It seems to have become a regular occurrence to have all of my friends converge around one cell phone to draft just the right response to a boy’s text message.

A group effort in texting back has now become the protocol, and it has left us feeling unable to respond to other human beings when we are by ourselves.

This is likely not a problem for people in relationships when conversations get stale, the days when an interesting text consists of what’s on the menu for dinner. It gets more interesting when you’re no longer waiting for the, “Can I talk to you about my day?”

I keep asking myself- why do we feel the inability to communicate ourselves to our counterparts? Is it because we’re afraid of saying the wrong thing that subsequently won’t merit a response? Are we just simply out of things to say? For some reason, we believe our friends can come up with some form of response considerably better than whatever would originally come from us initially.

This has been a pattern that I’ve picked up on now for months. Entire conversations between what is supposed to be two people in hopes of getting to know one another, are in reality made up of a compilation of the girl’s close friends.

Many of the texts I receive have been screen shots of texting threads between friends and whomever they are chatting with. She quickly briefs me on back story, following it up with, “Quick: it’s been a while since I’ve responded, what do I say?” Finding the appropriate response can seem like solving a mathematical equation. Voila, once it’s stated and approved by all, there is never apprehension when hitting send.

There’s only so much proof reading that your sounding-board friend can withstand. Inevitably, there will come a point when your problems and budding relationship can no longer be hers. There’s nothing worse than neither you nor your friends knowing what to respond. You are both stumped. She’s able to walk away, but you’re not. It’s here where you can measure your ability to “text a boy”. Though to your surprise, it always turns out just fine.

It has been countless times now that my friends and I have sat around one another thinking of responses. Generally the round table gets filled with loud interjections, disagreements and plenty of awful suggestions. You know which friend is likely to give advice that you most definitely will not write off as your own, and there is always one who knows exactly what to say. That friend is quickly your savior.

I wonder what the social implications are from this texting phenomenon. I can’t believe that my group of friends is the only one that participates in this “whole village” texting model, which leads me to wonder- who is texting me back?

When I picture the guy on the other side of the phone, I picture him hanging out with his friends but turning to the side, stepping out of conversation with a little smile on his face, to respond to me.  What I don’t picture is the equivalent of my friend group, four or so dudes crowded around an iPhone drafting his perfect response.