Before the days of emoji, autocorrect and apps, there was the formidable, life-changing -- or ruining, depending if you were too drunk -- Blackberry Messenger, affectionately known in aggressively trendy social circles as BBM.
And before the days of stalking on every social media site possible, there were just PINGs.
Instead of ferociously sending 30 iMessages to reach someone, you PINGed until the person responded (or deleted you from BBM). While some might categorize these behaviors as super clingy, you prefer to call it super pingy.
I like to say: "People don’t change; they just become more of themselves," and in the case of your stage-five text messaging tendencies, this is absolutely true. We understand; old habits die hard. It started with a PING and ended with a cling.
Here are the signs you are a stage-five clinger based on your BBM habits.
1. You religiously looked for read receipts.
"John has totally read my response, but hasn't responded. Does he just like me so much he's playing it cool?"
Trolling for read receipts during the BBM days was kind of like waiting for Instagram likes today: You’re anxious, wondering when your phone is going to light up and you’re extremely uncertain if people actually find you attractive.
You were constantly checking up on this person to see if he or she read your messages; despite a solid five years, you still do the same. Old habits die hard.
2. You posted your PIN (and eventually barcode) on every social media page you had.
...Which was really just Facebook, and if you were super advanced and stalkery, Twitter too. Just in case he maybe didn’t scan it correctly the first hundred times you shoved your phone in his face, you made sure he’d be able to find it somehow.
You’re not encroaching; you’re #LeaningIn.
3. The first thing you said at parties was, “Nice to meet you, what's your pin?”
Since exchanging numbers signified taking things to the next level (yes, it did), swapping pins was like dating foreplay. Once you got the PIN, you were in. You could blow up his phone with stream of consciousness BBMs during Spanish class.
You could inappropriately contact him at 3 am when no one else wanted to take you home. Possessing just a few random digits and letters meant the possibilities were endless. And so were your BBMs.
4. Your status on BBM always included another person.
“I’m out. Bryan, you should know where to find me.” “If your name is Paul you know you need to BBM me.”
Subtlety was never your strong suit. But then again, this is why you’re a stage-five clinger.
5. Your phone lit up with different colors when he responded
You know, just in case the special ringtones and notifications weren’t enough. Now you know the exact moment he BBMed you back... not like you’ll respond for another 10 hours, though.
6. You never sent a complete thought.
It was broken down by 19 pings and interspersed with frantic, where the f*ck are you? messages. You literally blew up his phone from blasting him so much.
Hmm, maybe that’s why he no longer responds….
7. You had to change your BBM contact names to prevent yourself from drunk texting.
Self-control is clearly not your A-game. Thinking of clever ways to protect you from yourself, however, is.
You learned early on the best way to “not” is to confuse the sh*t out of yourself. (Do you even need alcohol to do that?)
8. You always had your PIN ready on deck.
God forbid you take too long to send it and he loses interest. Just like you still do, you were always jumping the gun. Remember (or don’t): There is such a thing as being too eager.
9. You forced the guy you were with to make his BBM pic a photo with you in it.
That’s not clingy at all.
10. You saw when he would accept someone else’s PIN.
“Wait, you totally didn’t have 97 BBM friends 20 minutes ago. Who is she? WHO IS SHE?”
11. You figured out ways to get around read receipts.
Copy and paste never gets old. You still use it today to mass text and steal his passwords. You may be getting older, but you’re definitely not growing up.
12. Your group chats were used to keep tabs on him (et. al).
These were the early days when you first figured out responding to a group chat and not an individual one meant he was flat-out ignoring you. Funnily enough, this hasn’t stopped you from continuing to BBM him.
Your texting motto is the same as your life one: no shame.
13. You actually downloaded BBM when it came back
Being a stage-fiver is the watered-down version of being a junkie. You just can’t quit it. (But remember, the first step is admitting you have a problem... so, maybe you should share this….).