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Are slow text responses weird to others? Or just me?


When people are slow to respond to a text  

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  1. 1. Is it a little odd if someone doesn’t reply to a text for a day or more?

    • Yes, I always find that a little different.
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    • No, any time frame is fine.
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I consider texts a deadline-free zone. I’m the friend who might not text back the same day. I’m just not a person who keeps her phone in her hand all day. I’m wearing yoga pants every day and mine don’t have pockets. I might have my phone on one floor and my body on another. I might get a text from a second friend that knocks the first text off my screen. I might read the text in the grocery line, but not reply if it’s my turn to load the cart. So now the text is ‘read’ and we’re relying on my memory. I might reply only in my mind and believe I’ve sent a text when I have not. Basically, I’m @Quill’s worst nightmare. 
 

The beauty of me is that it’s feast or famine. You’re getting your reply immediately or tomorrow. There’s no in-between. 

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I do not find it realistic to expect immediate answers. Almost everybody I know works. And then there are other responsibilities. And there are actually people who do not carry their cell phones 24/7.

Although I normally respond within an hour or two with close friends and family, I sometimes read it and forget. If it’s more of an acquaintance, I might wait until later in the day. But I don’t like

I saw this on FB and thought of this thread, lol

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6 hours ago, regentrude said:

I don't understand the comment about the multi tasking and knowing about an outage immediately; email accomplishes that just fine.

Obviously there is a cultural difference. I am handling several dozen emails a day and have to respond  right away; I could not let everything pile up because things have to be handled, and there has to be back-and-forth.  I would see any email immediately either when I am on the computer or on my phone. Email is the main mode of communication with most people I know, besides messenger. 
 

Some people see their texts when they come in but don’t necessarily check their email daily. For most people I know, a text gets noticed before an email  every time unless they happen to be in gmail at the time. 

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I see clients all day long so if someone texted me at 9am, I would not see it till lunch hour which could be anytime between 11-1pm. If I expect something to happen, I might glance at my phone between appointments but it's not always possible. Dh knows this - it's the same with him when I text. Sometimes he's right on it and other times it takes an hour or two.

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One can only respond to what one receives, and I've found that texts are not always reliable. It can take days sometimes for a text to go through and be received by the intended phone. 

Otherwise, there are all kinds of reasons people do not respond to text quickly or even at all. 

 

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I often will see/read a text - but be in the middle of something entirely different atm. Can't think about the text's topic atm without interrupting what I'm in the middle of... so... will ignore it for the time being. Often, it's not until later that day, or the next morning when I'll do a scroll through my texts and see those that I'd put off "til later."

It's never anything personal, I just can't always answer right that minute - and if I don't answer right that minute, it goes into a weird time bubble of forgottenness til I have time to scroll through everything! 😁

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Dh and I share the same phone.

 We don't carry it around unless one of us is out, then the person who is out has the phone. We don't get signal everywhere we go. I am not sure if DH even knows how to respond to a test. though he has worked out messenger - my kids prefer messenger 

 We don't respond to texts straight away.

 

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No, just like emails, I consider 24 hours a reasonable time for most communications, unless there is an obvious urgent aspect to it.

My response time varies depending on my busy-ness, my mood, and how much research I need to do in order to give a correct answer.

Yesterday my sister texted me a question about a gift idea for my kid.  I saw the text on the way to eating out with my kids & friends.  I generally don't text during times like that (unless it's an emergency).  By the time we got home, it was too late to reply.  Then I slept in this morning.  By the time I woke up, she had texted me again to say never mind, she bought something else.  I therefore didn't respond at all.

I personally think it's a bad habit / bad example to text & respond when you're supposedly spending time with people physically present.  Sometimes it does make sense, when you can bring the texting into the present conversation.  "Oh your aunt __ is asking for advice on buying a ___ for cousin ___.  What do you think about it?"  But I don't like to interrupt in-person things for private text things.

And sometimes I am just not in a good place mentally to deal with text drama.  Like if I just dealt with something stressful at work, and my sister texts me about drama at her company or her kids' school.  I just pretend I didn't see the text until I'm ready to deal with it.

Also I keep my phone on silent most of the time, so I really don't notice a lot of texts until much later.  I mean they do say that good time management requires people to avoid constantly checking emails.  Wouldn't that be true of texts also?

So I don't think it's reasonable to expect a quick answer, unless you have good reason to believe (a) the person will see it right away and (b) the matter is urgent enough for an immediate response.

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6 hours ago, wintermom said:

One can only respond to what one receives, and I've found that texts are not always reliable. It can take days sometimes for a text to go through and be received by the intended phone. 

Otherwise, there are all kinds of reasons people do not respond to text quickly or even at all. 

 

If I never received a text* at all, I would think this person is not interested in me. If it happened all the time, I would assume the person is brushing me off. In fact, the reason I wrote this post is because one friend is sooooooo slow to ever respond or doesn't respond at all. So I’m trying to decide if it’s just this person’s style or if she’s not interested in talking to me. 

*When I say “text”, I don’t mean it necessarily has to be phone text. Several friends communicate primarily through a messenger app, which is fine. 

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6 hours ago, easypeasy said:

I often will see/read a text - but be in the middle of something entirely different atm. Can't think about the text's topic atm without interrupting what I'm in the middle of... so... will ignore it for the time being. Often, it's not until later that day, or the next morning when I'll do a scroll through my texts and see those that I'd put off "til later."

It's never anything personal, I just can't always answer right that minute - and if I don't answer right that minute, it goes into a weird time bubble of forgottenness til I have time to scroll through everything! 😁

Also interesting. I don’t think I have ever scrolled through my texts, except to delete a bunch to free up space. If I can’t address it promptly, I just read the header part and leave the notification number on. Then when I’m no longer driving or washing dishes or whatever, I will open it up and answer. 

I always learn something when I post here. 

 

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People who know our family well know that if something is urgent, message my husband.  He's one of those people who is uncomfortable if his phone isn't within reach pretty much all the time.  I actually respond to email faster because I can do it on my kindle, which I use more often than my phone, although I have texts, groupme, and messenger that I use with different people.  But, if I'm out and about, outside, or doing something with somebody in person I am often tech-free for hours at a time, especially if my kids are home or with me.  

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I often don't have my phone with me or am doing something that can't easily be interrupted, so I definitely don't always text back immediately. But I check it several times a day when I do have time, and try to respond to texts then.

If I text someone and it goes several hours with no reply, it's no biggie. But if it goes a full day or more, I assume (rightly or wrongly) that I said something wrong and they're upset or offended or are struggling to formulate a response. 

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You know how once people got used to Amazon shipping things quickly, people expect every merchant to ship immediately and grumble when it takes, say, a week to get a package delivered, instead of 2 days?   (I'm speaking generally here; I know this does not apply to everyone everywhere, but this has been my general observation).

It's the same with texting. Before answering machines/voicemail, if I called someone and they weren't home, I had to try again another time. I couldn't always talk to someone exactly when I wanted to. That was normal. Then some people got answering machines and after a while, *that* was normal and it was annoying not to be able to leave a message.  

As technology advances, we expect everyone to use the technology and use it the same way.  But people are funny; they don't always act they way we want them to. 😎

My daughter (21 years old) told me it is rude to go more than 2 hours without responding to a text. I forgot to ask how that goes during a work shift where someone might go 4 hours between breaks. 

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26 minutes ago, marbel said:

You know how once people got used to Amazon shipping things quickly, people expect every merchant to ship immediately and grumble when it takes, say, a week to get a package delivered, instead of 2 days?   (I'm speaking generally here; I know this does not apply to everyone everywhere, but this has been my general observation).

It's the same with texting. Before answering machines/voicemail, if I called someone and they weren't home, I had to try again another time. I couldn't always talk to someone exactly when I wanted to. That was normal. Then some people got answering machines and after a while, *that* was normal and it was annoying not to be able to leave a message.  

As technology advances, we expect everyone to use the technology and use it the same way.  But people are funny; they don't always act they way we want them to. 😎

My daughter (21 years old) told me it is rude to go more than 2 hours without responding to a text. I forgot to ask how that goes during a work shift where someone might go 4 hours between breaks. 

That’s very true. 

This thread has me thinking about how much/little I or others have their phones handy and how that came to be the case. For me, personally, as technology evolved to cell communication becoming primary, and because I worked with my dh, BIL, and SIL, I became very used to quick responses from them. I also gave responses to those people, because that was typically the nature of the text. For example, I would get a text: “The inspector showed up here early and I don’t have the permit number on me. Can you pull it from the file right now?” They all pretty much trained me to respond quickly because that was the point of having the phones. (Initially, all the phones were company-issued.) 

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I know the approximate time range for all of my friends and family.  Some take minutes, some take days.  I don't think either is weird.  

I would not use text as a first means of communication with a stranger unless I had no other choice, so I don't have an expectation for unknown people.  

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2 hours ago, Quill said:

If I never received a text* at all, I would think this person is not interested in me. If it happened all the time, I would assume the person is brushing me off. In fact, the reason I wrote this post is because one friend is sooooooo slow to ever respond or doesn't respond at all. So I’m trying to decide if it’s just this person’s style or if she’s not interested in talking to me. 

*When I say “text”, I don’t mean it necessarily has to be phone text. Several friends communicate primarily through a messenger app, which is fine. 

I would look to the content more than the timeframe to gauge what’s going on there.  I have some friends I like so much I consider them family, but I’m generally not into keeping text or messaging threads going.  I’m really fortunate that they have the same exact thing going on, so we’re all on the same page.  We have a great time in person, but we stink at the rest.

There are so many different ways people utilize tech (as we’ve all shown, lol) and not everyone Is comfortable announcing, “Hey, World.  This is how I view instant communication and what you can expect from me based on my lifestyle, our individual relationships, and my personalities on both good and bad days.”

Or, on the other extreme, there are people who give a daily update on Facebook as to how and when to best reach them, along with a detailed personal (sometimes too personal) schedule of their day. Which blows my mind, lol.

Outside of pressing issues, it just makes sense to go with the flow. And, if there is a pressing issue, call.  (If you’re calling me, be prepared to leave a voicemail. I’ll read the voice to text and call back.)

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2 hours ago, Quill said:

If I never received a text* at all, I would think this person is not interested in me. If it happened all the time, I would assume the person is brushing me off. In fact, the reason I wrote this post is because one friend is sooooooo slow to ever respond or doesn't respond at all. So I’m trying to decide if it’s just this person’s style or if she’s not interested in talking to me. 

*When I say “text”, I don’t mean it necessarily has to be phone text. Several friends communicate primarily through a messenger app, which is fine. 

If you are talking about one particular friend, why not just ask her what form of communication she prefers to receive. You can make many guesses and poll the universe, but this person is the only one who knows the true reason. 

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I don't know if anyone else lumps them together but I use the word texting for both texting and Messenger. Mainly because I use both of those on my phone. 

To complicate matters even more  my text messages sync with my Fitbit and that little bugger vibrates with every text and displays the text message. My dear family knows this so I can rarely use the excuse "I didn't see [the text]".  First world problems

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1 hour ago, Quill said:

That’s very true. 

This thread has me thinking about how much/little I or others have their phones handy and how that came to be the case. For me, personally, as technology evolved to cell communication becoming primary, and because I worked with my dh, BIL, and SIL, I became very used to quick responses from them. I also gave responses to those people, because that was typically the nature of the text. For example, I would get a text: “The inspector showed up here early and I don’t have the permit number on me. Can you pull it from the file right now?” They all pretty much trained me to respond quickly because that was the point of having the phones. (Initially, all the phones were company-issued.) 

Work-related and personal texts seem very different to me, just as texts from my husband/kids seem very different to me than texts from friends. I don't get many work-related texts and they are not urgent for the most part. But I can see in a business situation needing to be able to respond nearly instantly.  I would not feel that way about texts from a friend (unless it was a real emergency but in that case I would more expect a call).

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I think there is a type of person who makes a point of not responding to electronic communications immediately.  And they seem proud of it.  Oh I am just not the type to check my messages very often.  Hmm.  Well ok then.  I will be sure to not depend on you to do so.  
 

And I think if I text a friend....regardless of how trivial a matter it is....and she doesn’t respond for a day or more.....that she is not interested in maintaining a friendship with me.  To me it is the equivalent of seeing a friend in the grocery store and have her turn and avoid me.  If she is in a hurry, in person or on text, a quick, hi I can’t talk right now, I will get back with you later.  
 

Shrug.  I know we are not all the same.  But we should know that our actions or lack of do affect people.  

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I intentionally do not respond to most texts immediately, because I don’t want people to expect that of me. I have seen what happens when there is an expectation of immediate response, and it is not pretty. I also turn off notifications or leave group texts as I hate the constant dinging and interruptions. My DH has group texts with family that ding at all hours. He sleeps through them, but I always wake up, and he refuses to put his phones (personal and work) on silent when he goes to bed. So I will rudely wake him up when it disturbs me.

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I have lately been ascribing to the model set forth in Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work. I do not let text messages interrupt my day. My nearest and dearest know they need to actually call me on the phone if it’s a true emergency. 
 

Also, there really are people in my life that I have had to “train” to not expect an immediate reply. It would signal to them that I am compliant with any hoop-jumping they plan to set before me. Easier to cut that off at the pass. 
 

And of course there are times that I do respond immediately. I just don’t think it’s accurate to equate response time with trueness of friendship. 

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Depends on what it is... a friend wanting to confirm lunch today or tomorrow? I respond asap. Someone sending an "update on life" text? I'll wait until I have time to respond with my own update. Usually within the day but not always.

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20 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I think there is a type of person who makes a point of not responding to electronic communications immediately.  And they seem proud of it.  Oh I am just not the type to check my messages very often.  Hmm.  Well ok then.  I will be sure to not depend on you to do so.  

And I think if I text a friend....regardless of how trivial a matter it is....and she doesn’t respond for a day or more.....that she is not interested in maintaining a friendship with me.  To me it is the equivalent of seeing a friend in the grocery store and have her turn and avoid me.  If she is in a hurry, in person or on text, a quick, hi I can’t talk right now, I will get back with you later.  

Shrug.  I know we are not all the same.  But we should know that our actions or lack of do affect people.  

 I think that's a big overreaction. Someone doesn't respond to a text and you jump to "she is not interesting in maintaining a friendship with me"?  And I know that I often don't send a quick hi I can't talk right now text, because I'm either not checking my messages or not in a time/place where I can text at all. 

Yes, our actions do affect people. Your friend not responding to a text will affect you. Likewise, you assuming the worst will affect your friend. 

3 hours ago, Momto6inIN said:

But if it goes a full day or more, I assume (rightly or wrongly) that I said something wrong and they're upset or offended or are struggling to formulate a response. 

Y'all some stressful people to text with! 😂

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Just now, katilac said:

 I think that's a big overreaction. Someone doesn't respond to a text and you jump to "she is not interesting in maintaining a friendship with me"?  And I know that I often don't send a quick hi I can't talk right now text, because I'm either not checking my messages or not in a time/place where I can text at all. 

Yes, our actions do affect people. Your friend not responding to a text will affect you. Likewise, you assuming the worst will affect your friend. 

Y'all some stressful people to text with! 😂

Of course you have to know your friends.  I wouldn’t expect a friend who is at work to respond immediately. And I am not talking about a one off.  But yes a consistent pattern of not responding in a timely manner would leave me to believe this friend is not that in to me. 

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I have friends who are swamped with work or overwhelmed with life, and if they don't respond within a few days I try not to take it personally.  I just contact them again in a week or so; usually, they respond with an apology for not answering the previous text and offer a time to walk or to talk on the phone.  

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12 minutes ago, katilac said:

 

Y'all some stressful people to text with! 😂

Some texts don't require a response, and I'm not talking about those. Silly "hey look at this" type texts or random observances or info given with no response required - then no response is no problem. But if a question is asked, then yes, I think over a day means something is up. Most of the time I would assume it was my fault for poor communication - that I had somehow worded my request in a funny way that didn't come across the way I meant it.

I mean, if I left someone a voice mail and they didn't get back to me by the end of the next day, I would think something was wrong. Wouldn't you?

I don't think that's all that high maintenance 😉

 

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1 hour ago, Seasider too said:

I have lately been ascribing to the model set forth in Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work. I do not let text messages interrupt my day. My nearest and dearest know they need to actually call me on the phone if it’s a true emergency. 
 

Also, there really are people in my life that I have had to “train” to not expect an immediate reply. It would signal to them that I am compliant with any hoop-jumping they plan to set before me. Easier to cut that off at the pass. 
 

And of course there are times that I do respond immediately. I just don’t think it’s accurate to equate response time with trueness of friendship. 

Sure, but if you really are trying to give someone the shake-off, because you don’t much like them or are trying to demote the friendship, one way you’re going to do this is to not respond to their attempts at communications, or, at minimum, show, “You aren’t important to me,” by way of a sluggish response. Am I right? 

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55 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

And I think if I text a friend....regardless of how trivial a matter it is....and she doesn’t respond for a day or more.....that she is not interested in maintaining a friendship with me.  To me it is the equivalent of seeing a friend in the grocery store and have her turn and avoid me.  If she is in a hurry, in person or on text, a quick, hi I can’t talk right now, I will get back with you later.

I am definitely inclined to feel this way, but...Dh is horrible about reading or responding to texts. He will say, “Text me when I need to go pick up the kids.” And I know than in an hour, when I text him that the kids are waiting for him, he won’t see it or respond. I’ll end up texting, “Since you are not responding, I’m calling an Uber.” And it is all fine and no one is upset. 
 

I’ve learned that Dh is just very focused on whatever the task at hand is. He lives in the present, so if he is currently on a call about a work issue, work has 100% of his attention. He isn’t thinking back on the conversation with his wife or looking forward towards needing to pick up the kids. I have made peace with this by realizing that I benefit from this because he is so good at his job, and I enjoy his success, but also, when he is with us, he is 100% focused on spending that moment with us. He doesn’t have work thoughts hanging over his head. 
 

I have another friend who will ask me a question over text and then not respond to me for weeks. I really can not believe that she isn’t that interested in being friends because when I see her, she brings me presents, and talks about how important I have been to her in the past and how much she loves me, and what she hopes we can do together in the future. I’ve known her since she was 8 and I know her to be a very open and honest person, so I don’t think she is snowing me. 
 

The last time she was here, she commented on how good I was at texting and how bad she was. I told her that if I don’t reply right away, it will hang over my head and I will constantly be thinking, “Oh shoot! I need to reply to so in so.” She says that is exactly what she does. Replying late makes her feel bad and then it looms larger and larger and she replies in her head, but doesn’t actually send anything, and then it has been so long that anything she might say feels awkward. I assured her that I never think badly of her, and I’m happy to hear from her whenever I hear from her, so please don’t feel obligated. That reassurance actually helped her to be more relaxed and she is communicating more regularly since that conversation. 
 

So I have a little bit of understanding why people might be slow to respond, but on the whole, I tend to agree with Scarlet, and if I don’t text you back right away, it is a good bet that I’m ghosting you! 

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1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

I think there is a type of person who makes a point of not responding to electronic communications immediately.  And they seem proud of it.  Oh I am just not the type to check my messages very often.  Hmm.  Well ok then.  I will be sure to not depend on you to do so.  
 

And I think if I text a friend....regardless of how trivial a matter it is....and she doesn’t respond for a day or more.....that she is not interested in maintaining a friendship with me.  To me it is the equivalent of seeing a friend in the grocery store and have her turn and avoid me.  If she is in a hurry, in person or on text, a quick, hi I can’t talk right now, I will get back with you later.  
 

Shrug.  I know we are not all the same.  But we should know that our actions or lack of do affect people.  

I would have lost a lot of really wonderful friendships if I believed that and acted on it!  To me, it's not the same at all as running into them in a grocery store and they turn their back on you.

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14 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

 I mean, if I left someone a voice mail and they didn't get back to me by the end of the next day, I would think something was wrong. Wouldn't you?

No, I wouldn't. I'd think they were busy or that they forgot. 

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50 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

Some texts don't require a response, and I'm not talking about those. Silly "hey look at this" type texts or random observances or info given with no response required - then no response is no problem. But if a question is asked, then yes, I think over a day means something is up. Most of the time I would assume it was my fault for poor communication - that I had somehow worded my request in a funny way that didn't come across the way I meant it.

I mean, if I left someone a voice mail and they didn't get back to me by the end of the next day, I would think something was wrong. Wouldn't you?

I don't think that's all that high maintenance 😉

 

No, I wouldn't think something was wrong if someone didn't answer a voice mail within a day. 

I check voice mail way less often than texts, and I've already mentioned that I don't check texts every day.

If I don't get a response to a communication of any sort and I need a response I will eventually follow up.

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1 hour ago, Quill said:

Sure, but if you really are trying to give someone the shake-off, because you don’t much like them or are trying to demote the friendship, one way you’re going to do this is to not respond to their attempts at communications, or, at minimum, show, “You aren’t important to me,” by way of a sluggish response. Am I right? 

People I do not really want to nurture a friendship with rarely (possibly never?) text me. In those cases we have not reached the text-level relationship. They could phone me or email me and get the same slow response. Do the rest of y’all get lots of texts from random newish acquaintances? Because that just doesn’t happen in my life. The initial conversations tend to occur in other contexts. 
 

My friends know me and know that at the moment I am involved in a project that requires my full attention. Often at the end of the day, or the next, I’ll respond with a personal phone call. They also have learned that there is a pattern of slower response from me. They know I am striving to not be joined at the hip with my tech. If they have an urgent question I will respond as soon as I see their message - but none of us seem to be living urgency-driven lives these days. I really do recommend Deep Work to you (to all). It may give insight into those of us who choose to be slower responders. 
 

The ones I am really trying to train away from my immediate reply include boundary-challenged extended family members, as others have also noted above. And they aren’t in the position of fearing lost friendship; they already consider me pita. 

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1 hour ago, Momto6inIN said:

I mean, if I left someone a voice mail and they didn't get back to me by the end of the next day, I would think something was wrong. Wouldn't you?

I haven't listened to my voicemail on the landline in months and don't do voicemail on my phone. I hate voice messages, because often folks aren't expressing themselves clearly and concisely. If you want me, write me an email or, if we're friends, use messenger. I don't like typing on the phone either because I can't see well on the tiny screen.
So no, I would not think anything is wrong. And it would also not occur to me to leave a voicemail when I can simply drop them an email or message. 

I, OTOH, am blown away by the concept of people checking email only once in a while; I receive and respond to emails all day long because that is part of my job, and so I see all the emails in my personal account as well.

What do we learn from this thread? Never assume 🙂

Edited by regentrude
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I usually respond to texts within a day. But sometimes I'm busy and don't see it or don't have time to respond or have to think of how to answer and then might end up forgetting it. Usually if I take a long time it is because I honestly forgot or just can't figure out how to word something. Same thing for messenger.

I loathe voicemail and usually ignore them as they are often spam. I had someone leave me a message on FB messenger one time, I didn't even know that was a thing. I don't know why it bothered me so to listen to it. 

I much prefer emails, I can type them on a computer.

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3 hours ago, Seasider too said:

People I do not really want to nurture a friendship with rarely (possibly never?) text me. In those cases we have not reached the text-level relationship. They could phone me or email me and get the same slow response. Do the rest of y’all get lots of texts from random newish acquaintances? Because that just doesn’t happen in my life. The initial conversations tend to occur in other contexts. 
 

My friends know me and know that at the moment I am involved in a project that requires my full attention. Often at the end of the day, or the next, I’ll respond with a personal phone call. They also have learned that there is a pattern of slower response from me. They know I am striving to not be joined at the hip with my tech. If they have an urgent question I will respond as soon as I see their message - but none of us seem to be living urgency-driven lives these days. I really do recommend Deep Work to you (to all). It may give insight into those of us who choose to be slower responders. 
 

The ones I am really trying to train away from my immediate reply include boundary-challenged extended family members, as others have also noted above. And they aren’t in the position of fearing lost friendship; they already consider me pita. 

I do not because random acquaintances do not have my cell phone number.  Those people have to use email or messenger and I don't instant screen notifications from either one of those platforms. 

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Something is bothering me. In a recent thread, we discussed what happens when one friend always has to be the one to reach out. There was a lot of this sentiment:  What’s the big deal? Send me a text, an email, a message. If I don’t answer the phone, leave a message; just say you would like to see me soon. 

It was so memorable to me because I am one of those introverts who can go a long while without contacting someone and then I start to worry that it’s the wrong time. That thread, though, encouraged me to just do it: contact friends. Send a message, send an email, send a homing pigeon, whatever, just let your friend know you’re thinking about her. But now, since this thread, I’m imagining friends getting a text from me but sitting imperiously on the other side saying, “Hrumpf! I don’t want to be bound to the phone. Your text can wait.” 

I mean...I don’t get it. If we go Pavlovian here: A friend texts me, I soon text back in response, maybe we exchange a bit of back and forth; she gets positive reinforcement from my quick response. She wanted to share something with me and I was ready to touch base with that friendship. OTOH, if a friend texts me, let’s say she sends a picture and is like, “Awww, this made me think of you! It’s exactly the same whatchamacalit as that time we went to the thingamagig together!” And then....hours go by. A day elapses. Finally, I text back, “Aww, sweet! I remember that! 💜” That’s just not very reinforcing. 

This type of exchange, btw, is similar to the thing that happened that led to my posting this. I was the friend who thought I was sharing something, but I didn’t get a response for well over 24 hours. By that point, the emotion of the moment was over; the wind was out of my sails. So instead of feeling like I connected with a friend, I feel instead like there was a friendship-bank withdrawal. 

I wonder if she is on a message board somewhere saying nobody texts her first. 🤔

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6 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

I do not because random acquaintances do not have my cell phone number.  Those people have to use email or messenger and I don't instant screen notifications from either one of those platforms. 

I don’t either for the same reason, although I do get notifications from FB messenger. 

This post is not about a newish friend or a random acquaintance. I’m talking about an established friend who either 1) takes a long, long time to respond; or 2) randomly drops out of a chat back-and-forth. I think those are strange things to do to a friend, if you hope they will continue to contact you. Because those give a go-the-eff-away vibe. To me, anyway. 

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8 minutes ago, Quill said:

Something is bothering me. In a recent thread, we discussed what happens when one friend always has to be the one to reach out. There was a lot of this sentiment:  What’s the big deal? Send me a text, an email, a message. If I don’t answer the phone, leave a message; just say you would like to see me soon. 

It was so memorable to me because I am one of those introverts who can go a long while without contacting someone and then I start to worry that it’s the wrong time. That thread, though, encouraged me to just do it: contact friends. Send a message, send an email, send a homing pigeon, whatever, just let your friend know you’re thinking about her. But now, since this thread, I’m imagining friends getting a text from me but sitting imperiously on the other side saying, “Hrumpf! I don’t want to be bound to the phone. Your text can wait.” 

I mean...I don’t get it. If we go Pavlovian here: A friend texts me, I soon text back in response, maybe we exchange a bit of back and forth; she gets positive reinforcement from my quick response. She wanted to share something with me and I was ready to touch base with that friendship. OTOH, if a friend texts me, let’s say she sends a picture and is like, “Awww, this made me think of you! It’s exactly the same whatchamacalit as that time we went to the thingamagig together!” And then....hours go by. A day elapses. Finally, I text back, “Aww, sweet! I remember that! 💜” That’s just not very reinforcing. 

This type of exchange, btw, is similar to the thing that happened that led to my posting this. I was the friend who thought I was sharing something, but I didn’t get a response for well over 24 hours. By that point, the emotion of the moment was over; the wind was out of my sails. So instead of feeling like I connected with a friend, I feel instead like there was a friendship-bank withdrawal. 

I wonder if she is on a message board somewhere saying nobody texts her first. 🤔

I was the person who started the thread to which you refer. 
Just because somebody does not respond immediately to a text does not mean they do not appreciate that you have been thinking of them. They many not be carrying their phone all the time, they may have seen the text at a moment when they could not reply and then got busy, they may not have the mental and emotional energy to engage in conversation right now. None of this invalidates the gesture that you reached out. 

One of my dearest friends lives almost off the grid. Our occasional messenger conversations are interrupted by weeks of silence because they are only on the computer very rarely and do not have a phone nor cell service. To me, the important thing is that, across the weeks and months, we still feel the connection and can still easily fall back into real conversations. I never know when they will get a chance to reply, or how long our conversation will last before they abruptly disappear back to leading their life.

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5 minutes ago, Quill said:

or 2) randomly drops out of a chat back-and-forth. I think those are strange things to do to a friend, if you hope they will continue to contact you. Because those give a go-the-eff-away vibe. To me, anyway. 

Almost everybody I chat with drops off randomly. I do not interpret that as a go-away vibe. To me, this means that the person makes enough room in her daily life to fit in my conversation, but may not be able to devote uninterrupted time. They may be messaging while taking a break form homework, while cooking, while watching children or waiting in line.  I am happy they are giving me snippets of their day; they may not have uninterrupted stretches.

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2 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I was the person who started the thread to which you refer. 
Just because somebody does not respond immediately to a text does not mean they do not appreciate that you have been thinking of them. They many not be carrying their phone all the time, they may have seen the text at a moment when they could not reply and then got busy, they may not have the mental and emotional energy to engage in conversation right now. None of this invalidates the gesture that you reached out. 

One of my dearest friends lives almost off the grid. Our occasional messenger conversations are interrupted by weeks of silence because they are only on the computer very rarely and do not have a phone nor cell service. To me, the important thing is that, across the weeks and months, we still feel the connection and can still easily fall back into real conversations. 

To paragraph one: yeah, or, they bloody well know I just texted them but they certainly don’t want to train me into thinking they respond quickly. 🤔 

To paragraph two: I would have zero issue with that scenario. But this is not true for the person that prompted this thread. She’s not even particularly busy, doesn’t have a lot going on, has much better internet even than I do, and seems to have a brand new phone every third time I see her. So yeah...I do ask myself, is it me? Maybe she just does not care I texted her and does not want to give me the foolish impression she is responsive to my texts. 

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7 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I was the person who started the thread to which you refer. 
Just because somebody does not respond immediately to a text does not mean they do not appreciate that you have been thinking of them. They many not be carrying their phone all the time, they may have seen the text at a moment when they could not reply and then got busy, they may not have the mental and emotional energy to engage in conversation right now. None of this invalidates the gesture that you reached out. 

One of my dearest friends lives almost off the grid. Our occasional messenger conversations are interrupted by weeks of silence because they are only on the computer very rarely and do not have a phone nor cell service. To me, the important thing is that, across the weeks and months, we still feel the connection and can still easily fall back into real conversations. I never know when they will get a chance to reply, or how long our conversation will last before they abruptly disappear back to leading their life.

Yes, all of this. 
 

Gosh, what happened to friends pre-text-technology? And what of those friends we all love, the ones that we can go without hearing from for years, and pick up with immediately with an out of the blue phone call, and still love them and not feel less of them? 
 

Perhaps the real question is, what do people require of friendships? Because if it includes immediate text response, there’s no hope for me.

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8 minutes ago, Quill said:

Something is bothering me. In a recent thread, we discussed what happens when one friend always has to be the one to reach out. There was a lot of this sentiment:  What’s the big deal? Send me a text, an email, a message. If I don’t answer the phone, leave a message; just say you would like to see me soon. 

It was so memorable to me because I am one of those introverts who can go a long while without contacting someone and then I start to worry that it’s the wrong time. That thread, though, encouraged me to just do it: contact friends. Send a message, send an email, send a homing pigeon, whatever, just let your friend know you’re thinking about her. But now, since this thread, I’m imagining friends getting a text from me but sitting imperiously on the other side saying, “Hrumpf! I don’t want to be bound to the phone. Your text can wait.” 

I mean...I don’t get it. If we go Pavlovian here: A friend texts me, I soon text back in response, maybe we exchange a bit of back and forth; she gets positive reinforcement from my quick response. She wanted to share something with me and I was ready to touch base with that friendship. OTOH, if a friend texts me, let’s say she sends a picture and is like, “Awww, this made me think of you! It’s exactly the same whatchamacalit as that time we went to the thingamagig together!” And then....hours go by. A day elapses. Finally, I text back, “Aww, sweet! I remember that! 💜” That’s just not very reinforcing. 

This type of exchange, btw, is similar to the thing that happened that led to my posting this. I was the friend who thought I was sharing something, but I didn’t get a response for well over 24 hours. By that point, the emotion of the moment was over; the wind was out of my sails. So instead of feeling like I connected with a friend, I feel instead like there was a friendship-bank withdrawal. 

I wonder if she is on a message board somewhere saying nobody texts her first. 🤔

The thing is, heartfelt communication is often awkward via text.  I don't think it's a great way to connect emotionally with people.  I think of texting more for quick communications, like "Don't forget to grab milk" or "Do you remember when Aunt Maude's birthday is? I forgot".  I don't use it to open my heart and say "I'm thinking of you/missing you, you are so special, remember that one time blah blah blah..." 

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17 minutes ago, Quill said:

Something is bothering me. In a recent thread, we discussed what happens when one friend always has to be the one to reach out. There was a lot of this sentiment:  What’s the big deal? Send me a text, an email, a message. If I don’t answer the phone, leave a message; just say you would like to see me soon. 

It was so memorable to me because I am one of those introverts who can go a long while without contacting someone and then I start to worry that it’s the wrong time. That thread, though, encouraged me to just do it: contact friends. Send a message, send an email, send a homing pigeon, whatever, just let your friend know you’re thinking about her. But now, since this thread, I’m imagining friends getting a text from me but sitting imperiously on the other side saying, “Hrumpf! I don’t want to be bound to the phone. Your text can wait.” 

 

But, but . . . if you're worried about bothering someone at the wrong time, wouldn't it be a relief to know they will just respond when convenient? 

Sometimes texts volley back and forth as you describe. Sometimes they don't. I wouldn't read too much into it.

3 minutes ago, Quill said:

To paragraph one: yeah, or, they bloody well know I just texted them but they certainly don’t want to train me into thinking they respond quickly. 🤔 

To paragraph two: I would have zero issue with that scenario. But this is not true for the person that prompted this thread. She’s not even particularly busy, doesn’t have a lot going on, has much better internet even than I do, and seems to have a brand new phone every third time I see her. So yeah...I do ask myself, is it me? Maybe she just does not care I texted her and does not want to give me the foolish impression she is responsive to my texts. 

  Is this one of the first times you've reached out to her first? Don't read too much into it unless it's a pattern. 

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7 hours ago, Scarlett said:

I think there is a type of person who makes a point of not responding to electronic communications immediately.  And they seem proud of it.  Oh I am just not the type to check my messages very often.  Hmm.  Well ok then.  I will be sure to not depend on you to do so.  
 

And I think if I text a friend....regardless of how trivial a matter it is....and she doesn’t respond for a day or more.....that she is not interested in maintaining a friendship with me.  To me it is the equivalent of seeing a friend in the grocery store and have her turn and avoid me.  If she is in a hurry, in person or on text, a quick, hi I can’t talk right now, I will get back with you later.  
 

Shrug.  I know we are not all the same.  But we should know that our actions or lack of do affect people.  

I honestly don’t feel pride because of the need to establish some best-for-my-mental-focus-and-well-being communication habits. It’s more of a survival tactic. 

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4 minutes ago, Quill said:

To paragraph one: yeah, or, they bloody well know I just texted them but they certainly don’t want to train me into thinking they respond quickly. 🤔 

To paragraph two: I would have zero issue with that scenario. But this is not true for the person that prompted this thread. She’s not even particularly busy, doesn’t have a lot going on, has much better internet even than I do, and seems to have a brand new phone every third time I see her. So yeah...I do ask myself, is it me? Maybe she just does not care I texted her and does not want to give me the foolish impression she is responsive to my texts. 

I think you're overthinking this. The way she conducts her life probably has nothing to do with her feelings for you.

I will say that if a friend said anything like that to me, about having plenty of free time and good internet, so why aren't I texting quicker? I'd take several large steps back from that relationship.  The only people to whom I owe an accounting of my time are the people who live in this house. 

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31 minutes ago, Quill said:

<snip>

I’m imagining friends getting a text from me but sitting imperiously on the other side saying, “Hrumpf! I don’t want to be bound to the phone. Your text can wait.” 

<snip>

Or maybe they are saying "Oh wow, it's Quill! I have been thinking of her but I can't text right now because [I'm at work, I'm running into a store, I'm about to make tea with my spouse], I will have to get back to her tomorrow. Hope she doesn't mind. Nah, she knows people can't drop everything and respond to text immediately."

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17 minutes ago, marbel said:

Or maybe they are saying "Oh wow, it's Quill! I have been thinking of her but I can't text right now because [I'm at work, I'm running into a store, I'm about to make tea with my spouse], I will have to get back to her tomorrow. Hope she doesn't mind. Nah, she knows people can't drop everything and respond to text immediately."

And then looks out the window and says "oh look, a squirrel" and gets 20 texts from a teenager and a grocery list from the spouse, and her mother is having a minor breakdown and forgets for the next 48 hours until she remembers to scroll down and got that brand new phone for the camera.  And then is like "wow - awkward but I love quill".  

I am delighted getting unexpected texts, but yep, I regularly miss them or am slow to respond.  I have never thought "oh I'll show you, you can wait!".  I'm just out here living my busy but boring slightly ADD mom of teens life.  People just use their technology differently.  It really isn't likely to be personal when you're talking about emotionally healthy people you otherwise have a good relationship with.  

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32 minutes ago, katilac said:

But, but . . . if you're worried about bothering someone at the wrong time, wouldn't it be a relief to know they will just respond when convenient? 

Sometimes texts volley back and forth as you describe. Sometimes they don't. I wouldn't read too much into it.

  Is this one of the first times you've reached out to her first? Don't read too much into it unless it's a pattern

No. It is a pattern. That’s why I’m asking how it strikes other people when this is the sort of slow response they often get. 

 

To your first question, it probably seems like I should think that. The reality is, my head goes, “See? I never know when might be a good time. It must not ever be a good time because she doesn’t text back until a day or so has passed.” 

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