With the likes of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, BBM and Skype pervading our homescreens, the instant messaging bubble has truly gone mobile and successfully won the loyalty of a new generation of smartphone fanatics. Sending an SMS instead of an instant message is nowadays comparable to asking someone for a CD instead of an MP3 file. SMS’s are frankly becoming outdated. The current phenomenon of internet mobile messaging has created a plethora of squabbles, awkwardness and forced fake relations amongst mobile users. Whether it be the predicament of how to end a conversation, or pondering about why they have seen your message and not answered, here we list the top 4 quandaries that are are festering along with this innovative shift in the way we communicate.
1. Lots of haha’s and nothing else – separating your friends and messaging buddies
In the old days, communications with Bob who you met at a party two years would have resulted with sending a happy birthday message if that. Not anymore. Forced fake relations have spawned from mobile messaging, highly characterised by a variety of ‘what are you doing’ type questions and ‘haha’ filled responses to keep the senseless conversation somewhat alight. Implementing an assortment of emoticons (the cheesy grin is a classic) within bland two word answers is also a favourite amongst mobile messaging users. Messaging on the go has truly made us become more connected to people who wouldn’t have mattered in the past. In a nutshell, this new technology has aided us to become experts in creating affinity with people who we might never meet regularly, but may talk to often in times of boredom.
As moronic as it sounds, it is imperative to distinguish between those who are just messaging friends from your actual friends in real life, who you actually speak on the phone to (would you have thought it?!) meet up with and communicate with more than with a “wuu2” or “how r u”. Carefully evaluate whether your boredom-provoked conversations could be invested into doing something more productive with people or things that matter more.
2. Being “Ignored” – Should You Really Take It To Heart
Mobile internet messaging has without a doubt created an abundance of sighs and huffs across the nation, upon discovering that your messaging buddy has read your message and not replied. Depending on the type of relationship you have with the said person this can provoke anxiety, disappointment, rejection and even heartache. Excuses reeling through your mind as to why they haven’t replied is a common reaction but when it comes down to it, if someone wishes to reply to you they will, even if not straight away. If you really need to speak to someone, a call on the old-fashioned blower will do the trick in order to get an instant response like in the good old days. You see, instant mobile messaging isn’t all that instant, especially when the other person doesn’t have time for it to be.
3. Saying goodbye or letting it be?
Text-based conversations can often run dry, especially amongst distant friends and crushes, when even favourite conversation fillers such as a “lol” or an array of smiley emoticons won’t suffice to keep the conversation flowing. Do you just let the conversation be or say goodbye? If you do say that you have to go for that all important work out at the gym (even if really you are stuffing McVities down your gob whilst watching Corrie) you are closing off the conversation for good there and then. Depending on the friend this could be a day, a week or even forever. If you let it be, this is reflection that the conversation has ended and that there is nothing new to say or worth saying, which is always a slightly awkward reminder for both parties. In any case, it is highly advisable to not declare your goodbyes after more than an hour of inactive communication, as your messaging buddy has probably already got the message that conversation has run its course. A belated goodbye message is like an open declaration that you have been staring at the screen all this time for a reply – which is straight out awkward.
4. The Drunk broadcast
And finally the infamous drunk broadcast, where in a state of sheer inebriation, you send a message, usually filled with an abundance of cheeky words to ALL your contacts. Yes, even to your old boss when you shelf-stacked in Sainsburys at 16. This can also be carried out by your friends if they somehow get their pesky mits on your smartphone. So do you send another broadcast apologising or let it be? Do you wallow in shame and change your number for good? Or make out as if your phone got stolen? Being drunk and with mobile messaging platforms is a dangerous combination and has led to the rise of cringeworthy sexts, declarations of love, acknowledgements of hate and everything in between due to the convenience of sending multiple messages at your fingertips.
One Last Final Thought…
Mobile messaging has no doubt made us become more obsessed with our smartphones and having them on the table at dinner is no longer seen as that bad etiquette amongst many families. Some parents will even message their children to come downstairs for dinner. With all the dilemmas that internet mobile messaging brings, sometimes I wish society could revert to the old days when we were thoroughly happy with our indestructible Nokia 3310 brick phones rather than our iPhones and accompanied cracked screens, when we showed off our groovy polyphonic ringtones (which we paid for) and when we were in a bad mood after closely missing out on a high score in Snake rather than because someone had read our BBM and not replied.