If I Text “Hi!” To You, How Does That Make You Feel?

• • •

PEOPLE BE WEIRD.  If I say that once a day I say it ten times.

So keeping that thought in mind, let me tell you what’s floating around in my brain this morning.  It’s not a big thing, but one that’s got me a’wondering…

How far out of touch am I?

Or alternately…

How self-absorbed are people these days?

• • •

HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED.  Instagram suggested that I might want to follow a new-to-me person so I went to see who this was.  In the process of doing so I came upon a long conversation in a comment section below a photo there.

The conversation in the comment section wasn’t about the photo. No, the people commenting were talking about how they hate, hate, hate receiving one specific short text from their friends and family.

The offensive text was: “hi!”

That’s it.  Nothing more.  Just this one word was enough for these commenters to feel put upon…

To the point of complaining about it.

And the people who sent it to them.

And the awfulness of such a rude text message.

When I read through these 30+ comments my first thought was that certainly someone here is going to defend the sender of the allegedly disruptive text message, but no one did.

It was universally agreed among these people that this “hi!” text was a bad. thing. to. do.  And oh the vitriol about it.  Oy vey!

• • •

I SHALL CONCLUDE.  I get that some people gotta have something to whine about no matter what, so maybe this was an example of that.

I also am aware that some friends and family don’t understand personal boundaries, so they can be a bother until you tell them how it’s going to be.

But honestly I’m confused about how a “hi!” text could make any person so miserable that this person would feel the need to bash the person who sent it.

Couldn’t you ignore the text– or answer it with a “later” reply text?  I mean if you leave it to me, EZPZ problem [if there really is one] solved.

• • •

So what am I missing here? In what way is texting “hi!” offensive? ‘Cuz to me this seems like a text tempest in a teapot. 

• • •

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Usually.

130 thoughts on “If I Text “Hi!” To You, How Does That Make You Feel?”

  1. People text hi when they want something. It’s fine to ignore the text, but depending upon the relationship it can be stressful to ignore multiple hi texts. Example…
    Him: hi
    Me: hi
    Him: how are you?
    Me: good, you?
    Him: good. Hey, can i send you some work tonight?
    Me: sure

    When people want to chat, they just start. They don’t seem to preface with the solo dreaded hi.

    PS: I love extra work but you know. At any given moment it’s always grrrr.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. What do you say to “hi”? Paula’s experience is similar to mine. “Hi” opens the door to someone asking a favor. It would be better if the message were, “Hi! Hope you’re well. I’m fine, but I was wondering if, by any chance, you could do me a favor and .” The recipient would prefer the sender get on with it – not bait the hook and wait for a “Hi?” in return.

        A specific favor, I can then choose to ignore, or consider and get back to the person asking. People know it’s harder to say “no” if you have them in conversation, real time. It puts people on the spot. It makes them feel rude to say “no.” So it has become synonymous with EXPECTATIONS. No “hi” is just a casual greeting, these days! Not unless it’s, “Hi! I don’t need or want anything – was just scrolling Instagram for the hell of it, and thinking of you – so, HI! :D”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Holly, I wonder if people who text only a “hi!” are not as comfortable communicating in writing as you and I are. Like you, if I ever text someone I have a point to what I’m saying and will say so up front. I like to be clear and non-manipulative.

          Before reading the comment thread under the photo I’d never given a thought to a “hi!” text but now I can see how many people associate one with the sense that someone is going to want something from them. I’m sure that if you can’t say “no” to things or you don’t have the ability to ignore people, then receiving a “hi!” text is stressful. Who knew, huh?

          Like

          1. That’s a really good possibility! I actually get a lot of those at work. And I don’t think about it as much, because there it’s, “Are you there? Free to talk?” If you just blurt the point in an IM, the other person may be presenting on a large screen to a number of other people. So, in that context, it’s generally understood as “can you talk?”

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            1. Holly, I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but the system either ate it or took it without telling me so. Anyhoo, just letting you know, for what it’s worth. I liked your post on coffee and composting.

              Like

              1. The bouncer was holding it in the foyer till I awoke, Ally! (I should just tell him to let everyone in unless they’re bearing links!) Your next comment, should you visit again, should be greeted warmly and offered tea! Thank you!

                Liked by 1 person

  2. “Hi” seems so impersonal, similar to the made fun of “you up?” drunk text. My experience with “hi” has usually been accompanied by something negative following shortly in additional replies. I’m with you, make a phone call or, even better, meet in person if you are able. Takes all the guess work out of a texted “hi”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andrew, you are onto a good idea there. I like taking the guesswork out of a texted “hi!” by actually connecting with a person in a more meaningful direct way. But people don’t do that so much anymore…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s odd, from family and friends. I mean, I never get a “Hi” all by itself from people who really know me. Spammers and scammers ALWAYS start with “hi” (and weird, random guys in foreign countries looking to chat with a woman, but they’re probably spammers and scammers, too). So yeah, it’s all the baggage that comes along with the MAJORITY of random “hi” greetings these people are reacting to, not the word.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Holly, I don’t think I’ve ever received a “hi!” text so for me this is a whole different world. A fascinating glimpse into interpersonal communication, if I do say so. Of course, I’m fascinated because I have no personal experience with a “hi!” text… so they seem benign to me.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I read something the other day about how people hate when you reply K to a text. I actually like when people say k because I know they saw, read and acknowledged the text, especially when it’s about plans or something like that. People have too much time on their hands

            Liked by 1 person

    1. marian, as I thought about anyone who might use “hi!” on a text it occurred to me that as a polite introvert I might use it as a way of inquiring if a friend or family member were free to chat right now, not wanting to bother them with more words if they were busy. I dunno…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s what I was going to say, now I don’t have to. Can we move on the gmail’s newish suggested responses? Sure, write me a whole email with actual sentences and whole thoughts and gmail suggests I click “You’re so sweet! Thanks!” or “It worked!”

        Okay, sorry. Just thought being coached by my email on how to respond was more worthy of a rant than friends or family saying “Hi.” I guess there is going to be someone ready to be offended by anything.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Zazzy, I’ve never had any opinion about “hi!” texts so when I found this long involved online conversation about them I was curious. You’re right about how people can be offended by just about anything.

          That being said, I agree about the Gmail automatic email response suggestions. They are intrusive and insipid. However, even though I don’t like them I’m not offended by them enough to bash anyone who uses them. And therein is the major difference between me and the “hi!” text haters.

          Honestly, people have got to chill out over the little stuff.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you. People are weird.
    Observers are saying vocabulary ability has slipped, – along with using the right word for the context at hand. I’d say people communicate less due to isolation by technology…but have you noticed so many simply will not shut up -( Ewwww, spare me the details of all that personal gossip – None of anyone’s business to know – or even care for a lot of it, you self indulgent individual…). Maybe technology has created a situation where people don’t know when to speak and when to shut it?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. philmouse, I know what you mean. I think that Maury Povich + the Kardashians along with social media “influencers” have given many people the impression that it’s ok to tell everything about yourself to anyone who comes in contact with you. I also agree that due to technology we are communicating quickly and perhaps less thoughtfully. The combination of all of this… not so great.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I suppose if you answer and they don’t answer after that, I might be annoyed. Like, why’d you HI me if you didn’t wanna chat? My pet peeve is people who don’t end the conversation. In fact, I think they don’t see it as a conversation. It would be the equivalent of talking on the phone, finishing a sentence, then simply hanging up. This is why I don’t like texting. Most of the time, I’m never sure if we’re done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tara, I have that same feeling too about texting. It’s not my favorite thing. With close friends I’m clear about when the conversation is over, but with many people I never know. Am I supposed to say more?

      I think you’re right in that many people may not think of texting as a conversation. Smart observation.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I probably wouldn’t get irritated about it unless the person routinely sent “Hi” but never anything else. But I question the “why not say more” part of this whole concept. Is simply saying HI an attempt to see if the other person is free, interested, ready for more conversation by either replying or ignoring the HI- or are they really just sending off random HI’s to everyone on their contact list……
    Salutations are nice ways to begin a text to someone you don’t talk with often, but there surely must be a texting social rule that says you must add more or risk looking rather odd to the receiver.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I, too, wonder if a lone “hi!” is a way of seeing if someone is free to chat right now. I’d do that, I suppose. I hadn’t considered that someone might be randomly texting “hi!” to everyone. I guess that could happen. Maybe. By someone desperately in need of attention.

      I agree with you that there must be by now rules and etiquette regarding how a proper person texts. I however do not care enough to go find those rules and will continue to fly by the seat of my pants when forced to text.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am one of the “thems” like Almost Iowa who has never sent nor received (Or at least “read”) a text before. Since I rarely have my old 18th century flip phone turned on anyway, it would be difficult for someone to get a hold of me that way… even if they only wanted to say Hi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. evilsquirrel13, I don’t text too often, nor do I intend on changing my ways to include more texting. But if someone wants to send me a “hi!” text I’ll not be offended. I used to be like you and Almost Iowa, but over the last few years I’ve become more amenable to texting. On my old flip phone, it was difficult. On my new smart phone it’s easier. Not great, but easier.

      Like

  7. The single HI has never happened to me, and I use text often. I think I’d find it a bit annoying and a waste of time, but not to the extent that it would be a Major Gripe.

    What would rise to That Level, however, would be an off-topic comment hijacking my comments thread. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nance, I haven’t had this “hi!” happen to me either. I don’t text often and I only do with people who are Very Chatty Folks so they’d never just say one word. But if someone did I wouldn’t be upset by it. I’m too mellow to even care.

      And as for off-topic comments hijacking a comment thread, it happens to all of us eventually. I’m always amazed when it happens, but again I just go with it… fascinated… slightly perturbed… but… people be weird.

      Like

    1. Kate, I don’t think I’ve ever texted “hi!” to anyone, but apparently if you do some people will think less of you. I’m like you, when I text I have a reason and I’m going to get to it. But that doesn’t mean I expect everyone else to communicate in the same way that I do.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I did not know this was a thing to be discussed. However, if someone I knew texted me “hi” and nothing else, I would think it a bit odd but not take offense. Because they might have hit Send before they finished their thought. If it was someone I did not know, I would think the “hi” was the first part of a catfishing or some other type of scamming strategy. ‘Cos I’m plenty suspicious that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I was surprised when I stumbled upon this serious and intense discussion regarding a “hi!” text. I knew nothing about this alleged faux pas. I’d think the same thing as you said above. If it came from friends and family I’d wonder if they’d hit send too soon. And if it came from someone unknown, I’d ignore it. Probably block the number. Never think of it again.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. There are all sorts of people that I really need to let them know that I am thinking of them. A single Hi!, in passing, would solve an awful lot of problems, but might also cause some. Oh well.

    BTW – Hi!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joanne, I agree with you. Of all the things going wrong in our world, a one word text sent among friends and family doesn’t strike me as a problem. Perhaps I’m too mellow. Or perhaps I’m too centered in reality. All I know is that some people think a “hi!” text is wrong and worth complaining about. Go figure…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. If the ‘hi’ was from my son, I would be happy to hear it. He gets busy and isn’t as communicative as I would like sometimes, so “hi” would let me know he’s fine – or at least alive. I think we’re all too busy looking for things to be offended by and really just need to get a life.

    Like

    1. Carol, well put! I agree with all you’ve said here, especially the part about people not looking for things that offend them. I can accept a text, however short or long, for what it is… a message. Sent by someone who is still alive. And aware that I exist. Need there be more to it?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Now that most people have unlimited texting, I don’t understand the criticism either. “Hi” is a conversation starter. When we paid for each text or when I was out of the country and I got short texts, I let the people know that their “Hi” or “How are you?” had just cost me 50 cents. 🙂 You’re correct though that too many need a reason to complain and feel put upon. If I get a “Hi” text, I usually respond, “Hi, how are you? I was just thinking about you! What’s been going on?” or something of that nature. Obviously, I’m just as wordy in texting as I am in commenting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret, excellent point about the price it may or may not cost someone to send or receive a text. In that case, a one word text would be annoying. But that’s not what these people were talking about.

      Most of the people who I text with are wordy [like you], so I doubt that they’d ever even think to send a “hi!” text. But if they did, I’d receive it graciously– without complaint. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  12. At one time, I would have hated a text that just said Hi, because I had to pay FOR EACH TEXT I SENT OR RECEIVED. So it would really irritate me to get a Hi. Like when my mother would call and leave a message on my voice mail, “Call me.” In each case, I’d be like, “Why can’t you tell me what you want NOW?” “Hi–just thinking of you. Love you! No reply necessary. 🙂 “– Is that so hard? “Hi, it’s me. What was the name of that actress you used to call pie-face?” So now you know. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marian, does anyone still have to pay for each text sent or received? I don’t know. A rhetorical question, but one that you’re clever to mention.

      I tend to get to the point when I text or leave a voice mail message, but I can leave room in my heart for anyone who wants to start a conversation with a “hi!” text. I mean like your mother, not everyone is comfortable with modern communication devices so whatever works for them, works for me.

      Like

      1. Yes, a lot of people still use phones that are pay-as-you-go, so they pay for every text sent OR received. I don’t, so that isn’t an issue with me right now. Now, a “Hi!” just makes me wonder if my friend has been hacked and this is a spammer in disguise. lol

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I thought those pay-as-you-go phones were for the bad guys in TV crime shows, not for everyday folk. I suppose a spammer could start a conversation with “hi!” although spammers who find me usually have much more than one word to say! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Mine start with “hi!” Then, if I answer, it’s “How are you today, dear?” Then I either block them or say, “I’m fine. I’d be better if you bought some of my books. Here’s a buy link.” Then THEY block ME. But everyday folks use pay-as-you-go phones, too, if they don’t use it much. My husband has one he only loads if he’s going to be out on the road.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I love your approach. Very effective and subversively fun. I don’t use my cell phone often, but my husband uses his almost constantly for work. Our plan covers us both together so I guess it works to our benefit somehow. I’m not all that keen on cell phones. Does it show?

              Liked by 1 person

  13. Okay, I did some Googling. Apparently, it’s a lazy way to start a conversation: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/47buzr/how_do_you_deal_with_the_hi_text/

    Those people are considered texting monsters: https://gawker.com/5525675/the-nine-types-of-text-messaging-monsters

    I won’t add anymore links lest WP think I’m a spammer, but it’s just one of those texting conventions that people who text frequently understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Akilah, thank you for finding these links. I text infrequently so all of this is news to me + things I don’t do. Interesting how these links are from years ago, so I’m guessing that those people who jumped on the texting bandwagon early make the assumption that everyone knows these conventions. Most fascinating…

      Like

  14. To me it isn’t necessarily offensive, but, I typically know they are going to say more than just hi so why not say whatever it is in the first place? At least say “hi, how are you?” or something on that idea. just saying hi makes me say… what do you want/need

    Liked by 1 person

    1. teacherturnedmommy, good point. It’s not like you’d send a “hi!” text then say nothing more. [Well, you wouldn’t do that if you’re an adult and sane.] I’m a more get to the point sort of person, so when I text I’ve got something specific to say. But I can’t help wondering if for a shy person sending a “hi!” text is their way of quietly starting the conversation. 🤔

      Like

  15. So what am I missing here? In what way is texting “hi!” offensive? ‘Cuz to me this seems like a text tempest in a teapot. It’s NOT offensive. Someone has Instagram confused with some other social media site, although why “Hi” caused such venom spewing, I’m not sure. I do know, that IF I was on Instagram (I’m not. I’ve tried to get interested, but all I did get was increasingly frustrating log in ‘requirements’ and utter dim-wittedness when I was able to log in. And I don’t ‘do’ photographs, I’m about the words, so no. I don’t believe I’d have followed that particular party though. Because who knows what might set them off. TEENAGE tempest in a teapot in my opinion.

    And having said that, I’m guilty of bile towards stupidity, and sharing that bile and my perspective of why whatever it is causes me to have bile in the first place with other bloggers. We all have our triggers…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Melanie, I agree that this seemed like a juvenile thing to fuss about, but these were adults doing the fussing. I was drawn into the comments because I kept thinking that someone would call these people out, but no one did. At that point I wondered how out of it I must be, to not think texting “hi!” was a bad thing. Hence this post.

      Like you IG doesn’t draw me in the way words do. I’m there and I try to remember to post photos every week, but I forget about it. I want to love it, and I’ve found some great people there, but somehow it doesn’t call to me.

      Like

  16. A friend of mine on FB was making casseroles for a homeless shelter and asked for recipes – so I suggested an easy to make ham and cream cheese casserole that most people love. Another one of her friends came unglued. “Homeless people shouldn’t be forced to eat ham” she said. Obviously she’s never witnessed people dumpster diving for food. Besides there’s always turkey ham.

    Like

  17. I don’t really text anyone Hi! nor do I think I’ve been texted such a greeting. If you texted me Hi! I’d smile and reply, “Hi, Ally Bean!”
    I’ve read the responses here, and I must say, I have only texted one of the people in the thread and I’m sure glad I didn’t say Hi! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joey, like you I’ve never texted anyone a “hi!” nor have I received one. But I cannot believe that I’d think bad thoughts about anyone who did that to me. That’s what got me about the commenters– they all were quite put out about any “hi!” text ever coming their way. And all I could think was… why? Maybe somebody cares about you? Isn’t that a good thing?

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I think the problem with just getting a “hi” message is that you, as the reader are then expected to respond and you don’t have any context in which to respond really aside from “hi, you ok?” but you don’t really know what that person wants or needs and it just makes the whole text thing feel really awkward and conversation stilted… still, if quite like to receive a “hi” text as it means the sender is thinking enough about you to text you in the first place! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Suzi Tench, you’ve nailed it. That’s what I’ve come to understand about the “hi!” text. It’s the vagueness and the awkwardness of one that upsets people. This I didn’t know before I wrote this post. I’m like you though, if I received one I’d be sort of charmed that someone somewhere was thinking of me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! It’s one of those texts that most people just don’t know what to do with especially as texting is more about communicating and asking questions and replying! A hi text just leaves a lot of people really confused! Lol! Xx

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I wonder if this is a hangover from the world of internet dating where the perception is that a “Hi” or a “Hey” is often followed by a dick pic – which my experience backs up. Still, I never bothered blocking anyone until after the dick pic arrived & never considered it worth expending energy to complain about one word greetings – not when you can use either the auto-block facility, or skim read & ignore option.

    I guess this rationale could apply if the friends being mentioned were of the “with benefits” kind, but genuine friends & family … nope, I don’t get why you’d be bothered. And if you are, why not take it up with them rather than complain to the internet at large. Passive aggressive much?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. But like I said earlier, I never just get a “hi” from anyone who KNOWS me, so it’s literally always THAT.

      Minus the dick pics. I’ve been married longer than the internet’s been around. The few who might’ve tried it are pretty sure I’d just laugh and post them on meme generator for others to “enjoy.” The lonely hearts scammers are just never sure which appeals: rugged military man blowing things up; man with rescued puppy; single dad with little girl on lap; guy with private holding booze; or, big breasted dick lips selfie taken in truck stop bathroom. I’m holding out for something more interesting, like a private car on the VSOE.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Now, somehow, I feel like I’ve been marginalized by not ever getting a “hi!” text. Like the world has passed me by… as I suspected when I wrote above: how far out of touch am I? Very, seems to be the answer.

        Like

    2. Deb, I bet you’re right that this hatred of “hi!” first started in the internet dating world– something about which I know nothing. In your example of a dick pic I can see how the word “hi!” would come to mean an unwanted text is to follow.

      Now that you say it, I agree that these commenters were being passive aggressive. You make an excellent point that among friends and family you should talk with them about how this kind of text bothers you, not whine on the internet at large.

      I have no memory of receiving a “hi!” text nor have I sent one, so when I stumbled on this serious conversation, I was baffled, to say the least. Thanks for your insights into this topic.

      Like

  20. On this blog, one is always amongst the users and lovers of words, so I’m not surprised that there’s not a “hi”-er amongst us. I think we should all be jolly pleased with ourselves 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I’ve promised myself that I wouldn’t post anymore about texting because I’ve probably done it three times too many at this point. But commenting on someone else’s blog? Well, that’s different. 🙂 I guess I don’t have a problem with someone simply texting “hi” to me. My distaste, as someone above was getting to also, is that I hate for texting to be a substitute for actual communication. “Hi” is fine, but please call me if the relationship is important to you (or conversely, answer my calls when I call you). The older I get, the less enthralled I am with technology taking the place of interpersonal exchanges. – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marty, I have no problem with friends &/or family sending a “hi!” text to me. I wouldn’t think a thing of it, but from what I can tell many people wouldn’t want that to happen to them. It seems that this particular text has many different meanings. I prefer to see people in person, so when I text it’s usually about the specifics of when we’ll be meeting up. I’m with you in thinking that technology cannot always take the place of interpersonal exchanges. It can facilitate them, but not replace them. Yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Hey – is that better? My kids sometimes start out with just that. Sometimes they want something, sometimes they just want to see if I’m available to chat. I don’t care either way, I’m just thankful someone wants to talk to me – LOL. I don’t have time to read through all the 100+responses here, did you friend this person? I would not have if the comments were all as you say. Not sure I’d want to be friends with a person who has friends like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, yes by all means send me a “hey” text. Although I have no prob with a “hi!” text because like you, I think it’s nice that someone wants to talk with me. And I know how to say “no” or “later” if I need to.

      I did not friend this person with the “hi!” text haters because she + her followers seemed a little too unhappy to me. ‘Ya know?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Elen, I’m with you. In fact, I don’t think anything about most of my text conversations. But I now know that not everyone is as laissez-faire about the words you use when you text your friends and family. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

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