🤳🏻ARE YOU A TEXTING OR EMAILING GHOSTER? 👁
Everyone knows that Alexander Graham Bell said the first words ever spoken into a telephone, in 1876, to his assistant, Watson. “Watson, come here, I want to see you.”
What not everyone knows is that Watson took a while to respond. Before answering, Watson went on a walk, had a snack, and scrolled Reddit. Watson posted a selfie on Twitter—which made Bell mad. “If he can tweet, why can’t he call me back?” Bell fumed. Two days later Watson finally replied to Bell, “Lol sorry is this message null? Still need me to come there? Sorry I’m bad at the phone.”
We know how this story ends. Alexander Graham Bell went on to found several industries. His assistant Watson never made anything of himself, and still lives with his parents playing Minecraft.
This story shows us why many people never reach success in personal or professional relationships due to poor attention to messaging etiquette.
I am not as good at the telephone as Alexander Graham Bell. Yet I know a few things about the phone. And I have a few protocols for 2023:
Texting with someone should be very similar to talking to them in person. Taking more than 5 minutes to respond without properly excusing yourself is just like walking out of the room during a conversation. If you have to stop texting, give a reason. Otherwise it’s confusing and disheartening. Aziz Ansari points this out:
The Totem of Chat
The Totem of Chat should guide us. The Totem of Chat comes from 2012 from the TV show “Girls.” Marnie (Alison Williams) and Hannah (Lena Dunham) scheme to get the attention of a boy who has been ignoring her texts:
Hannah: Maybe I should call him. I mean, didn’t you say that texting’s like the lowest form of communication on the pillar of chat?
Marnie: The Totem of Chat. And no, the lowest would be Facebook, followed by Gchat, then texting, then email, then phone. Face to face is, of course, ideal, but it’s not of this time.
The idea of the Totem of Chat is a good one. (Although much has changed since 2012. A text is now more urgent than an email. Gchat died and now it’s back. Alison Williams is starring in horror movies. Face to face is still not of this time.)
We all have, in the back of our minds, a Totem of Chat. Mine goes:
Text, WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Slack, email, Linkedin, ClickUp, Google Docs comments, Instagram, Facebook, Airtable, Asana, Snapchat, Bumble, AirBnB, Discord, Twitter, Mastodon, Reddit, DAO message boards, Facetime, and replies under my YouTube videos.
Share your Totem of Chat with your friends and colleagues.
Your timeframe to respond to a text also varies based on your relationship. Like, if I text my girlfriend, “Hello my face is being eaten by a baboon,” please at least “thumbs down” that shit, baby. If it’s not time-sensitive, it’s okay to take a bit longer to respond, but don’t leave the other person waiting for an excessive amount of time, especially if there are baboons in the area.
Response time reflects one’s level of interest, attention, and respect towards the other person.
Use the phone
Despite what “Girls” says, phone calls are actually more important than ever. Yes, I know millennials don’t use the phone. I know no one ever uses their voices at all. I know all the kids just have VR sex in the Metaverse and mint each other POAPs. Yet not calling and not going out is why the population of industrialized countries is falling.
Please. Call someone. On the phone.
Texting: the reason you get up in the morning and can’t fall asleep at night.
Texting: all the intricacies, nuances, and warmth of a real conversation channeled through one thumb.
But texting is what we’ve got, you know? So do it better.
Respect people’s communication to you. It’s bad manners to say, “I am a bad texter.” “Sorry I haven’t replied.” Just reply. If you don’t want to talk, say, “sorry, I’m not available” or “sorry, my plate is full.”
🙏I work really hard at clear integrity driven communication with employees, friends, family, or others. 🖌
Create some shortcuts
The average person sends 85 texts a day. It’s not always easy to type out all those texts.
So here’s some tips:
- Use voice-to-text. It can improve your speed like crazy.
- Make some cut and paste texts for your texts to give your intentions for the engagement:
- Happy to hear from you, yet can’t engage until x time or date (put this on your calendar or offer them your calendly link)
- Happy to hear from you, yet super busy, will reach out when I get a chance (the reasonable blow off)
- I am better by phone/text/email etc. at these times.
- When you want to change the method of communication or slow it down.
- Super to hear from you, check my calendly here
- Message received, yet not interested – at this time.
- Or simply, you are not worth my attention, I find you boring and I don’t like your attitude even though we have never met.
With proper texting time, we can go on, like Alexander Graham Bell, to found several industries. And please, come here baby, I still need you, the baboon is still eating my face.
Why your responsiveness matters
In business, a prompt response time can demonstrate professionalism, reliability, and an understanding of the importance of time-sensitive issues. On the other hand, a slow response time can create the impression of unavailability, disinterest, or lack of responsibility, potentially damaging the business relationship.
In dating, a quick response time can indicate that the person is interested and eager to communicate, while a slow response time can make the person appear disinterested, distant, or uninterested. This can affect the development of the relationship and potentially lead to misunderstandings.
Therefore, a timely response in texting can positively impact both business and dating relationships by showing respect and consideration for the other person’s time and needs.