How Far Can One Overanalyze a Text: An Investigation

Honestly where is the handbook for understanding texts?

hands-coffee-smartphone-technology

Let’s be honest, bitches be crazy. We’re all crazy own way of course, some are just a smidge better at hiding it than others. All texters have something we like to call Obsessive Text Analyzation Disorder; a condition that is sweeping the nation and destroying any texting conversations in its path. In fact, it seems that all people are nearly incapable of blatant candor. Deciphering texts nowadays is an enigma. Since the only instructions that come with a phone are how to physically set it up, texting is seemingly without rhyme or reason, open to endless realms of interpretation, and people are universally not all on the same page.

Despite the fact text messages are literally spelled out for you, infinite meanings and subliminal messages lie beneath each one. How far down can one go to find out the true meaning? The world may never know, but we tried to find out.

Hey, what’s up?” Tuesday, 3:44 p.m.

This is a common conversation starter between two friends where at least one of the parties in the relationship feels comfortable enough to contact the other in an attempt to initiate a conversation. Whether this feeling is mutual or not is clearly not evident to the instigator, as s/he has pretended to take an interest in something having to do with the receiver of this message.

Analyzation: Did someone set him/her up to this? It’s 3:44 on a Tuesday, wtf could s/he possibly want from me? We don’t have any classes together…do we? This is so creepy, omg. What am I supposed to do? *Takes screenshot and sends to group chat.* Am I supposed to ask if they have the wrong number? Wait, am I about to be asked on a date? No, there’s no way. He wouldn’t have just started the conversation out with “hey.” When you have something to say you just say it, nobody actually cares “what’s up” with anybody. Wait, is this a test? Am I being tested on how well I can hold a conversation? Are these, like, tryouts for a relationship? Are we dating now? Holy shit, I gotta call my mom.

Reality check: S/he probably does have a specific something to say to you, but s/he has a heart and is attempting to have a conversation with you before diving right in. Or s/he is bored of the people s/he already talks to and wants to expand their horizons a little bit. But probably not.

Did you do the homework for tomorrow?” Sunday, 7:48 p.m.

The class friend bond is sacred, yet complex. There are distinctive boundaries, but nobody really quite sure knows exactly where. Some class friends are strictly friends, and remain that way until it’s time to part ways after the final, which you crammed for together the night before, and the friendship fades just like anything learned in this class does from our memory.  But with others, there is evident sexual tension present because he asked to borrow a pen one time, and obviously kept the memento as a constant reminder of the bond you two share.

I knew it, s/he wants me. The other day when s/he glanced over at my quiz, it was definitely to see if I had the right answer. Ugh, that’s so sweet, I love being taken care of . Is s/he think asking because s/he thinks I’m smart? Jessica told Justin who told David who told Ashley who told me that s/he just got out of a nasty relationship. Am I a prospect? I mean, s/he clearly already thinks I’m smart enough. Does that make me marriage material? Wait, if I send over my homework in exchange for marriage, does that make me a prostitute? Or does that make him a prostitute, since I’m the one giving him compensation? I can’t go to jail. Omg, maybe he’s a nark and I’ve fallen into the trap. Fuck this shit, I’m sitting on the other side of the lecture hall tomorrow. And I want my pen back.

Reality check: This person didn’t even start off to say “hey” and fake their way through a half-assed conversation, so they didn’t take any time getting to the point.

What’s your plan for tn?” Thursday, 10:07 p.m.

In all attempts to forget the misery of the week we just endured, once that clock strikes whatever time your last class ends, it’s time for the weekend (Unless you’re a freshman, or a sad senior with a Friday class).

Omg, s/he wants to hang out with me. Should I stay in? I don’t want to sound lame, but like I want to put the offer of Netflix N’ Chill on the table. Do I say still deciding to sound chill, like I can go with the flow. The “flow” being whatever s/he decides to do. I’ll take a while to respond, and say, “Sorry I was getting ready”. But then what if I’m backed into having to go out and s/he ends up staying in? Then I just blew my chances of anything ever happening because it’s not like we’re ever going to see each other on this moderately sized campus. His Snapchat story is him at the pregame in his apartment, but after going through every single one of his friends’ stories, he’s shown in sweatpants. That was also 15 minutes ago. Maybe he’s still getting ready. *Refreshes stories for too long and completely misses the night out all together.*

Reality check: S/he probably had a rough week and wants to see who else is going out. They’re wondering if it’s worth it to sacrifice another good night’s sleep to alcohol. The fact that s/he texted you at 10:07 p.m., probably as the pregame is just starting, means that they’re just there for info, not a conversation. They’re probably pressed for time, as he was unable to fully spell out the word “tonight”. Additionally, it’s probably to see if your friends are going out too, not just you. On the other hand, they’re going out that night with a purpose, and that purpose is to get laid. Rather than being accused of booty calling you later, or scrambling to figure out where to end the night as the lights come on at the bar, precautions have been taken to attempt to ensure a lock down by instigating it in advance.

Hey I had a lot of fun last night, we should do it againSunday, 12:01 p.m.

The morning after. Always a good one

Holy shit, he remembers me? *Was dropped off at home 20 minutes ago.* He thinks I’m fun?! Wait, I thought he was black out? Did he lie to me? Is he a pathological liar? He didn’t even say he had fun with me, he just said that he had fun last night. Does he think I’m keeping tabs on him? How would he know I followed every Snapchat he was featured in to eventually find which bar he went to so we could meet up? But why does he want to do it again if he “doesn’t remember anything from last night,” like he said this morning. I mean he made it pretty obvious he was too hungover for me to be around by asking if I wanted Advil or something because he was going to get some.  He probably had plans to drug me. Yeah, he’s a serial killer, and this was his ploy all along. Wow, I’m literally so smart. I should probably try out for Law and Order.

Reality check: S/he may not have remembered last night, or may be s/he did, who knows? But s/he’s letting you know s/he didn’t have a completely awful experience and is willing to give it another try. Mind you, this is also a bold move because more times than not a college hook up is a “hit it and quit it situation” because the only thing scarier than commencement to college kids is commitment.

All in all, our millennial minds have a special talent of overanalyzing a text further than anywhere that “potential relationship” probably wasn’t going in the first place. And if someone tells you that you’re probably just being paranoid, “maybe he just wants to talk and see what’s up with you,” or “maybe she genuinely just needs the homework,” that’s a fat lie. It’s 2017 and everybody has an ulterior motive.

Hannah Fruchtman
About Hannah Fruchtman (28 Articles)
Hannah Fruchtman is a Communication and Rhetorical Studies major in VPA. Her favorite things to do are dance on elevated surfaces and eat really good pizza, but not at the same time. Hannah is patiently waiting for her awkward stage to end, but in the meanwhile she enjoys writing, attempting to look trendy, and being sarcastic. She wants to apologize in advance to anybody who found her humor offensive, because it is.
Contact: Twitter

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

*