Modern technology is a veritable minefield for flirtation. People who couldn’t tell you the difference between an Oxford comma and an ampersand suddenly become hyper-conscious of punctuation and why a certain word is used in place of another.
Knowing the level of scrutiny that your measly 160 characters will be subjected to, it would be better to obsess over minutiae like, “If I wear this out will people flirt with me?” “Where should I take my date for dinner?” “If she going to think I’m cheap if I take her to a gourmet food truck instead of a real restaurant?” (Pro Tip: She will.)
And yet we throw all that out and risk our reputations (and sanity) by brazenly brandishing our phones whilst in a drunken stupor. So let me stop you now, put down your phone, hand it to a friend, and just say no before it’s too late.
You’re not fooling anyone.
There are few legitimate reasons to text while wasted, so let’s all drop the guise that drunk texting serves any purpose other than a blatant display of sexual interest. Texting an ex? Sexual history there (and no it won’t work out this time). Texting that cute coworker? Someone’s been having fantasies about playing seven minutes in heaven in the supply closet. You aren’t actually trying to “befriend” that cute guy you met the other night, nor do you just “really miss” that girl you took out one time and never called again. So stop lying about it.
Best case, you get laid, worst case you text your boss/mother/priest/rabbi/shaman that you want to (redacted due to vulgarity). If autocorrect is doing more than adding apostrophes, you really should give your phone to a friend for safe keeping. It’s not only the harrowing possibility of texting the wrong person, it’s the legitimate peril that you are drunker than you thought and are spewing unsubtle, horrendously misspelled tripe out into the universe.
(Pro Tip: What you regard as being witty and innuendo-filled while drunk is likely so filthy that you’ll feel compelled to go to confession in the sober light of day. Even if you aren’t Catholic.)
The idiocy of “Hey you, what’s up?”
Being of the simpler sex, I have sent this message to girls at 1:30 in the morning far too many times. Ladies, you need to realize, if you get this text message (or it’s more conniving cousin, “Hey, I never see you anymore, you free tonight?”) its sender is looking for sex. I don’t care if he’s really sweet and you guys have been friends for years and you think of him like a brother: any guy asking to see you around last call has gotten shut out at the bar and is now looking at you as his best option to get laid.
Unless it’s explicitly stated that, “heY wayyyyy to dunk to drive hom rite now, can I crash??” or “HOLY FUCK. I did something stupid and had dinner with that ex you always say is bad for me, can I come over to talk?” He is looking to score. (By the way, it’s totally acceptable, and somewhat invited, if you call us out on this.)
Conversely, if a girl texts you “heyyyyyyyy,” it doesn’t matter how many y’s she added on the end of that, do not assume she’s flirting with you. “Xo” at the end of a text doesn’t mean anything either. Actually, let’s stop here. This was intended to be a similar paragraph to the above dissecting the most typical female to male drunk text, but your gender confuses the shit out of me and, in spite of my best efforts, I’m still trying to decipher how, “I love the sound of your voice, you really could do voiceover, free tonight?” and other strange cryptic messages aren’t considered flirting by your gender.
Drunk Dialing: Forefather of the drunk text.
This is the worst idea ever. Worse than that time you wore zubaz pants on photo day in high school, worse than when you dyed your hair to seem edgy, worse than getting someone’s name tattoo’d in a very suggestive place. Why is this worse? Because knowing you (me) there is probably a blackmail-worthy voicemail floating around out there somewhere.
Drunk texts are far less incriminating because you have any number of highly implausible excuses. You could say someone took your phone, “Oops that was sarcasm,” “Auto-correct made me do it,” whatever. The problem with drunk dials is that it’s pretty hard to deny that isn’t your desperate, off-key, booze-addled voice serenading an ex-girlfriend to the most pitchy and stilted rendition of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” in history. Make no mistake, you will sound desperate when you drunk dial. It’s physics. Which brings me back to my point: worst idea ever.
Everything you just read? Ignore it.
While we may know better (or at least you should now), drunk texting can be one of the most exciting parts of being young and stupid. Just think of all the fodder you are making for the toasts at your wedding. If you told me that if I hadn’t sent a drunk text, I would have missed out on a night where I ended up out with the new girl I was dating, had a close call with an ex, got smashed with some hipsters, blacked out, woke up naked in a church, took a $150 cab ride home, then had to go on a job interview in a director’s pool, all in the span of 12 hours, I would send that text every time.
Go out there, have a little fun, but learn about your phone’s auto on/off function.
Photo by Remi Coin