You have plans with a friend but you never hear from them. You assume they’ve blown you off. Turns out they sent you a text that never went through. Or tried to reach you but, since your home’s in a dead zone, your phone never rang and the voicemail doesn’t show up til later. Or you forgot that you turned your ringer off when you went to the movies earlier that day and you never turned it back on. It’s understandable…but it still feels bad. Most of the time, though, it’s simpler than that: you write an email or send off a quick text and it gets misinterpreted. If you can’t hear the tone of what’s being said, how do you know whether a text or an email is playful or sarcastic, flirtatious or serious? All the smiley faces and winks in the world can’t help that. And so I respond to an email or a text and I don’t hear back. And I feel worried. I ponder my response over and over again. Could it have been interpreted as bitchy when I meant to be playful? Interpreted as angry when, in truth, I was sad? It would’ve been easier to pick up the phone but I don’t. And I wonder, how did it ever get so complicated?