The Clever Texting Code That Will Get Your Friends' Attention

Many people are guilty of leaving texts from their friends unread. This could be due to work, a hectic home life, or just overall busy days that pull them away from their phones. It's easy to put off replying until a later time, especially if the message doesn't appear pressing. While this is understandable, something may be happening that requires immediate engagement. This something could still be lighthearted, such as helping a friend decide on a hairstyle hours before their appointment. However, an emergency could be taking place that cannot wait. For instances such as these, there is a creative approach to get an answer quickly, though these are texts you should never send after a first date that might've ghosted you.

Sending a text code could be the key to getting a faster reply to your message. This concept is not entirely new. Hospitals have long used codes over their intercom system to alert medical and security staff about possible trouble without alarming visitors and patients. The Hospital Association of Southern California reports a code gray for a combative adult, with blue signaling an adult medical emergency. Each will warrant a different response. While your friend's texts are likely not this extreme, codes and keywords ensure you get a reply sooner than two days from now.

The 911 message has gotten a makeover

A TikToker by the name of Amber Henry recently went viral for detailing the "911 System" she uses with her friends. By now, we all know that messaging someone 911 indicates something important is taking place and a phone call is needed as soon as possible. This was a common practice that began with the rise of beepers in the '80s and '90s, lasting into the early 2000s. Henry uses the same method, though her system separates the codes into categories from least to most significant.

The first category is 917, used for something innocent like helping a friend choose a pair of jeans to buy. A 915 is slightly more vital, but not critical, signaling something along the lines of receiving that dreaded "We need to talk" text from a boyfriend. You'd undoubtedly want your friend's input on that, though it isn't life or death. Things are a bit more worrisome once a 913 text is received. This code is reserved for receiving potentially bad news from an employer. Those moments need moral support from your friend group, maybe even a job recommendation or two. However, Henry says there is no room for procrastination once a 911 text is received. This means your buddies need you right then and there.

"I don't care where you are or what you're doing, you call me back right now. Matter of fact, you show up to my house," Henry says of the dreaded 911 text.

These codes can be anything established between friends

While influencer Amber Henry has an excellent method to grab your friend's attention, it does not have to be this set of numbers. In fact, it doesn't have to be digits at all. You can establish designated words to let your friends know you are in a crisis or need fast advice. Many people have become familiar with the "Ask Angela Campaign." Originating in 2016, it became a popular way to indicate to staff in crowded places that you are in a dangerous situation. It works by asking a bartender or waitress, "Is Angela working tonight?" or "May I speak with Angela, please?" No one by that name is likely working there, and trained employees will catch the hint. Unfortunately, establishments unfamiliar with this life-saving tactic may be useless, but educating your group chat on this term can assist in extreme circumstances. Sharing your location with pals, followed by a text that reads "Ask Angela to call me," can signal your friends to call 911.

Again, your text code doesn't have to mean danger, but it can help you get a faster response from your friends. These codes could signal a pregnancy, an engagement, or even a new, bold haircut. Just ensure your pals are familiar with them before you start firing off random numbers and phrases. If for nothing else, this can be a great way to build communication and text compatibility with your spread-out friend group.