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Stop trying to seem cool by being slow to respond

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Stop trying to seem cool by being slow to respond

Alex Mazzaferro, Staff Columnist

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Alright, boss. You’re sitting in your room in your sweatpants doing what you do best: absolutely nothing. You look over to your phone and see a text, maybe a Snapchat or two, on your notification screen. Instead of doing the sane thing and responding right away, you get to overthinking the situation.

Scientists much smarter than yourself have been theorizing about the ideal amount of time to wait before responding to a text or a Snapchat, but they might as well waste their time finding the Higgs boson God particle. All prior experience and knowledge is useless in this situation, and you know it.

You sit and begin strategizing like a five-star military general. There are a lot of moving parts, so you need to coordinate your efforts. What do you take into account?

“It’s a game,” said Evan Pickard, social savant and Tuscaloosa bachelor. “What’s your relationship like with this person? Sure, if you’re dating them or they’re your best friend you respond right away. But if you’ve just met this person, you’ve got a lot of questions to ask yourself. How long do I wait? Do I open it and not respond? Do I try and look busy and let it simmer?”

You know they know you’re not doing anything important, but you have to make it seem like you’ve become the busiest and most interesting person on earth.

Looking left and right, you assess the tools around you. You can open your laptop and make it look like you were watching a palatable show like The Office, or even navigate to your online homework so you can flex your brain muscle. Classic, but not enough. Are you going to take it to the next level by firing up your car and driving to a remote location so she knows your “Salt Life” sticker is more than just a dusty bumper ornament your memaw got you? Of course you’re about that life – how about a picture of a red snapper hopping into your boat? Yeah, that’s sick, but completely unreasonable.

You’ve wasted enough time worrying about the content that you completely forgot about the timing, which is crucial. If you wait a few minutes minutes to respond, you look eager, but you can play it off cool like it doesn’t mean a thing. You know? Like a cool guy. You reevaluate after realizing you wouldn’t know cool if it sat on your lap and slapped you in the face.

You think you can wait 10, maybe even 30 minutes without responding. You kept them waiting, but you’re still prompt enough that you can carry a riveting conversation about the food they have at their sorority house for lunch. Nice. Keep that up and you’ll have a ring by spring.

Wait an hour or more and you run the risk of forgetting to respond, but you seem busy, and your clout jumps up a few points. Maybe post a Snapchat story if you’re a madman. Let’s be honest, though. You aren’t going to make anyone more interested by trying to come off as a hot commodity. Your best friend on Snapchat is your mother, and even then, she doesn’t respond half the time.

Overall, playing games when responding to messages is immature, and hopefully went out the door when you graduated high school. Making yourself seem busy or interesting is a waste of time and effort, and completely ridiculous. Everyone needs to accept the fact that almost everyone is in the same boat, all waiting to respond with nothing better to do. There is no “ideal” amount of time to wait before responding to a message – unless you leave it opened with a read receipt for three minutes and respond after 13. Everybody knows that.

 

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Stop trying to seem cool by being slow to respond