The Best Way to Respond to Text Messages


That is the place “HA HA” stands alone. This excellent little blue capsule solves an issue that has at all times vexed my relationships with comedians or anybody making an attempt to inform me a joke — a perceived unwillingness on my half to adequately “give it up.” It’s no exaggeration to say that this Tapback has saved lots of my friendships.

I really like comedy, however, to my nice detriment, I react to jokes the identical approach my 6-year-old son appreciates his toys — by taking them aside and making an attempt to work out what makes them work. I’ve additionally by no means been an “LOL” particular person, particularly over textual content. It’s uncomfortably performative, like typing “Ouch!” once you by accident sit in your automobile keys. Though I’ve my very own deep effectively of want tethered to each joke I try, it nonetheless makes me anxious when folks use “LOL” too generously. Its motive feels questionable, like transactional flattery. When somebody sends a couple of “LOL” in a textual content thread, I can’t assist considering this particular person is about to ask me for a experience to the airport.

For some time I most well-liked a easy “Ha,” till I realized, via some adverse suggestions, to improve to the extra emotive “Ha!” That felt like a commensurate response to a joke instructed over textual content, till the effectively turned poisoned by that formless string of “HA”s. You’ve seen it, and also you’ve in all probability finished it: “HAHAHAHAHAHA.” Looks nice on paper, feels nice in a textual content thread, but it surely’s anarchic. Not solely does it make the “Ha!” immediately seem patronizing, it units a horrible new customary, as a result of there isn’t any customary. How many “HA”s are sufficient? In any group thread, the “HA” string rapidly leads to nightmare situations like this one:

PERSON A: [JOKE!]

PERSON B: HAHAHA

[A fine response; all is well.]

PERSON C: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

[Wow, I guess Person B hates jokes!]

When you’re improvising these “HA”s like jazz music, it turns into exhausting to monitor your work and simple to harm emotions. Set the bar too excessive with a dozen or extra, and, at any level sooner or later, even one fewer “HA” might counsel a curdling of your assist.

That’s the enjoyment of the “HA HA” Tapback’s neat, engaging uniformity: simply a big “HA,” and one among diminished measurement beneath it, suggesting there’s in all probability no extra the place that got here from. Gone are lengthy, competing “HA” strings of various lengths. Also gone are the overbearing “LOL” and the “streaming tears of laughter” emoji, which is, let’s face it, a bit a lot. The Tapback shifts the whole joke-grading system to “pass/fail,” and any professor tasked with grading that approach is aware of extra persons are doubtless to move — perhaps even a couple of who don’t deserve to. The “HA HA” Tapback’s particular sort of magic is the way in which it meets your expectations because it lowers them.

I as soon as noticed a comic current his total act to an viewers that responded, completely appropriately, with a dense wall of silence. At one level, after one more limp joke was obtained by nothing greater than room tone, a member of the viewers, presumably moved by the absurdity of all of it, expelled a tickled snort. The comedian onstage cocked his head barely, like a cat listening to a can opener three rooms away, and mentioned: “I heard a laugh. I’ll take it.” The “HA HA” Tapback streamlines an unlimited community of sophisticated and exhausting wants to simply the one: I noticed fun. I’ll take it.



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