. The classic "hello" is unfortunately too formal 99 percent of the time. No one says it anymore. We live in a society where everything is shortened for the bare minimum of effort. Using "hello" not only acts as a too formal response, but it also can come off as being a little creepy, as in you might as well type, "Hello. I would like to court you."

So this leaves us with a "hey" or a "hi." This is where it gets really tricky. A "hey" can be the perfect greeting, but it can also be the worst. This simple three-letter word can mean "Hey what's up?" or the dreaded "Hey wryd" aka let's hookup--how charming. This word in itself all depends on timing (see above for more info on this). "Hi" is a pretty standard greeting. It normally evokes a friendliness that is not overpowering or too weak. It's the middle bear--it's just right.

Great. You've started the message, now what? Well regardless of what you end up talking about remember, you just met the person. You don't want to scare them off by sharing your life story (and ruining topics for a date). So take into account the length of the text. A sort of rule many girls follow is the "message can't be longer than my thumb." Honestly, this is just stupid. My rule of thumb is to respond as straightforward as possible in the least amount of characters, with the most amount of flair. Also keep in mind, don't send multiple text messages, the last thing you want is to be the person who blows up the message feed of the other person.

Now that you have figured out all of the process, now you just have to talk. Easy enough right? *Cringes slightly. Content is a big topic, so let's split this into two parts: Emojis and information.

Emojis can be very helpful or very disastrous. You have to be careful of going overboard and seeming too friendly. Not only in being careful of the amount of emojis sent, but also which of the emojis is sent. Sending a winky face means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. If you're making a joke or answering one, I'd recommend the one that is laughing so hard it is crying. It's pretty much a safe bet. Not to mention the smiley face. It's so classic and simple; yet, speaks volumes. If someone responds with a smiley face it will tell the other person they are happy to be speaking with the other. So, use this in the beginning. Be careful with using kissing faces and the face with the heart eyes, unless you are talking about a particular film, sport, animal or something of that nature that you love. you don't want to end up like the protagonist on the new CW show, My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

And of course, now we have reached the essence of the conversation: the information. This is truly a game of cat and mouse in many cases. You want to talk to the person, but aren't sure what to say. Well, how did you meet? This always seems to work. Bring up the friend that introduced you two or the class you both have. Talk about the great or maybe not so great parts of both. If you met in class, this is the perfect opportunity to suggest a study date. If you met through a friend, talk about getting together with that friend again and a few more people. This will ease tension from early on and can also give you alone time with that person.

Regardless of what you say or how you say it, just never text and ask, "Netflix and chill?"

I prefer my coffee scalding hot, with shots of Austen and Locke.

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