The Horror of Double Texting

Thursday, 9 February 2012
I'm on my way to Missouri to present a research paper at a conference and see some of my family members. While stuck on the plane, I wanted to share something I learned from an undergrad student this week while teaching.

My students started a blog this semester and post weekly. This helps familiarize them with writing shorter pieces and generally become clear, concise writers. Two weeks ago the assigned topic was "Pet Peeves." While almost all of my students are becoming talented, young journalists, one of the posts stood out and I just had to share.

There is apparently specific text message etiquette that those from an older generation may not be aware of. For instance, if someone texts you, even if is to give you a directive or piece of information, you should always respond.

For example, if you receive this message:

Joe: On my way. C u in 10.

You would never consider not responding. Instead, you would text something back like this:

Jane: K. C u then.

Then, depending on the relationship between the two "texters," the messages could continue in this sort of rapid fashion:

Joe: Cool
Jane: :~)
Joe: B rt there
Jane: K

And so on... This isn't the only rule to keep in mind, however. A major no-no in the texting world is the so-called "double text." As my student wrote in her post on pet peeves, "Everyone knows you don't double text. It is so uncool. Who does that?"


I had to ask about this phenomena in class on Wednesday. I have 20 students. The discussion went like this:

Me: Who knows what double texting is?
Class: (No one speaks but everyone raises their hand.)
Me: Okay. Who thinks double texting is uncool?
Class: (Everyone raises their hand again.)
Me: What IS double texting?
Class: (They look around at each other hiding a glimmer of disbelief and patronization.)
Me: (I start laughing because I'm obviously way out of the loop.)

A student finally says, "You know. When you text someone and they don't text you back so you text them again. That's double texting. It's kind of annoying."

There is an entry in the Urban Dictionary for double texting so I guess it's legit. I'm learning so many important things as a doc student. 

1 comment

Tim F. said...

I've always had issues with this. Friends and family ask, "Why didn't you text me back?" I reply, "You didn't ask for a response. You told me something."

I've learned that if there's any question about whether I should respond or not, I should respond.