Why Texts Ending In Full Stops Freak Us Out So Much, According To A Psychologist

Ah texting… truly one of the most brilliant and stress-inducing inventions in human history. At the beginning it was a simple and instant way to communicate but now, it’s evolved it’s own language, etiquette and customs.

Between emojis, kimojis and acronyms for phrases that don’t need acronyms, there lies the full stop. Known out of the texting world as a piece of punctuation used to indicate the end of a sentence. However, in the realm of text communication, a well-placed full stop is a forewarning that says: “hey, you better lock your doors tonight because you and me – we’ve got a problem”.

But why is it that way? Texting etiquette has developed so far that there is a loose and lenient understanding that everyone texts differently. Some text in full sentences, others in secret ‘lazy code’. However, achieving a polite and consistent tone is nearly impossible – you’re always going to upset someone with your flagrant emojis.

In one study, psychologist Daneille Gunraj put the one-sentence, full stop text to the test. People found these messages, not only rude, but insincere and sarcastic. Another study found that we often use full stops during longer texts to break up sentences but only use them on the last sentence of the text 29% of the time!

The reason is seems rude is because you don’t have to use them. By pressing send you’re indicating that your message is done, it’s finished, cooked all the way through. A full stop is like an unnecessary punch that says more than just: “this message is over”. It’s the texting equivalent of aggressively maintaining eye contact.

It’s different when texting a close friend or a family member; they understand how you text. The trouble comes is when you’re organising a date or meet-up and you’re coming across like a sarcastic Ice Queen – unless that’s the look you’re going for, in which case, keep up the good work…