With over 23 billion text messages1https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/01/06/the-past-present-and-future-of-messaging/?sh=5f002ab59f17 sent daily, it’s safe to say that texting has surpassed phone calls and e-mails in our daily lives. But texting doesn’t have to be tedious or brief.
Replace the mediocre “Hey” or “What’s up?” with one of these intriguing questions or prompts to create a more meaningful discussion.
General Conversation Starters for Texting
Statistics say that more than 60% of people read their texts2https://techjury.net/blog/sms-marketing-statistics/#gref within 5 minutes of receiving them. But how many get a response? Here’s how to stand out in their inbox and dig more profound than the regular “Hey, how are you?”
- The Day Brightener: What’s the best part of your day so far?
- The Excitement Magnet: Working on anything exciting at the moment?
- The Weekend Wanderer: What do you have planned this weekend?
- The Drama Teaser: You won’t believe what just happened!
- The Opinion Pollster: What’s your opinion on _______?
- The Viral Verifier: Did you see that viral [meme, social media post, video]? What did you think?
- The Mini-Bio Challenge: How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
- The Vacation Voter: Would you choose a road trip or a resort vacation?
- The Craving Curator: What food are you craving right now?
- The Culinary Conundrum: Can you help me choose between Thai and Italian food? I can’t decide 🤪
- The Fantasy Forager: What would you rather have: unlimited money or unlimited time?
- The Motivation Mapper: What motivates you?
- The Cosmic Connector: What’s your astrological sign?
- The Role Model Revealer: Who is your biggest role model?
- The Nostalgic Note: What was your first concert?
- The Bucket List Brainstorm: What are your top 5 bucket list activities?
- The Pet Peeve Probe: What is something people do that drives you nuts?
- The Childhood Dreamer: What was your dream job as a kid?
- The Reading Radar: What’s the most exciting thing you’ve read recently?
- The Tech Tug-of-War: What do you love and hate about technology?
- The Time-Travel Tempter: If you could time travel, what era would you revisit?
- The Trendsetter’s Trial: What is something trendy that annoys you?
And while you’re at it, check out this goodie!
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Icebreaker Texts for Professional Networking
How do you text someone after a networking event? Sure, you could stick with the vanilla, “Hi, I was impressed with your latest project,” but why blend in when you can stand out? Let’s turbo-charge your career connections with icebreaker texts that will make you memorable for all the right reasons.
- The Curiosity Spark: “Hi [Name], I noticed you recently spoke at [Event]. What was your biggest takeaway?”
- The Compliment Sandwich: “Hi [Name], I’m a huge fan of your work, especially [specific project]. How did you come up with such an innovative approach?”
- The Future Gazer: “Hi [Name], as someone who’s also passionate about [Industry], I’d love to hear your thoughts on where things are headed in the next 5 years.”
- The Skill Seeker: “Hi [Name], I noticed you’re an expert in [Skill]. Any pro tips for someone looking to improve?”
- The Article Sharer: “Hi [Name], I just read this article about [Topic] and immediately thought of your work. What’s your take?”
- The Event Buddy: “Hi [Name], are you attending [Upcoming Event]? Would love to catch up and hear your insights.”
- The Mutual Connection: “Hi [Name], I see we both know [Mutual Connection]. How did you two meet?”
- The Podcast Fan: “Hi [Name], I heard you on [Podcast] and your points about [Topic] were spot on. Have you considered hosting your own podcast?”
- The Project Collaborator: “Hi [Name], I’ve got this project coming up that’s right up your alley. Interested in collaborating?”
- The Webinar Enthusiast: “Hi [Name], I attended your recent webinar on [Topic]. The section on [Specific Point] was particularly eye-opening!”
- The Bookworm: “Hi [Name], I saw that you recommended [Book]. It had some game-changing ideas, didn’t it?”
- The Time Traveler: “Hi [Name], if you could give one piece of advice to your younger self just starting in [Industry], what would it be?”
- The Empathy Card: “Hi [Name], I know [Current Industry Challenge] is tough right now. How are you adapting?”
- The Award Acknowledger: “Hi [Name], congrats on winning [Award]. What’s your secret sauce?”
- The Recommendation Seeker: “Hi [Name], I’m exploring new books/blogs in [Industry]. Got any must-reads?”
- The Local Explorer: “Hi [Name], I noticed you’re also based in [City]. Know any good local spots for a working lunch?”
- The Hobby Detective: “Hi [Name], saw on LinkedIn you’re into [Hobby]. Me too! How do you find the time?”
- The Social Media Maven: “Hi [Name], just retweeted your latest post. Mind if I pick your brain on social media strategy?”
- The Industry News Reporter: “Hi [Name], did you see the latest news on [Industry Development]? Would love to hear your thoughts.”
- The Insight Trader: “Hi [Name], I have a unique insight on [Topic] that I think you’ll find valuable. Care to trade thoughts?”
Texts to Reconnect with Old Friends
The digital landscape is littered with missed connections and friendships that faded into the sands of time. But here’s the good news: A text is all it takes to reignite an old friendship! Try these to rekindle that flame.
- The Time Capsule: Remember that time we went on that crazy road trip? How have you been since our last great adventure?
- The Missing Ingredient: Life has been like a cookie without chocolate chips—good but not as great as when you were around. What’s new?
- The Anniversary Acknowledger: Hey, it’s been a year since we last met up! Time flies, huh? Let’s catch up soon.
- The Curiosity Spark: Working on any exciting projects lately? I always admired your creativity.
- The Stroll Down Memory Lane: Just passed by our old hangout spot and thought of you. How have you been?
- The Songbird: Heard “our song” on the radio today and immediately thought of you. What have you been up to?
- The Career Checker: I saw you got a new job—congrats! How’s it treating you?
- The Milestone Messenger: Happy Birthday! 🎂 Hope you’re doing something as awesome as you are to celebrate.
- The Nostalgia Nudger: I just found photos from our college days. We look so young! How’s life treating you now?
- The Globe-Trotter’s Query: Saw you went to Italy from your social media. It looked amazing! Tell me all about it.
- The TV Buddy: Remember how we used to binge-watch Friends? What’s your go-to show these days?
- The Festive Friend: Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah/Happy Holidays! 🎄 How have you been celebrating?
- The Sudden Spotlight: Just saw someone who looked exactly like you and had to reach out. How have you been?
- The Foodie Flashback: I went to our favorite pizza place and it wasn’t the same without you. What’s your new favorite eatery?
- The Life Update: So much has happened since we last talked! How about a quick catch-up?
- The FOMO Friend: I keep seeing your fun posts on social media and I’m getting FOMO! Let’s hang soon.
- The Heartfelt Honesty: I really miss our chats and would love to catch up. How have you been?
- The Old Days DJ: Remember our old road trip playlist? What are your current jams?
- The Seasonal Salute: Can you believe it’s already fall? How have you been since we saw each other last spring?
- The Paws Pause: Saw a cute dog that reminded me of your old pet. How are you and any new pets these days?
Want to start a conversation with anyone? Watch our video to learn some killer conversation starters:
Conversation Starters for Couples Texting
A short and sweet text is a great way to let your significant other know you’re thinking of them throughout the day. You can use the opportunity to check in on how they’re doing, wish them luck on a specific activity, or bring a much-needed smile to their face (if you know they’re somewhere they don’t want to be).
- The Day Enhancer: How is your day going, and how can I improve it?
- The Memory Lane Stroll: Remember that one time we ______?
- The Eager Listener: How did your [class/interview/meeting/event] go? I can’t wait to hear about it!
- The Morning Mood-Setter: Good morning beautiful/handsome! What are you looking forward to today?
- The Emoji Journalist: What’s an emoji that sums up your day?
- The First Impression Inquisitor: What was your first impression of me?
- The Daily Affirmation Dealer: Here’s your daily reminder that you are the smartest, cutest, funniest person I know. I’m so grateful to have you in my life.
- The Inspiration Investigator: Your ambition/creativity/zest for life inspires me so much. What’s your secret?
- The Music Mood Matcher: What song do you have on repeat today?
- The Sentimental Swooner: I miss you. I saw [your favorite food/car/place] and thought of you earlier.
- The Milestone Mapper: What was one of the best moments of your life so far?
- The Sweet Distraction: I have so much to do, but I keep getting distracted thinking about you.
- The Guilty Pleasure Puzzler: So what’s your guilty pleasure?
- The Craving Whisperer: What have you been craving lately?
- The Daydream Dabbler: Waking up to you was the best part of my day. I can’t wait to see you after work.
- The Romantic Dreamer: What is the most romantic thing you’ve always dreamed someone would do for you?
- The Compliment Collector: What’s the best compliment someone has ever given you?
- The Relationship Reporter: What do you want most in a relationship?
- The Love Lab Analyst: What would it be if you could change one thing about our relationship?
- The Mood-Boosting Maestro: Just curious: what’s the best way to cheer you up when you’re in a bad mood?
- The Future Fun Planner: I can’t wait until the next time we _______.
- The Massage Maestro: Do you want a foot or back massage tonight?
Pro Tip: Send a random photo of something that reminds you of them. Whether it’s a car they like, their favorite flower in bloom, or a restaurant menu they’d love, sending pics via text is a great way to initiate a thoughtful conversation.
Conversation Starters for Group Texts
Navigating a group text can feel like herding cats or like being the lead guitarist in a jam band—you’ve got to know when to take the spotlight and when to hang back. That’s why starting a group text with the right conversation starter is key. It sets the tone and invites everyone to participate, turning the chat into a real party.
- The Event Planner: So, who’s up for a movie night this weekend?
- The Weekend Warrior: TGIF, everyone! Any fun plans for the weekend?
- The Trend Tracker: Guys, have you seen the latest viral challenge? Thoughts?
- The Culinary Consultant: I’m having a BBQ on Saturday. Who’s in?
- The Debate Starter: Pineapple on pizza: yes or no?
- The Birthday Herald: It’s [Friend’s name]’s birthday coming up. Gift ideas?
- The Movie Buff: What’s everyone watching on Netflix these days? I need recommendations!
- The Book Clubber: Has anyone read any good books lately?
- The Game Organizer: How about a game night next week?
- The Sports Enthusiast: Who’s watching the game tonight?
- The Trivia Master: Quick, without googling, who knows the capital of Australia?
- The Music Maven: I need new workout songs. Share your pump-up jams!
- The Time-Capsule Opener: Throwback Thursday! Share the oldest photo you have in your phone.
- The Daily Pollster: Coffee or tea? Vote now!
- The Foodie Quizmaster: If you could only eat one cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- The Holiday Helper: Halloween is coming up. Costume ideas, anyone?
- The Escape Artist: If you could go anywhere right now, where would you go?
- The Seasonal Querier: What’s everyone’s favorite thing about fall?
- The DIY Diva: I’m feeling crafty. Any fun DIY project ideas?
- The Philosopher: If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be?
Conversation Starters for Texting Your Crush
Your heart leaps when their name appears on your phone, but you never quite know what to send to get a text convo flowing. Complimenting your crush, making a flirty implication, or making plans are great ways to start.
- The Calendar Coordinator: Hey! Let’s get together—when are you free?
- The Show Sleuth: I finally checked out the recommended show, and I’m addicted now. How do you already know me so well?
- The Foodie Inviter: I just discovered a new [their favorite food] spot. Want to join me this weekend?
- The Weekend Wooer: What are you doing this weekend? Besides hanging out with me, of course.
- The Date Debrief: Is it just me, or did we knock that first date thing out of the park?
- The Emoji Enigma: Guess which emoji I put next to your name on my phone?
- The Cinematic Soul-Seeker: What’s your favorite movie and why?
- The Compliment Caster: You are so cute. I’d love to hang out sometime.
- The Single Stunner: Hey, gorgeous/handsome. How the heck are you still single?
- The Ticket Teaser: I have an extra ticket to [concert/festival]. Want to come?
- The Dinner Duelist: Beer and burgers or pasta and wine?
- The Melodic Messenger: (Send a YouTube or Spotify link) This song just reminded me of you.
Flirty Text Conversation Starters
Whether you’re messaging on a dating app or sending the first message after getting someone’s phone number, a flirty text is the easiest way to make the first move. Don’t be afraid to be creative, quirky, or a little forward. Many people are willing to text things they may not say out loud.
- The Weekend Intruder: What do you have planned for this Saturday? Can I be part of those plans?
- The Smile Stalker: I can’t get your smile out of my head.
- The Celebrity Spotter: Has anyone ever told you that you look like [attractive celebrity]?
- The Battery Hero: My phone has only 5% battery, but I’m using the last of it to text you.
- The Movie Matcher: Watching a movie and the main character looks just like you… except obviously not as cute.
- The Flirt Fast-Tracker: Can we skip the small talk and go straight to flirting?
- The Instagram Investigator: You’re killing me with these Instagram selfies you keep posting. Where did you take that most recent one?
- The Emoji Encoder: What emoji reminds you of me?
- The Date Decider: Netflix and chill or movie date?
- The Snuggle Scout: I have Netflix on, but nobody to snuggle with. Can you help me out?
- The Dream Digger: What did you dream about last night?
- The Dream Teaser: You’ll never guess what I dreamed about last night.
- The Kissing Countdown: I can’t wait to kiss you again.
- The Mood Setter: What’s your perfect setting for a romantic evening: candlelit dinner or starlit beach?
- The Cozy Cuddler: It’s cold out today. Can I come warm you up?
- The Hoodie Host: I have an oversized, cozy hoodie with your name on it.
- The Scent Sleuth: I can still smell your cologne/perfume in my car.
Weird and Funny Conversation Starters for Texting
How often do people LOL from a text anymore? A random funny text is the opportunity to connect over a shared sense of humor or maybe form some inside jokes that will have you and your best friend cracking up next time you hang out. And when you want to stand out in someone’s phone inbox, a strange or random question can spice things up quickly.
- The Pet Psychic: If your pet could talk, what would it say to you?
- The Joke Juggler: Could you send me your corniest joke? I’ll go first: Why do melons have weddings? … They cantaloupe.
- The Counselor of Crazy: What’s the craziest advice you’ve ever received?
- The Movie Misleader: Have you seen the new movie, Constipated? (Wait for response) It hasn’t come out yet.
- The Laugh-o-Meter: When’s the last time you laughed so hard your stomach hurt?
- The Celebrity Caster: What celebrity would play you in a movie about your life?
- The Talent Scout: What’s your weirdest hidden talent?
- The Prank Puzzler: What’s the worst prank someone has ever played on you?
- The Financial Flirt: Are you a loan? Because you got all my interest🏦😜
- The GIF Gabber: (Send a Step Brothers GIF) Our friendship in a nutshell.
- The Puzzling Pianist: What’s the difference between a piano, a tuna, and a glue pot? (Wait for response) You can tuna piano, but you can’t piano a tuna. (They ask about the glue pot) …I knew you’d get stuck there 😉
- The Emoji Exploiter: (Send a funny gasping GIF) My face when I found out ______.
- The Toe Trader: Would you cut off your pinky toe for $1 million?
- The Event Exclaimer: OMG, you won’t believe what just happened.
- The Zombie Ally: Would you be on my team for the zombie apocalypse?
- The Foodie Philosopher: What’s the weirdest food combo you’ve ever tried?
- The Culinary Character Analyst: What food describes your personality?
- The Extraterrestrial Expert: Do you believe in aliens? What about ghosts?
- The Public Prankster: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever done in public?
- The DNA Comedian: Two strands of DNA are walking down the street. One says to the other: do these genes make me look fat?
- The Smelly Synesthete: What would the color blue smell like?
Deep Conversation Starters for Texting
Short and sweet don’t mean shallow. Some profound connections can be built up via text and make for even deeper relationships IRL. Once you’ve been texting someone for a while, don’t be afraid to get a little philosophical or personal with a conversation-starting question.
- The Rebel Rouser: What is a controversial opinion you have?
- The Trophy Case: What is your proudest accomplishment?
- The Brave Heart: What is something that scares you but you’d like to do anyway?
- The Inner Circle: Who are you closest to in your life?
- The Life Planner: What are your top three life goals?
- The Time Traveler: How have you changed since your teenage years?
- The Family Feeler: How important is family for you?
- The Self-Evaluator: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change and why?
- The Wisdom Well: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned this year?
- The Decade Diver: Where were you ten years ago, and where do you want to be ten years from now?
- The Misunderstood Maverick: What’s the most significant thing people misunderstand about you?
- The Marathon Mouth: What is a topic you could talk about for hours?
- The Success Seeker: How do you define success?
- The Happiness Hunter: What is your definition of true happiness?
- The Conspiracy Cautious: Do you believe in conspiracy theories? Which ones?
- The Self-Discoverer: At what age did you indeed “find yourself”? Are you still discovering who you are?
Top Mistakes You’re Making in Text Conversations (And How to Fix Them)
Texting can feel like walking through a minefield. One wrong word, and the conversation blows up in your face. To make your text interactions more engaging and less stressful, steer clear of these common mistakes:
- Autocorrect is Not Your BFF: While it’s tempting to rely on autocorrect, sometimes it changes your message in ways that can be utterly confusing or downright embarrassing.
Bad example (autocorrect): “I can’t wait to eat your coughing!”
Good example (proofread): “I can’t wait to eat your cooking!”
Actionable Tip: Always proofread your texts before hitting “send.”
- Emoji Overload 🤪: Emojis are the spices of the texting world; use them sparingly to add flavor but avoid overwhelming the dish.
Bad Example: “Movie night? 🎬 So excited to catch that new action film! 🍿💥🔫🚁🔥 And we absolutely have to try the garlic popcorn! 🍿🧄🍿🧄🤤 Can’t wait to see you! 😍👫💕🎉”
Good Example: “Movie night? Excited for the new action film! And curious about garlic popcorn! 🧄 Can’t wait to see you! 😍”
Actionable Tip: Limit yourself to one or two emojis per message unless you know the other person well and are sure they appreciate the extra flair.
- Text Walls: Sending a giant block of text is like asking someone to read a mini essay on their phone.
Bad Example: “Well on the first day of this trip I bet you’ve never been parachuting before, have you? We’ll start with parachuting into the Amazon, which is going to be awesome!!! Afterwards, we’ll take a break. But not for long, as we will then wrangle anacondas. They’re a big snake, for sure. Then afterward we plan to discover El Dorado. It’ll be my 10th time there! Oh yeah, and we will end the day before having dinner with Bigfoot.”
“Amazon adventure first! 🪂”
“Anaconda wrangling. 🐍”
“El Dorado hunt. 🏆”
“Bigfoot dinner. 🦶”
Actionable Tip: Break your messages into smaller, digestible chunks. Don’t be afraid of sending multiple messages. It makes for easier reading and better engagement.
- Assuming Tone: Because texts lack vocal cues, it’s easy to misinterpret tone. What you intend as a joke may come off as sarcastic or even rude.
Bad Example: “Did you really summon Cthulhu at the office party?”
Good Example: “Did you really summon Cthulhu at the office party? 😂 Just checking if we need to prepare for the apocalypse!”
Actionable Tip: When discussing sensitive or complex topics, make your tone as clear as possible. If in doubt, clarify your intent with an extra sentence or an appropriate emoji.
- The ‘K’ Culprit: Responding with just ‘K’ might be efficient, but it can also feel dismissive.
Bad Example: “K”
Good Example: “OK! That idea’s so good it deserves an exclamation point!”
Actionable Tip: Add a little more context or emotion. Even a simple “Ok, sounds good!” can make all the difference.
Should You Text or Talk? The Ultimate Dilemma, Solved!
Should you talk or text? While both methods have their merits, choosing the wrong one can sour the experience. Here’s how to make the right call (or text):
|Pros||Convenience: You can text at any time, from anywhere. Perfect for a quick “Thinking of you” during a meeting.||Emotional Nuance: The warmth in a “Good morning” greeting can make someone’s day.|
|Less Intrusive: You don’t interrupt the recipient’s day; they can read and reply when it suits them.||Immediate Feedback: If someone is confused or excited, you’ll know right away.|
|Multitasking-Friendly: You can text while cooking, watching TV, or waiting in line.||Faster Resolution: Complex issues often get sorted quicker when discussed directly.|
|Conversation Record: Texts can be reviewed, making it easier to remember details or instructions.||Enhanced Personal Connection: Voice nuances add an extra layer of closeness.|
|No Awkward Pauses: You have time to think about your replies, so the conversation flows more naturally.||Clarifies Intent: It’s easier to express sarcasm or seriousness verbally.|
|Cons||Misunderstood Tone: A sarcastic “Great job” might not read as sarcastic.||Mutual Availability: Both parties need to be free, which is increasingly rare.|
|Lack of Depth: The conversation may not go beyond surface-level chatter.||Potential for Awkwardness: Silence on a phone call feels far more uncomfortable than in a text chat.|
|Delayed Responses: The lag can make conversations drag on unnecessarily.||Disturbance: A call interrupts whatever the other person is doing.|
|Distraction Hazard: You might end up mindlessly scrolling through other apps.||No Records: Unless recorded, details of the conversation can be forgotten.|
|Less Personal: There’s no voice tone, pitch, or timbre to enrich the conversation.||Not Multitasking-Friendly: Requires more focus, making multitasking difficult.|
Action Step: Do a quick mental rundown of these factors and then decide. When in doubt, there’s no harm in asking the other person their preference.
Key Takeaways: How to Have a Great Conversation Over Text
Compared to phone calls and in-person conversations, texting is a pretty low-stake form of communication. You can push some boundaries and take solace in the fact that it’s only a text message, after all. Why not set yourself apart from the millions of other texts and try something new?
If you don’t know where to start, remember these tips for creating a sound text thread:
- Keep it short: People move fast today, and messages are no different. Texts are for short blurbs, not novels. Giant chunks of words can be hard on the eyes, so it’s best to keep your initial conversation starters to a few lines or less. When in doubt, a little mystery may warrant a better response.
- Ask questions: The art of a regular conversation still applies via text. People love to talk about themselves, so they express interest in what they have to say by asking questions.
- Spark interest: Most people get asked “how are you?” or “what do you do for a living?” several times a day. You can generate a far more intriguing text conversation by bringing up unique topics, funny references, or unconventional subjects.
- Compliment them: Who doesn’t love a positive message on their phone? Whether you’re trying to flirt or initiate a conversation with a friend, typing a nice compliment is an easy way to brighten your day.
- Reference something they said: When in doubt, you can always bring up past conversations that you want to continue. For example, if you previously discussed travel and your friend mentioned that they’ve always wanted to visit Greece, you can reignite the topic via text and ask about their specific interest in that destination. It shows that you’ve been paying attention and want to learn more.
- Use emojis or GIFs: The most significant thing missing from texts is nonverbal communication like facial expressions. Emojis and GIFs help people understand when we’re being goofy, flirty, or profound. Plus, they can make texting more fun. Read about the top 45 Emojis You Should Know and Their (Hidden) Meanings.
No matter how far technology progresses, the basics of human connection and the art of conversation remain the same. If you want to uplevel your communication skills over text and in-person, learn How to Have and Hold a Dazzling Conversation With Anyone.
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