Ever received a weird text message and had a tough time coming up with a response? This new website might be able to help you.
Called Textie, it uses crowdsourcing to come up with replies to awkward texts. It’s been live for about two weeks, according to Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey, and most of the tricky texts in question have to do with relationships.
To use Textie, you have to create an account. Then, you can either copy and paste or type in the text message that’s vexing you. This creates an opportunity for users to edit or completely fabricate their texts, of course, but most of them seem authentic.
Here’s a smattering of the problem texts that users enter into Textie.
After users enter their problem texts, they wait for possible replies from the crowd.
Here’s an example from a user named Lolaa:
At the time of this writing, Lolaa’s text had received nine suggested replies. The points above each response show how many votes they have gotten from other users.
Some users assumed Lolaa also wanted more from her friendship with the texter:
Others figured Lolaa was looking for a way to reject them.
It’s fun to see how other people would respond to certain texts. This, rather than Textie’s intended crowdsourcing purpose, is its main appeal. Each awkward text presents the reader with a case study of how differently people can respond to situations.
It’s also interesting to see what kind of heavy subject matter people are willing to tackle via text:
The most striking part about the above message is that the texter starts it out by saying “not much” is going on in his life, but then dumps the recipient and tells them he’s gotten his ex-girlfriend pregnant.
The most popular response offers a measured and mature reply to the pregnancy text:
But other responders weren’t so charitable. A simple “good luck with that” seemed to be the most popular response.
One poster decided to thicken the plot by adding a new detail.
While another decided to use the opportunity to quote “Mean Girls.”
We found one instance where the original poster responded to say they’d be using one of the crowdsourced responses. Here’s the awkward text:
And here are a few crowdsourced comebacks, with the user, blokey1, responding to say which one he’d be using.
I decided to test Textie with an awkward text of my own. I dug through my past messages and found one that I think was appropriate. It had stopped me in my tracks at the times so I thought it was a good test.
But the suggested responses from other Textie users weren’t that helpful. Plus, it took five hours for a possible answer to even show up. If I was really looking for advice on how to respond, I probably would have given up within 30 minutes.
The verdict: Textie is an entertaining tool and a great way to see how people get out of dealing with awkward situations by using texts to diffuse the weirdness.
Just don’t count on this service to always give you a viable response to the awkward texts you receive. It’s more entertaining than it is useful.