"Texting used to be such a simple task. A boy would ask “what u at”, and you would reply “not much, u?” Straight forward, to the point, nothing could be misinterpreted or over-analysed."
Nowadays, however, the development of WhatsApp, emojis and screen grabbing have created a whole new beast altogether.
Women of the noughties are all qualified psychologists when it comes to analysing texts between our friends and the boy she is seeing. We have almost become each other’s secretaries as we have to proof rood any text before it gets sent out into the big, bad cloud.
“Take out that last sentence, you’ll come across too keen”, “add an emoji there or he won’t think you’re messing”. Even the choice of punctuation can be interpreted.
A full stop means you are probably pissed off, while an exclamation mark means you are really excited and happy!
Constructing replies for your friends is the easy part, it’s analysing the boys reply (or lack of) where things get complicated.
Say, for example, Mary has text Johnny on Tuesday. It is now Thursday and Mary has received no reply. She screen grabs her last message and sends it to three of her friends, her cousin in Canada and the cat at home in Cork for a second opinion.
Suddenly, all the girls have their Sigmund Freud thinking hats on and they all give Mary their two cents worth as to why Johnny hasn’t text her back.
Granted, none of the girls have ever met Johnny or know anything about him, but yet they are still able to engage in psychoanalysing this young boy and his life all the same.
Sarah thinks, “Well to be fair Mary, you didn’t ask him any questions?” (This is in spite of Mary sending Johnny a text longer than her Leaving Cert English essay).
Lisa is of the opinion that “well, it is during the week, so he is probably really busy with work?” (You are right Lisa, I mean, he does work 24 hours a day, has no lunch break and even though he has had six statuses on Facebook in the last two days, he probably is too busy to send a text).
Sally, the blunt one of the group, responds “maybe he’s just not that into you Mary".
Sarah and Lisa are now texting each other frantically in a separate WhatsApp conversation, “can’t believe Sally said that, like we are much better friends for filling Mary up with bullshit reasons why Johnny hasn’t text her!!”
We have all been Sarah, Lisa, Sally, or more unfortunately, poor Mary at some point.
WhatsApp introducing notifications for when someone screenshots your conversation may be the only way we can regain some of our sanity, and will once again give us the self-confidence to send a text message that was only constructed by ourselves and not ten other girls.
If they could get rid of the blue ticks and “last seen” feature as well, that might also help too!