The Text Message

I read Pride and Prejudice while in college and like every other silly teenaged girl I feel in love with the letters Mr. Darcy wrote to Elizabeth (I have far more literary sense now, thank you very much). 

As with notes passed in middle school and the IMs of yore, writing is the universal tool used to share our secrets and stories. And while letters have shrunk to 140 characters or conversation bubbles of varying colors the sentiment still remains. 

Words on paper are far braver than our voices, in spite of their permanence. But writing, no matter how well expressed, is open be interpreted however the reader sees fit because text has no tone (yeah, sorry to let that cat out of the bag college writing professors).

So how do you avoid the pitfalls of mininterpretation while hiding behind the veil of the written word in a text? Fear not, I am an expert on this matter! Let me guide you.

Punctuate with enthusiasm 

When you learn to write perfect five paragraph essays you stop using expressive punctuation; who the fuck needs a semicolon to make a point?!

A period only says so much, unless it’s saying a lot more. An exclamation point though…

No, seriously and exclamation point is good for yelling, happy or sad or mad. It is excitement. 

If my keyboard allowed for interrobangs, ElRay marks,and doubt points you fuckers would understand that I often write from a place of bemused disgust.

Or do I? 

Use emojis  

If you’re happy and you know it use a face ๐Ÿ˜€. 

If you’re happy and you know it use an eggplant and some rain ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ’ฆ.

If you’re happy and you know it use a fancy symbol to show it (perhaps a book, because thre is no brain) ๐Ÿ“š.*

If you’re happy and you know, then your face ๐Ÿ˜‰ will surely show it.

If your happy and you know it use all three ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ“š!

Add an LOL

Occasionally, when the risk is high an LOL will ease the tension of misinterpretation. It allows for emotional outpourings to be brushed off as humor if the message isn’t well received and can also show vulnerability of the message is indeed well received, and/or reciprocated. 

If you’re not putting yourself out there and LOL will make sure your reader knows your racist joke was just as joke, so it’s not racist. And that deeply personal insult, not personal st all, LOL.

Remember it’s private

Let be honest, the best part about texting is that you are able to send messages directly to the person who you intend to read it. 

Private jokes remain intact because the NSA and their shared apple account users aren’t reading your text messages. Your deep dark secrets aren’t being skimmed by suspicious significant others of long time buddies. And there is no way possible that you will click the wrong name on your contact list and send the surprise party details to the birthday girl. 

And if this is bringing up issues from the past, your mom never read your diary, Mrs. Hough never read the notes you passed to Tim in fifth grade, and the link to that blog filled with super shitty, but better than 50 Shades, erotica was never shared. That would be a breech of trust. What happens in text is sacred, only to be shared between writer and reader.

*Just keep going like this but fits the song. Thank you for humoring me.

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