Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ask Dan! Episode 1: "Textholes"

I am kind of obsessed with Dan Savage's "Savage Love" columns. In fact, I even thanked him in the liner notes for giving me the useful knowledge needed to finish Pins & Panzers.

So in honor, in the most imitative plagiary, I am putting my limited knowledge in useless tidbit form, to give horrible advice to people who want it. So to help me on this journey, I had friends submit questions anonymously.

Dear dan,

when is it appropriate to text while public? I have friends that text, it is annoying, but I do the same. Are there rules? Should we come up with them?

-Someone More Sensitive

Well, SMS, there are a few things you have to consider. It really depends on the nature of the text, where you are, and who you are with. But lets face it, most of the time we text within company to show off one thing or another.

If you want your company to feel like worthless piles of shit, you text while in the middle of direct conversation. You may bring up your ability to multi-task as a form of defense, but the fact is you know, and they know, you are not involved in the conversation. This can be a useful tool when you want to ward off certain people.

If you have an iPhone, and you want to brag about having an iPhone, you may pull it out. Then you will say something along the lines of "yea...I got one of these. Not really that into it though..." while demonstrating your super-quick typing skills on the fake keyboard.

You can, however LOOK at texts, brief ones can go without a mention. If you having an important event such as "hold on, my wife is having a baby" you can give the text at least ten seconds to read, and even respond. But when you respond, apologize for awkwardly cutting off the conversation.

A very tempting time to pull out the phone is when in groups of three, one person is left out of the conversation, so they look to their phone for emotional support. This is a band-aid to your eventual problem, being interesting enough for everyone else to want to pay attention to you. However, the more you pull out the cell phone, the more the other two will feel like your presence is unnecessary, and go on talking and enjoying their real, human-to-human interaction without you.

Essentially, the only time when actively responding to text messages in company is accepted is for

a) utilitarian purposes ("420 a 441 broadway")
b) Checking sports scores
c) booty calls
d) Answer to a drunken trivia debate.

Otherwise, you make people feel awkward on purpose. And that is a sin almost as great as bashing "Purple Rain."

Send your questions to @


  1. hahaha. amazing. i shall avoid texting when i'm the third wheel...maybe then they'll appreciate me more. haha

  2. Texting someone while in the pressence of others can definitely make you feel more important. Heh.

    Ever since cell phones became commonplace they've become a social crutch. A Godsend for many. : )