published Friday, October 12th, 2012

Leber: Clueless texters amusing if not useful

Dear Internet, why do you continue to invent fabulous but useless ways for me to waste my time?

I'm not talking about Facebook, Twitter or even Pinterest. Those are useful for trendspotting or communicating with sources and readers. I can find interesting, educational articles. And with my limited cable lineup, I can follow along as the Orioles (hopefully) crush the Yankees in the AL Division Series. (Update: They lost Game 3 in the 12th. Curses!)

No, no. I'm talking about sites that detail autocorrect mistakes, Suri Cruise's supposed life, parents who share too much and my latest find, HeTexted.

Self-described as "the first Q&A service dedicated to dating questions," HeTexted allows users to submit both the texts they were sent and their personal musings/questions/confusions. Then others can comment or vote for "He's Into You," "He's Not Into You," or "Verdict Is Out."

In other words, it's hilarious.

Here's an example (grammar and punctuation errors included):

Girl: It was cool hanging out

Guy: Yea if you're out tonight, bring Ali? We're going to Jimmy's

Girl: Awesome will tell her! Can't wait to see you

Guy: Ok

"Be honest," Girl asks the site readers, "do you think he's into me at all?"

Honestly? No, honey, he's not into you. He's into Ali. And honestly, are you really that thick?

That's a pretty tame one.

"He always responds in onomatopoeia," complains the young lady who told her suitor: "You are my tiger! Roar for me baby!"

What was the guy supposed to do, text back William Blake poetry?

("Tyger, tyger burning bright').

Or how about the gent -- you know what, no, let's call him the dude who texted "I love you but I have a tendency to screw up relationships."

"is he leaving me?" she muses.

Well, most likely. But more importantly, start seriously considering leaving him because that is not something that belongs in a text. That's conversation to be had in person, with considerable time allowed. If he thinks such a statement is something to text, he's a twerp.

You get the idea.

There's also a section called "Ask a Bro," where visitors can submit confidential questions to one of three men. There's Mason "the Dude Whisperer," Ben, who is "kind of a (d-bag), who knows many other (d-bags)," and Tim, "Nice Guy."

There's a Judd Apatow movie in there somewhere.

Outlets including Glamour and The Huffington Post have touted the value of HeTexted.

"Sometimes, you really do need an opinion when it comes to figuring out what it all means," wrote Gena Kaufman of Glamour.

Well, yes. But I tend to agree even more with Rosa Golijan, of "Today," who wrote: "Would a face-to-face conversation with the objects of our confusion not be more useful than a crowd-sourced interpretation?"

So, yeah, this is yet another way the Internet is eating up the time I could be spending doing more productive or cultural things. And I've just been reading, so far. I haven't even started commenting on the submissions yet.

On the up side, however, I'll never fall victim to LOL Cats.

P.S. Five minutes after I finished writing this, the HuffPo included "HeTexted" in a story about "7 Sites You Should Be Wasting Time on Right Now." I feel so trendy and with it, I'm tempted to use an exclamation point.

I'll resist.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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