Love & Sex

HeTexted.com Will Be Laughing When We Are All Dead

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Our nominee for Worst New Site/Harbinger of Doom.

Don't you just hate it when you get a text from a guy and you have no idea if it's just a booty call or if he wants you to bear his children? I know I do. Luckily, there's a website where you can post texts from potential lovers (husbands?) and people online can weigh in on your romantic future. It's called HeTexted.com. Users (usually women) post screenshots of text convos (usually between them and some nameless man). Others read the text exchanges and vote one of three options: "He's Into You," "He's Not Into You," or "Verdict Is Still Out."

So, this is clearly the nadir of the "chicks and dudes, can they ever understand each other?" thing perpetuated by Cosmo, et al. But it's bigger than that. Basically, you're using around three lines of conversation to determine the totality of how one stranger feels about another stranger. Now, not only are we attempting to decode every word, punctuation mark, and emoticon in an already limited form of communication, but we're asking anonymous advisors — possible weirdos — to give us life advice based on a twenty-word exchange. Thanks, internet!

C'mon, Martilda, you can decide this one on your own. The eighty-three people who voted on this post aren't the ones who'll to have to dodge flaming cigarette butts every time this dude feels jealous.

Not to get histrionic, but this kind of thing really makes you wonder about the future of human communication. As anonymous online opinion forums get more popular, relationships surpassing surface-level familiarity are starting to feel time-consuming and laborious in comparison. (What percentage of the time do you pick up the phone these days? For that matter, how often does anyone call you?) In the domain of HeTexted.com, there are no subtle nuances and no uniquely individualized emotions. But there are also no awkward silences, or uncomfortable face-to-face discussions. It reduces human complexity to a three-option vote, but doesn't it make everything alluringly mysterious? (The above also reminds me that there's no option for "I'm not that into him," because why would you come to this site if you felt like you deserved any kind of voice in your own life?)

I'll pass too.

Direct contact — like, the face-to-face, hope-there's-nothing-in-my-teeth kind — has long reigned in the communication world, because it didn't have much competition. But now starting conversations with strangers in public often elicits an eyebrow-raise. Because there are so many other ways to feed our desire for connection, direct communication seems cumbersome and old-fashioned in comparison. But without it, loneliness is more ubiquitous than ever. Constant life updates from celebrities and suburban high-schoolers alike creates in us a sort of hypnotic illusion of being connected — as if refreshing Twitter at four a.m. will make us feel less alone. 

The two people who voted "Verdict is Still Out" probably think Dan went to do some soul-searching in the outback.

We crave validation from faceless internet people. I'm guilty of it too. The other night I WebMD'd "right now i'm cold, a little hungry, a little sad, a little turned on, what is wrogn" [sic] and took a screen shot of it, and then posted it on Facebook. At the time I thought it was comedic genius, but writing it out now makes me feel like it was kind of weird. It was pretty much a direct transcription of a real thought I had, and an honest appraisal of the way I felt, but I communicated it to my peers in the most convoluted possible way: via an internet search via a photo of that search via a social-networking site. Either this was a great integration of several wonders of technology, or it was insane.

So meta.

I have a hunch that a lot of the posts on HeTexted.com are just mocking the site's concept, asking if it's possible to contract exotic STDs from Asians and wondering why the dude they just met only wants to watch their brother work out. But if you're heading to HeTexted.com for sincere advice, I can't imagine your relationship is going to flourish. 

I think it means he hates you, or he's married.

All of these questions could've been answered by that little brain slice we have that's capable of evaluating a situation and making a decision. And where are your BFFs or chatty neighbors? Surely they could've helped you out. Moreover, modern communications give men (and women!) the ability to be totally flaky and avoidant, but that doesn't mean you have to respect them when they do. Let's take a collective vow to do some of that old-school in-person chatting every once in a while, before we're all living in a dystopia where we have iPads instead of faces and no one ever gets laid. All right, I'm finished. Go scroll through Twitter.