How many bad texting habits do you have?

Play the at-home edition of the Techathlon podcast

Bad texting Techathlon game.
They're replying "LOL" to a serious, three-paragraph text that took 24 minutes to write.Pixabay

If you were expecting a new episode of the Techathlon podcast this week, I have some bad news for you: This week’s show ran into a technical issue so we won’t be back with a new episode until next week. Mercury in retrograde, am I right? It’s a bummer, I know, but there’s a silver lining around this content cloud. To hold you over until next week and brighten your Monday the way only the Techathlon squad can, we’ve put together a short at-home version of one of this week’s games for your edu-tainment.

The game draws inspiration from an odd text-messaging bug that happened a few weeks ago. Texts from last Valentine’s Day were delivered, en masse, more than six months late, thanks to a technical glitch stemming from a dormant server. It was the real-life version of the lie we’ve all told about how we totally replied to someone’s message but it “must not have sent.”

So, we busted out the old lie detector and put together a list of texting habits that only truly evil people regularly exhibit. Obviously, we can’t administer this would-be polygraph to you over the internet, dear reader, but there’s a simple solution.

Here’s how to play:

Give yourself a point for every one of the bad texting habits listed below that applies to you. Tally up your points at the end of the game and your results will tell you just how awful you are to text with.

Once you take the test, be sure to tweet your score at us (@TechathlonShow), and then maybe go take care of some of those unanswered iMessages that have been rotting in your inbox since baseball was still in-season.

  1. You’ve Intentionally ghosted someone because you don’t want to deal with them
  2. You use voice-to-text in a public space when it’s not totally necessary.
  3. You don’t always add important people— friends, work contacts, etc— to your contacts, so they still show up in your phone as generic phone numbers.
  4. You reply to a thoughtful, long, carefully worded text message with a short, snappy reply, emojis, or worst of all, the dreaded “K.”
  5. You don’t take the time to correct an obvious and easy-to-fix typos
  6. You passive-aggressively text someone something random when you’re actually hoping it will provoke them into replying about something more important, like an email they owe you, or money, or something else.
  7. You text while walking on a crowded sidewalk—or worse yet—when crossing the street.
  8. You intentionally use punctuation (like a period at the end of the sentence) to signal that you’re pissed off rather than saying how you feel.
  9. You send long videos or tons of photos via text that blow up the receiver’s data usage.
  10. You have more than three people “left on read,” which means you opened their text and you haven’t responded yet, even though you should.

Here’s how your score measures up:

0-1: You’re a texting saint and we could all stand to learn a thing or two from your practices.

2-4: Hey, nobody is perfect. Maybe take a few minutes and get those last few bad habits sorted out.

5-8: The good news is, you have lots of room to improve. The bad news? Some of your friends probably secretly resent your texting style.

9-10: You monster. How could you?

Now that you have your number, send us a tweet here and we can help you get your digital life together. We’ll be back with a full Techathlon podcast episode next week!