I’d like to take this opportunity to talk to you all about a very serious epidemic that is sweeping our nation. One of every four 20-somethings succumb to this illness every weekend. Everyone look to your left. Now look to your right. There’s no one there, right? Then you’ve probably already fallen victim to this crippling disorder.
Imagine this scenario: It’s Friday night and you’re out with your friends having a great time. This past week has been absolute murder, so you’re ready to unwind. Your best friend Erin orders a round of tequila shots, and who are you to turn down a free shot? One shot leads to two, two shots lead to seven, and before you know it, you’re performing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” karaoke (only later to realize there was no karaoke at that bar).
Now on your Fantastic Voyage to a hangover, you may have wandered away from your friends and lost your left shoe (and maybe a bit of your pride) but the one thing you managed to hang on to is your trusty cell phone. Good thing too, because when your blackout starts to wear off around 4 AM, you’re coherent enough to call a friend to tell them you are near a mailbox and a man with a beard, and can they please pick you up?
The downside to carting your phone around with you is drunk texting. As if your hangover wasn’t bad enough, you realize that you texted God’s entire green earth last night in varying states of coherence. I’m not saying all drunk texting is bad, but all drunk texting is definitely not good.
Let me break it down for you (but I promise to lay off the rap for a while).
Level 1 – Green – Low
This stage usually occurs in the beginning of the night, after one or two pregame drinks. These text messages are indistinguishable from sober text messages. They are mainly administrative texts to figure out where everyone is and where you’re meeting and who’s going to be there and OMG that place sucks, let’s go somewhere else. (This is assuming all of your friends aren’t already with you. I love texting as much as the next guy, but if you’re having an in person conversation via text, you may have a problem.)
Level 2 – Blue – Guarded
A few more drinks, and you’re feeling great. And you want everyone you know to feel great too. There is a lot of love going on at this level. You start texting your friends that you aren’t with. Sure, they might currently be 400 miles from where you are, but still, if they come out with you tonight it would be so fun! You are having an awesome time and want to drink awesome shooters and listen to awesome music and sit around and soak up each other’s awesomeness. Your friends on the opposite coast probably won’t be joining you for a beer, but they’re glad you thought of them. This is the stage where drunk texting is fun and yields positive results.
Level 3 – Yellow – Elevated
The night is taking off and those shots have just started to hit you. Now you’re texting everyone in your phone: the friends you’re with, the friends you’re not with, your cousin, that guy you met last week at Starbucks, any and all former relationships, somehow you even have the number of your high school English teacher. These texts are specific to the recipient. Your former roommate who you hated gets a passive aggressive text message about how great your current living situation is; your ex-boyfriend gets a sappy text regarding how much you miss them, etc. Whatever thought swims through the booze in your head when you see their name in your contact list is what you send. This is where the texting gets dicey, because you stop being polite and start getting real.
Level 4 – Orange – High
Once it hits your lips, it’s just so good. But since you’ve been channeling Frank the Tank, you’ve let your fingers do some unsupervised walking. Any text conversations you were having in Level 3 have been amplified. What started out as a harmless flirtatious text to that guy/girl you always flirt with has turned ugly; you keep sending romantic things (“i think ur pretty n stuff” or “cum here n make out with me”) to no response. One of the texts from your friend from high school struck the wrong note with you and now you’re furious at them for being such a douchebag. Your saving grace is that a lot of these text messages are grossly misspelled. Unfortunately the sentiments come through loud and clear. These text messages are never pleasant to read the next day.
Level 5 – Red – Severe
Prior to or immediately following a blackout, you reach level five. Ironically, while this is the highest level of drunk texting, it poses one of the lowest threats to your pride the following morning. This is because as much as you want to tell someone off, it looks like you’ve been typing with your elbows. The letter X appears in practically every word. Good thing Crackerjack doesn’t give away secret drunk text decoder rings, or your drunken/horny/angry/depressed true intentions would be revealed. The only thing being revealed by these text messages is your elevated blood alcohol content.
Once you can learn to recognize the stages of drunk texting, you can help to prevent Level 5 from being reached. If you do happen to ascend to higher levels of drunk texting, I highly recommend deleting all your outgoing texts the next morning, as now that you’re Dr. Jekyll once more, you don’t want to know what Mr. Hyde got up to last night. If you, or anyone you know, is prone to this debilitating illness, please share this with them. After all, friends don’t let friends drink and text.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I plan to have a Level 5 weekend, so you can all expect a text message from yours truly.