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The Best Way to Respond to Text Messages

That’s 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 attempting 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 like comedy, however, to my nice detriment, I react to jokes the identical method my 6-year-old son appreciates his toys — by taking them aside and attempting to determine what makes them work. I’ve additionally by no means been an “LOL” individual, particularly over textual content. It’s uncomfortably performative, like typing “Ouch!” while you unintentionally sit in your automobile keys. Although 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 multiple “LOL” in a textual content thread, I can’t assist considering this individual is about to ask me for a journey to the airport.

For some time I most popular a easy “Ha,” till I realized, by way of some detrimental suggestions, to improve to the extra emotive “Ha!” That felt like a commensurate response to a joke advised over textual content, till the effectively turned poisoned by that formless string of “HA”s. You’ve seen it, and also you’ve most likely performed it: “HAHAHAHAHAHA.” Seems nice on paper, feels nice in a textual content thread, nevertheless it’s anarchic. Not solely does it make the “Ha!” out of the blue seem patronizing, it units a horrible new commonplace, as a result of there isn’t any commonplace. What number of “HA”s are sufficient? In any group thread, the “HA” string rapidly results in nightmare eventualities 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!]

Once you’re improvising these “HA”s like jazz music, it turns into onerous to trace your work and straightforward 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 recommend a curdling of your assist.

That’s the enjoyment of the “HA HA” Tapback’s neat, enticing uniformity: simply a big “HA,” and one among diminished measurement beneath it, suggesting there’s most likely no extra the place that got here from. Gone are lengthy, competing “HA” strings of various lengths. Additionally 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 all the joke-grading system to “cross/fail,” and any professor tasked with grading that method is aware of extra persons are more likely to cross — perhaps even a number of who don’t need to. The “HA HA” Tapback’s particular sort of magic is the best way it meets your expectations because it lowers them.

I as soon as noticed a comic current his complete 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 amusing. I’ll take it.” The “HA HA” Tapback streamlines an enormous community of sophisticated and exhausting wants to simply the one: I noticed amusing. I’ll take it.

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