texting relationships

K, Wrap It Up Mom

“Not sure if I’m going out later”

That text is about how long the average text is.  Remember that the next time you want to thumb out a novel on your phone.  Well, unless you’re older or want to come across as such.

It turns out the older you are, the longer your text messages tend to be.  The following tracks average characters per text by age across several thousand Americans.

Looking at men and women separately, there doesn’t seem to much of a difference between genders up until the early 20s.

After that point, women get much wordier than men.  And that increase seems to rise with age.  It’s worth pointing out that there’s a sizeable subset of men who will write shorter responses as they enter their late 30s, but they’ve been more than offset by the more verbose ones, at least in our data.

So the next time your mom writes an essay or your teenage kid seems too busy to give you the time of day, remember, that’s just how they text.

The Many Flavors of "Okay"

When ‘k’ isn’t okay...

It’s 2016, when ‘k’ is no longer ‘okay’ or even okay.  We’ve all been texting long enough now to know good texting is all about showing effort, so anything too short comes off as snippy.  Text ‘k’ to someone and be prepared for anything.

For those of you who aren’t fluent in the many flavors of ‘okay’, you might want to read on.

How someone reads your single word ‘k’, ‘ok’, ‘okay’ or ‘okay..’ text usually depends on the person.  So firstly, know your audience.  Generally, the younger the person you’re texting, the worse things sound.  Same rule applies the closer that person is to being a girl you’re wooing.  So, text “k” to a college-aged girl making date plans, and you could expect an internal diatribe like the one above.  On the other hand, text that to your middle-aged father and he’ll probably appreciate your succinctness.

There’s no surefire route through this minefield of potential miscommunication.  Much depends on personality and context, like what the exchange leading up to this conversation killer looked like.  But below are some rough translations…

That’s all for today’s lesson…mmkay?