Text Tag: My least favorite game

Today I come to you with a concern of mine that has been troubling me for quite some time now. You know, it seems as though every break, a little bit of time goes by and then I get a text from either a new potential bae or maybe an old bae who I haven’t spoken to in a while. “Who dis”, tends to be my usual response regardless of whether or not I actually know who the person is (just because saying “who dis” in any situation is funny) and then once all introductions or re-introductions are out of the way, we indulge in a little conversation via text.

Now, it is this aforementioned text conversation that causes everything to go downhill. Seven minutes go by and I get a text, then I feel inclined to wait an equal amount of time to send back a text and this bullshit just goes on and on until I finally decide not to reply. Folks, this little game that we play on our phones isn’t in the app store. However, it does have a name; my friends and I call it “Text Tag” and in the rest of this article, I’m going to identify 3 reasons that people participate in this nonsense and ultimately why it needs to be cut out altogether.

1) “Playing it Cool”

Alright, so let’s get right into it. The first identifiable reason for engaging in this f*ckery is that both parties want to “play it cool”. For whatever reason, the persisting belief is that if you text somebody back in a timely fashion, you seem too anxious and maybe even desperate.


Although I never fed into this belief (probably because I just don’t care enough to), I know an alarming amount of people who believe this. What I’ve noticed though, is that many times when one texts back immediately, it’s not even the case that the person is anxious or excited and truthfully it doesn’t matter if they are. There’s nothing wrong with showing excitement in the form of a quick reply; especially not if there is a decent amount of evidence to conclude that the attraction is mutual. Now, I can somewhat understand the logic behind this first reason if you’re still in the “talking stage” and don’t yet know if attraction is mutual, but you need to understand that it is essential that you analyze this from the other person’s perspective. If you don’t know if the other person is feeling you, yet you’re texting them back late like a jackass, they could very well be thinking that there’s just nothing there in terms of attraction. In fact, the person might be ready to just dub you completely. Now whose fault is that?


Yep that’s right, it’s your fault. You could very well be blocking yourself b. So I suppose that in my point explaining the first reason as to why people engage in Text Tag, I also gave you one reason not to. So uh…yea, there ya go.

2) Petty texting

The second reason for playing text tag, which I should clarify, can almost be petty, is as a direct response to the other person’s texting patterns. I admit that I’m guilty of this shit and I’m making a conscious effort to improve. I just believe that if I’m putting effort into texting and replying to someone’s texts quickly, then that effort should be reciprocated at the very least. So text me back 30 minutes later if you want to. Uh huh… ain’t no reply bih. Aight, see that’s being petty, but look, before you do something childish the next time you get a late text, I want you to try something. The next time you’re texting somebody, even if the person doesn’t text back quickly the first few times, text back within like 2 minutes and see if their reply speed starts to match yours. If it does,


If it doesn’t and the person has no legitimate excuse, you have to keep it moving. The time you waste playing games with them can easily be spent having meaningful conversation with someone else. Understand how valuable your time is and treat it accordingly.

3) Method of gauging interest

Aight, so I was suggested this last reason by someone who plays Text Tag religiously and I think that it’s beyond intriguing. This last reason for playing Text Tag is that it is a method of gauging the other person’s interest. “Hmmmm”, was what I immediately thought when I first heard this reason. Then I thought, “Damn. That’s some backwards ass shit.” I mean, really think about it. You’re trying to gauge someone’s interest in you based on how long they continue to reply to your shitty, poorly timed text messages. I suppose the logic is that if the other person continues to reply long enough, then they must be really interested…


Fam, you know you can just ask them if they’re interested right!? Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but I believe that there is tremendous value in being completely upfront with people especially in this day and age when everything coming at us is so indirect and even subliminal. I’ve found that straightforwardness and honesty generally tend to yield faster and better results than beating around the bush and playing games.

In closing, I just want to say that enough is enough people. We are on the cusp of the New Year and with each New Year comes new standards of behaving. In 2016, let’s resolve to be more straightforward and just generally more transparent. In my opinion, one of the worst feelings in the world is uncertainty. This is why I propose that we stop text tag completely or at least minimize it in the New Year in an effort to give yourself and the person you’re texting peace of mind. Listen, I KNOW for a fact that through the use of honesty and forthrightness, you will be able to breathe new life into your interpersonal relationships in 2016. I Promise.



*Sidenote: Everyone is not the same. Some people are just legitimately bad texters. If you think you are dealing with a bad texter, push for more in-person meetings or even phone calls. If they decline, you may just have to keep it pushing.

About matt1182 (3 Articles)
Matt is a sophomore majoring in Public Relations at The Pennsylvania State University. He is a Newark, NJ native and an avid shoe collector. Some of his passions include writing, snapchatting, critiquing music, dancing, and fighting for social justice. As a brother of a darker hue, he has witnessed the many forms racism and discrimination can take and has devoted much of his college career to first understanding this problem so that he can develop an action plan to properly combat it. When he isn’t self-educating or on snapchat, Matt can surely be found milly rocking on a block near you.

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