When it’s Okay (and NOT Okay) to Text

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As a certified 21st century girl, I love all forms of “e” (or “i” for all you Mac geeks) communication. Email, IM, tweeting, texting — they’re all great ways to stay connected. So why are movie theaters, schools and other public places getting so strict about them?

Well I guess maybe because there’s a time and place for everything, including texting.

Hate to sound like you grandma by saying things like “there’s a time and place for everything” but…here goes:

It’s NOT okay to text when…

  • Driving: Sure, some of us have this technique down perfectly and have managed to do it for years without getting in some kind of major accident, but then again, there are plenty of carefree teenagers, irritable businesswomen and overwhelmed mothers in minivans who have yet to perfect the “look down at the phone for 2 seconds, then back up at the road for 2 seconds” technique we all know and love. If you need to text, pull into a parking lot or something. I know you want to make the most of your unlimited texting plan, but believe me: the insurance bill on a wrecked car will be 20 times your monthly  cell statement.
  • Hooking up: If you’re texting while hooking up with someone, it’s probably for one of two reasons: 1) you’re trying to make it look like you’re in high-demand from other people so that he doesn’t take this one hook up for granted or 2) for some reason, you just can’t stop texting old inside jokes to your best friend. Regardless of the reason, it’s rude and you would probably feel like crap if the tables were turned and he was the one texting his friends the whole time. If you’re about to have some sexy time, either turn it off or put the phone in your bag… on silent… in another room.
  • Having a Serious Conversation: Come on, if you’re at the Olive Garden with your best friend who just got dumped by her boyfriend of almost a year, your phone should be out of sight at this meal. She is going to want to vent and, by opting for some Americanized Italian carbs, you’ve volunteered to be the vent-ee. If you text while she’s talking about how “no one will ever love her the way he did,” she’s going to feel even more depressed and insecure. Listen like a good friend and she’ll probably return the favor when you need it.
It’s OKAY to text when…
  • Waiting for someone: We’ve all been there. You agree to meet someone somewhere at a specific time, but they’re late. Whether you’re waiting outside a restaurant, a movie theater or even a classroom before people have showed up, the best way to NOT look like a loner is to start texting… even if you’re not actually texting. Rapidly pressing the buttons and staying focused on the screen will make you look really important and that you actually have friends. Go you…?
  • In bed: Back in the old days, people would actually pick up the phone and verbally talk to other people, but we’ve evolved way too much to be bothered with something as physically and intellectually demanding as holding a civilized conversation with someone- good thing we have texting! No, but seriously, texting before bed works way better than counting sheep and “good morning” texts are quite possibly the most amazing things ever.
  • Family Parties: After you’ve already told everyone (multiple times) how school is going and how your liberal arts degree will get you a job no matter what they say, it’s time to start texting. I guarantee you that a silly text conversation consisting of the standard “hey, what’s up, nothing, bored” will be way more interesting than anything going on at that party. No, but really, grab a slice of grandma’s pie and get out of there ASAP.
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