Text messages are the easiest way to communicate, but a lot gets lost in translation. Without vocal tone or facial expressions for context, a text can be easily misread. According to a new study, the absolute worst way to end a text is with a period.
According to the study conducted at Binghamton University, text messages that end with a period are seen as insincere. To reach these findings, 126 undergrads were given a series of 16 messages and graded them based upon the punctuation used. For instance, for the question, “Wanna hang out?” see how different the two responses look:
The first response appears more willing and happy. Of course, I’ll hang out with you.
The second, featuring a period, could be read as angry or short. Ugh. Of course, I’ll hang out with you. I guess. Ugh.
The study also found that exclamation points were read as even more impactful and serious. “Punctuation is used and understood by texters to convey emotions and other social and pragmatic information,” said the researcher behind the study. “Given that people are wonderfully adept at communicating complex and nuanced information in conversations, it's not surprising that as texting evolves, people are finding ways to convey the same types of information in their texts."
In other words, just stick with emojis and memes.