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Texting like Bennett

May 19th, 2022

Bennett is a now graduating senior at Tufts, the two-time president of the Tufts Mock Trial team.

Bennett is a big texter. He has all these friends from other mock trial teams, so to keep in touch with them he's always texting. Round the clock, he's got like three conversations going at once.

I think for a lot of us texting is this weird binary of extremes. First, it can be a very detached, businesslike medium for scheduling times to meet or asking little questions. And on the other hand, it's this conduit for very deep, personal conversations between close friends.

Bennett occupies an interesting position in between those places. He texts authentically, with an attention to diction and a flow that shows he cares about the conversation you're having, but not in a way that's obnoxious about it. The best way I can describe it is that he's mastered the art of making texting feel like talking.

But one of Bennett's best party tricks is the Bennett paragraph. He likes to write inspirational messages to us at various times as part of his whole "I'm a leader and I have a way with words™" routine. Here was my first one:

What I don't think Bennett realizes is that we all know he's drafting one of these for someone literally all the time, so there's a certain tolerance everyone on mock trial has built up for them. But still. These paragraphs are like the little cards you give to your friends on a birthday or at the end of the school year. Bennett writes them well, better than I can. They're touching.

I think we get have this strange joy from writing cards to people—they're an excuse to thank the folks we care about and to remind them that they matter. They're a manifestation of love. Bennett does that to people all the time and I know he derives the same pleasure and fulfillment from a silly little paragraph of text as he would from writing a card or having a heart-to-heart at 1 am.

I aspire to text like Bennett—to use this ubiquitous form of communication with an authenticity that makes people pause and remember that a text message can be more than a quick hit of social validation. To use his writing to lift people up at every opportunity. Maybe one day I can write like he does.