You know how no one uses phones anymore? At least not to actually talk? Phones are a text-only device it seems, a vehicle with which to check Google maps for directions, listen to music, even play Solitaire (or is that just me?) but talking is a thing of the past.
When I started making new friends, I didn’t ask for their numbers. I didn’t want to bother them with text messages, instead opting for the email route. It’s a good method of communication, more or less, until you need something or someone quickly, and you have to sit and pray that they have email on their phone or are in front of the computer at that very moment. Email is not so much help when it comes to the last-minute brunch invite.
I noticed last night, however, that I am joining the ranks of the social with the whole text message thing. A week or so ago I ran into a newish friend while she was heading into the workout class that I was leaving. I really like this girl, we definitely get along and could be pals, but we’ve never hung out just us. We’ve met a handful of times through two mutual friends, but that’s it. Except, she texted me on my birthday, so I have her number in my phone.
So, anyway, last night I sent over a quick text to see how she liked the class. It was once unlike me to text someone on a whim–I’d be scared we weren’t “there yet,” a phrase I used so often–but I’ve changed over the course of this search. I’ve let go of some of those supposed rules. I don’t wait for a mysterious marker to tell me we’ve reached the text stage or hang-out stage, I just do it. Sort of like how I used to be scared to bother waiters and now I chat with them endlessly about what to order. (A strange but very really side effect of my year of friending. When you become more open and aggressive with potential BFFs, it leaks over into every other part of your life. Including meal service.)
The result of my off-the-cuff text? A response with those magical words: “We have to make a plan to get together! It’s been too long.”
I shouldn’t be surprised by this point that little actions (a brief and friendly text) provoke reactions (an invitation, or allusion to an invitation). I’ve learned that friendliness begets friendliness. And yet I’m continually pleasantly surprised. It’s in cases like these when it seems so easy. Why yes, we should get together again! How’s next week?
Have you found that it’s these little friendly exchanges that kick off a friendship? We worry so much about being awkward when we ask someone out, but sometimes it’s as easy as a quick reminder that we’re here. (I maintain that half the time people don’t reciprocate invitations it’s not that they’re rude or don’t like us, but that they’re so swamped they just forget. In the early stages, you have to see someone a bunch to make it into their regular rotation.) Do you think text message is the quickest way to kick off a friendship?