I have a love-hate relationship with all the I’m-bored-and-just-want-you-to-entertain-me kind of messages: “What’s up”, “How are you”, “What’s new”. On the one hand, it’s flattering as it means someone thinks of me once in while. On the other hand, it’s annoying as it leaves me nothing to respond to, and if I do respond, the best it could amount to was some pointless small talk. Take this conversation:
A: “How are you?”
B: “Pretty good. You?”
After that, either the conversation dies because both parties run out of things to say or party A continues with their actual agenda. In both cases, it’s a waste of time. If you do have some agenda in mind, why don’t you just skip the “how are you” part and go straight to what you want to say? What information can you possibly achieve through “how are you” and “good” and “how about you”?
But no matter how much I hate it, I find myself guilty of sending this message all the time. Last Friday, as I was on the train back from the airport, I went through my contacts and send “Hey, how are you?” to at least 10 people. I had no agenda in mind. I was just bored and wanted to talk to someone. Do you see the problem? I was trying to entertain myself by wasting everyone else’s time. Few people responded to me a couple of hours later and by that time, I was longer on the train so I just ignored their responses altogether. This makes me an annoying texting partner. I have ruined a lot of my relationships with my impulsive texting.
This really bothers me, so today I talked with Paul about fixing it. He agreed that “how are you” messages are a nuisance. He recognized my problem was that I never planned things in advance, and thus I often found myself having a chunk of free time without any idea how to spend it. Below is the coping mechanism we came up with to deal with impulsive boredom:
- Plan my day in advance so I know when I have free time and think about what I will do with that free time.
- Respect people’s time by not texting anyone out of boredom.
- Have a list of people I can contact in case I feel the need to talk to anyone.
First step in curing my impulsive texting, wish me luck!