Remember when emojis completely changed the text messaging game? Well, these days you can do so much more to spice up your texts than by just adding a smiley face or a hand gesture. If you have iMessaging capabilities (sorry to my Android users) you can add effects, GIFS, stickers, and more to your texts. But in late 2016, Apple added something even better to its texting repertoire.
In my opinion, nothing enhances text messaging communication more than iMessage reactions. Again, I hate to alienate my non-iPhone users, but what I am about to write about is either completely irrelevant or incredibly annoying* to you.
Capitalizing on social media reaction buttons (i.e. liking a Facebook status or favoriting a tweet), Apple allows texters to do something similar. For those iPhone users who choose to do so, the option exists to either like, love, question, laugh at, or emphasize a text or photo in a text message conversation. All you have to do is hold down on the text or photo and decide how you wish to react to it.
Real quick examples to get everyone on the same page…
– If a friend texted me to say that he would meet me at the golf course in five minutes, I would “like” it.
– If my wife texted me a photo of Sloan sleeping, I would “love” the photo.
– If a reader found out my number and texted me telling how much my blog sucks, I would “laugh at” it.
– If my brother texted me saying he won $25,000, I would “emphasize” it.
– If my buddy from college sent me a drunken text with several misspellings, I would “question” it.
I love iMessage reactions. I started using them primarily in our infamous Reser Pride 7.0 group chat. This group is comprised of my immediate family and our significant others. An extremely supportive and active chain, I found myself using the reactions to recognize some of the great content that was coming through when I didn’t have time to compose a response text. It worked great.
Soon enough, I was using iMessage reactions with all of my iPhone text messaging conversations. It didn’t matter if I was talking to friends, co-workers, Sid’s family, or even mere acquaintances who texted me for the first time to ask a question. I was using iMessage reactions as if they were going out of style (and I still am).
But why? What is the benefit of using iMessage reactions? Let me give you my three brief reasons for using them to communicate.
Best Read Receipt Ever – As I mentioned above, sometimes you can’t respond to every text that hits your phone. However, just because you can’t reply doesn’t mean you can’t acknowledge that you have seen it. I never want to keep someone in the dark on whether I saw their message or not. So, if I don’t reply to something, I will “like” it. This sends a clear message that I did see the correspondence. Most of my loved ones know that if they send me a text and I don’t respond to it or react to it, it probably somehow got lost in my inbox.
Communication Enhancer – Using an iMessage reaction solidifies and enhances the communication process. You can use the reaction buttons to confirm, question, elaborate, agree, and approve. If you “question” something, the person is going to correct what was sent. If you “emphasize” something, the person is most likely going to expound a little more on the bombshell that was dropped. If you “like” something, then everything is cool. It is just so useful.
Honoring Superior Texts – If a text or photo is deserving, I will not only send a response but I will add a reaction as well. For example, every now and then my dad sends a text to our Reser Pride 7.0 group that has us all rolling in laughter. I will not only reward that text with a HAHAHAHAHA and an emoji laughing face but I will give it a “laughed at” reaction as well. Likewise, during the summer, Sid would send me videos of Sloan being cute. I would respond with something along the lines of what a precious baby we have while “loving it” as well. This double whammy never fails to communicate that I really appreciated what someone had sent.
I look forward to even more iMessage reactions being added to the lineup. As text messaging continues to evolve, I am excited to see what new rollouts will be offered in the future. Until then, text me the link to this blog post and I guarantee I will “love” it. Don’t Blink.
*If you are texting with a non-iPhone user and employ an iMessage reaction, the reaction will be “spelled out” as opposed to noted on the actual text bubble. So, if I “liked” a text message from Mr. Jason Android, he would get a message that says “Brent liked a text.”