One little word that can make all the difference. 3 little, seemingly insignificant, letters. Hey!
Say “hi” to somebody, the way that they say “hey!” back can tell you a lot about how their day/week/life is going. I mean, think about it. Was it a ‘hey…’, a ‘hey.’ or a ‘hey!’. Now we all know you definitely read the last one differently, even if the first 2 sounded similar in your head. Just imagine the first one to be somewhat miserable, and the second one to be somewhat average and mundane to humour me, okay?
More to the point, in the modern world that we unfortunately live in, that simple little 3 little letters that can say so much in a SMS or IM, can change your day. It means that somebody is thinking of you, that somebody actually wants to communicate with you for whatever reason, maybe even that somebody wants to check that you’re okay. There doesn’t even have to be anything else in the message, not even a ‘how are you?’. Sometimes just a ‘hey’ is enough. If you’re having a bad day, a sad day or a lonely day, sometimes hey is all you need to hear (although always reply to the person, because it’s only basic manners to reassure them that you aren’t dead yet). It’s just enough to know that somebody’s there, somewhere. It’s like invisible company.
Not that I’m saying it’s always a good change to your day, we all know scroungers, the people whose “Hey!” means that they are looking for something, but we’re all guilty. Don’t even try to deny it, because at some point we are all guilty of only speaking to somebody because we want something. So if you know, or even just suspect that somebody isn’t having the best of days, it’s probably safer to understand that they don’t want you around and that you should just stay away.