Given the typically casual format of text messages, I'd normally advise against going down the very slippery slope that is trying too hard to decipher the context. We've all been there and driven ourselves insane in the process. (And seriously mom, one-word responses do not mean I'm mad at you.) However, there does appear to be some sort of punctuation-related cause to explain those assumptions we all make about a person based on how they text.
Researchers at Binghamton University conducted a scientific study where 126 college-aged subjects read two separate text conversations and revealed their interpretations, MTV reports. Basically, they deemed any responses that were followed by a period as insincere (read: fake AF).
On the other hand, when it came to texts that were followed by an exclamation point, the subjects interpreted the messages as sincere.
Celia Klin, associate professor of psychology and associate dean at Binghamton University's Harpur College, broke it down in a statement that reads: "Texting is lacking many of the social cues used in actual face-to-face conversations. When speaking, people easily convey social and emotional information with eye gaze, facial expressions, tone of voice, pauses, and so on."
"People obviously can't use these mechanisms when they are texting," she continues. "Thus, it makes sense that texters rely on what they have available to them — emoticons, deliberate misspellings that mimic speech sounds and, according to our data, punctuation."
Welp, for those of you who are all in your feelings because you thought excellent grammar would get you everywhere you needed to go in life, sorry (!) to burst your bubble, but you'll make more friends if you switch your texting style up a little, even if it feels like you're always yelling.
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