Text Back

I remember the days when the abbreviation ‘tb’ would be tagged onto the end of a text message. It was not to spread awareness of any lung diseases, but to inform the person receiving the message that this particlar text required a reply (Text Back). These two letters not only took up two valuable characters (you pay as you go people know where I’m coming from) but they kind of seemed needy and desperate too.

As a result I think ‘tb-ing’ has gone out of fashion. Instead, there is a mutual trust between texters now, to text back as soon as they can. This mutual trust has formed over time because not texting back promptly enough could lead to disaster.

I’ve experienced this on a personal, almost silly level. For example when you have one of those days, when you just can’t remember if you shut the front door on your way to work. You text, your parent or spouse or sibling or housemate or dog to check. What if they don’t tb? Well, your mind begins to race – maybe they’ve been tied up and gagged during a robbery, has the dog escaped? Is the door open wide enough to see my novelty underwear hanging on the banister?

A new dilemma soon arises in situations like this. Do you send another text message? Because, somehow, it is perfectly logical to you that the phone company may have messed up and not delivered your message. Or did you even press send? Who knows? Check your sent items. Yes you did send it. Send it again, why not?

Well, I’ll tell you why – the pain and suffering you experience when not initially receiving a reply, doubles when you don’t receive one again. It only confirms your most ridiculous thoughts of kidnapping and runaway dogs. Before you know it you’re abandoning your job to check on a front door that is more than likely closed anyway – tb xx

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