This Is the Most Annoying Text You're Sending All the Time
Experts want you to stop sending this message to friends.
Technology has surely changed the way we communicate. A simple text can be sent and received within seconds—making communication faster and more efficient than ever. But anything that comes so easily is bound to have its own set of problems. In fact, one of those problems may be that you're coming across more annoying than you mean to be. After all, like any form of communication, there is a set of unwritten etiquette rules that comes with texting. And experts say you may be breaking them by sending this annoying text: "Call me."
"If you are texting 'call me' without any more information or context cues, you are likely creating anxiety for the recipient," says Christine Scott-Hudson, MFT, licensed psychotherapist and owner of Create Your Life Studio.
Asking someone just to call you without context likely opens a "Pandora's box of worry" for the other person, says Scott-Hudson. If they don't have time to immediately call you, their brain will often make up and fill in possibilities of what your text could be about. And the possibilities they conjure up probably aren't the most reassuring.
While this text can create anxious feelings for anyone, Scott-Hudson says this is especially hard for people who already suffer from certain issues like anxiety, autism, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Technology expert Daniel Foley also points out that texting has made it difficult to read people's tone, as you can't hear their voice or see how they're saying what they're saying. He says you should "always include context with texts like these," as the person receiving your text might be unsure if you're asking to talk to them in a positive or negative manner.
But the potential to induce anxiety aside, this text also often makes you seem ungrateful of the other person's time, Scott-Hudson says. After all, she says, "People are busy. People need to prioritize calls back. If you don't say what the matter is about, they don't know where to place you on the list."
This doesn't mean you can't text someone to schedule a time to talk on the phone, especially if the conversation requires more depth than texting allows. Scott-Hudson says you should just provide a little more information in your text.
"Be specific. A better text is 'Let's talk about carpooling for Theresa's party,' or 'Let's check in about what I can bring,'" she explains. "This not only informs the person you are texting as to the topic of conversation, but allows them to respond back in a way they feel most comfortable, whether it is a text, email, or phone call."
This is just one texting etiquette rule you may be breaking, however. For more ways you could be annoying people with your texts, read on. And for other communication errors to avoid, People Don't Trust You If You Text With This Punctuation Mark, Study Says.
Starting conversations via text with a one-word "hey" or "hi" typically comes across as "uninteresting, selfish, and kind of lazy," Julian Ilson, founder of friendship app We3, told Bustle. Even if you're just interested in talking to the person you're texting, adding substance to the text will make that person more inclined to reply. You can do this by sending response-prompting texts like expressing an opinion or asking a specific question. And for more things to be aware of when talking to someone, learn 17 Things You Should Never Do During a Conversation.
Sending someone a simple "K" or "OK" through text is a "pretty effective way to show the recipient that you're not interested in chatting," says David Foley, mediation teacher and founder of Unify Cosmos. So unless you're planning to immediately kill a conversation, don't be so short with your texts. Your loved ones will also likely see you as someone they can't come to reliably to talk or vent, Foley notes. And for more about texting, If You Hate Texting, You're Over This Age, Says New Research.
"People read between the lines in text messages," says Alicia Hough, wellness expert with The Product Analyst. Much like "K," sending someone a short message like "not sure" gives the impression that you're not interested in a conversation.
"If someone is not in the mood [to text], it's better to reply late than to send annoying texts like this," she explains. People "usually interpret a text's mood and overthink what a simple 'haha-less' text meant. Choosing the right words is essential to sending the right message."
Don't send your apologies over text. An apology is communicated through more than your words, and if a person can't see and hear your body language, demeanor, and tone during an apology, it may come across as insincere.
"A face-to-face apology is such a classic place where we learn empathy," MIT social scientist Sheryl Turkle told Tech Insider. "If you're apologizing to me, I soften because I get to see that you're genuinely upset—you get to see that I have compassion for you. But if you type 'I'm sorry' and hit send, nothing happens." And for more useful content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.