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How It Became Normal to Ignore Texts & Emails

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by Jambalaya, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. Jambalaya
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    by Jambalaya » Apr 18, 2019
    The Atlantic had an article a while ago about how common it is now for people to ignore texts and emails. The title of the article is: How It Became Normal to Ignore Texts and Emails

    https://www.theatlantic.com/technol...r-in-the-age-of-instant-communication/550325/

    The reason I'm interested in this topic is because, in my own life, I've seen this behavior reach fever pitch in the last year or two. So many of my texts or emails go ignored that I don't think these mediums are much use anymore. Dating is particularly bad for this. I've all but given up text or email, except for business/transactional purposes. Since people so often don't reply, there doesn't seem much point in sending them. I'm now much more selective about to whom I send a message, and when. Also, I often now pick up the phone instead. Perhaps society will go full circle!

    I remember when texting first started and everybody was fascinated with it!

    ETA: A few years ago, I had a friend who drove me nuts this way, because when I'd invite her out, if she couldn't make it or didn't want to go, she would ignore my invitation until the date had passed. Then, like clockwork, she would get in touch after and say sorry she couldn't make it. This happened too often for it to have been coincidence. I was younger, but these days I'd call her on it. And it wasn't that she didn't want to hang out - we hung out a lot. The times when I invited her out and she couldn't go, or didn't want to, I don't see what was so hard about just making an excuse!
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
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  2. bludiva
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    by bludiva » Apr 18, 2019
    i wouldn't call it normal, it's still rude. before mobile technology, that was the person that said maybe to 5 different things and then decided which sounded the best the night of. rude then, rude now!
     
  3. missy
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  4. StephanieLynn
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    by StephanieLynn » Apr 18, 2019
    Hmmm, last time this happened to me it was because the "friend" was trying to give me subtle hints that we had grown apart, you know rather than confront the issue like a grown adult. Oh well.

    I have also noticed this with my 26 year old SIL, it seems like if she is to busy to engage in an exchange or just doesn't feel there is any need to respond, she doesn't. I've learned not to take it personally.
     
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  5. seaurchin
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    by seaurchin » Apr 18, 2019
    I think not responding to texts or invitations is communication, even if nonverbal. To me, it says that they don't want to communicate with you (general "you" here) - either as much as you're offering, at all, or except for when they have use for you.

    So I think not replying can be rude or not, just depending. For example, at my age I've had many friends move in and out of my life, and I don't recall ever once having a friendship breakup talk with anyone. So I'd say just moving on is the way it's typically done, perhaps with a short time where one wants to pull away before the other does.

    In that case, I don't have a problem taking a hint and quietly leaving someone alone, once I catch on that it's what's wanted. I wouldn't want to push myself on them or demand an explanation when there really isn't one, except that they no longer feel it enough to invest part of their limited time and energy in the friendship. That's not a conversation I'd enjoy participating in, on either side.

    If it signals that less interaction is wanted (but still some interaction), most people pick up on that too, I think.

    However, a friend who eagerly answers you when she wants to hang out but ignores your invitations otherwise, leaving you hanging? I consider that flat out rude, no way around it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  6. Karl_K
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    by Karl_K » Apr 18, 2019
    I find it extremely rude for people to expect me to drop everything and answer a text or email.
    They can $^$#^@#^@%#&@$%.
    Yes, I ran into this today and am irked about it.
     
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  7. tigertales
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    by tigertales » Apr 18, 2019
    It's called 'ghosting' and it freaks me out. It's also common not to 'sign off'....you know, where you used to close a convo by saying something like "have a good night" or "see you later". You're just supposed to let the thread drop and get picked up "whenever".
    I wonder what Miss Manners would say :roll2:
     
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  8. bludiva
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    by bludiva » Apr 18, 2019
    I guess there are 2 separate things brought up by Jambalaya's question...I don't think we should be beholden to our phones/email especially if it's not something urgent. A day or even a few to return a message is a normal cadence for some of us and that is fine. What is rude to me is when there is an asymmetry - for example people expecting an answer when they reach out but only reply when it suits them and the whole "ghosting" phenomenon
     
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  9. tigertales
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    by tigertales » Apr 19, 2019
    What I'm realizing is how much I'm not avoiding/ignoring the person, but the invasive existence of phones, texts, emails, IMs etc. in general. I'm just dissing the constant intrusion, not the person.
    I think a lot of us are just so over it. It's gone from novelty to nuisance.
     
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  10. sonnyjane
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    by sonnyjane » Apr 19, 2019
    See, I will text or email people back no problem, but dear lord, please don’t call me haha. I honestly could get by without having any call features on my cell phone and survive. For most customer service issues I email or use chat. Text mostly with family and friends. Email for work. When I get a voicemail I don’t even listen to it - I’ll read the transcript. Extreme perhaps, I just really don’t like chatting on the phone.
     
    


    


  11. missy
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    by missy » Apr 19, 2019
    I don't know what Miss Manners has to say about that but personally I always say bye when I am done with texting. I'll text something like TTYL or have a good day etc. Just to let the other person know OK I am not texting back anymore for now. I know that many just leave the text convo but I guess I am old school and don't want to just disappear without formally saying bye. Pretty sure most people just stop texting without announcing it. :tongue:
     
  12. missy
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    by missy » Apr 19, 2019
    I think many people feel the same way @sonnyjane as you do. Honestly, most of the time, I feel this way too. It's so much easier and less intrusive to respond to a text vs picking up a ringing phone. What my friends and I do is text the other asking can you chat now? And then we will pick up the phone if it is a convenient time for both or make a phone appointment as silly as that might sound. Works for me and most of my friends who know me well.
     
  13. missy
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    by missy » Apr 19, 2019

    Ghosting is a different story IMO. I thought that is when a person completely ignores the other person dropping off the radar and out of their life. That happened to me once and in hindsight I was like thank goodness she did it and I didn't have to end the very dysficuntional relationship. She was TOXIC to an extreme and I was hesitant to end the relationship because of the friends we had in common. And thankfully she ghosted me relieving me of the responsibility to do what I should have done a year plus before. That was the first and only time that happened to me. It was a blessing. Turns out she ghosted 2 other of our friends in the group.

    I thought @Jambalaya was referring to people just not answering texts or emails in a timely fashion. I think texts are more intrusive than emails but the beauty of texts and emails are that we do not have to immediately answer them if we don't want to. Personally I think answering within 24 hours is acceptable but much beyond that feels rude to me. YMMV and that is OK. As @tigertales wrote sometimes it is a sign when someone doesn't respond to you in a timely fashion. As in, your friendship is not really a priority so I will get back to you next week as an example. Generally when someone takes many days to respond either they are crazy busy at work or the friendship isn't a priority. Really all I would ask is if I text a friend and they are that busy and won't be able to respond for a week or more just text me back and write crazy busy will respond when I can. That takes but a second or two. JMO.
     
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  14. GliderPoss
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    by GliderPoss » Apr 22, 2019
    I agree it’s rude not to answer texts or emails, particularly regarding invitations but I do resent the expectation to answer immediately! I’ve definitely been known to ignore messages & calls especially on the weekends as sometimes I just want time to to myself...:sleep:
    Eg. I have a good friend who tends to call a lot, and because they always seem to want something from me - IF it doesn’t suit me I’ll just not answer/reply at that moment! Probably not very polite but...:shifty:
     
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  15. Arcadian
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    by Arcadian » Apr 22, 2019
    I get lots of texts and some of them kinda do slip through the cracks. when I don't always recognize the text, I do usually go back and ask "whodis?"....:lol: If I get a response, I respond back. (most people do funny enough)

    I do try to be timely, but I draw the line in the evening and when I'm driving.

    I've been known to ignore email though (personal email) work emails I always answer.
    Hey even the guy that sent me text accidentally I was polite to, told him to have a great day but please lose my number...lol
     
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  16. OoohShiny
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    by OoohShiny » Apr 22, 2019
    For me, I often want to respond and be polite but don't want to get into text or email ping-pong about something - gone are the days that people take time to write a letter about various things and then await a reply of similar length, now it's all about blurting out staccato thoughts the instant one thinks them, and bouncing one-liner replies back and forth.

    I think this has got worse with things like Instant Messenger and other social media apps, especially those cursed things that notify the other person as soon as you've read something :| and I would rather take time out to write an interesting and expansive missive than just chat short-and-sweet irrelevancies.

    Sometimes it is good to write a short rant to someone to vent some steam about someone else's stupidity or annoyingness :lol: but it would be nice if every single little thought people had didn't have to be unthinkingly broadcast the second it happens.


    I recall Stephen Fry noted on QI that telephones are really quite rude - their ringing is basically the caller saying 'Answer me now! Answer me now! Answer me now!!' :lol: and emails/texts are being treated the same way now, even though they are basically the same as dropping a letter into the postbox. You wouldn't send another letter 10 minutes after the first letter, asking why the intended recipient hasn't replied to the first letter yet, so don't do it on email or text ;-) lol

    I don't see anything wrong with taking back control of communication with other people, as long as it's civil and we are honest enough to say if / when we'd rather not speak to someone!
     
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  17. Tekate
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    by Tekate » Apr 23, 2019
    oh snap! this is easy.

    My mother always said: "Catherine! speak when you are spoken to". (and then hit my on the head or somewhere ;-) ) if someone texts you or emails you then you should respond at your earliest convenience, especially if it's business related. We all have nutcase family members and we have friends who are annoying, SILs who are annoying etc etc etc. But one should reply none the less.

    As to no longer wanting a friend, for a plethora of reasons this happens, changes in all kinds of things etc, how did we handle it before the age of annoying phones and computers? Well basically we declined invites, keep conversations short, decline decline etc.. then your friend whomever get's the message or talks to you about it.. I suppose that is ghosting old school way. :)

    My younger son said to me when I confronted him with NOT replying to my texts he said and I quote "Millenials don't reply to anything Mom unless they have something to add" so I said "what about a THANKS" or a "OKAY" just a reply to know you read what I wrote.. NOPE he won't do it. My 37 year old nephew never reply's to anything, so I don't text him anything anymore.

    To me texting and email is just a symptom of the lost art of camaraderie and talking and socializing, so be it. Their loss, but it's a symptom of a loss of humanity and connection.
     
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  18. Rubymal
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    by Rubymal » Apr 23, 2019
    When I was in the early years of high school, I had a friend who would cancel plans last minute through email. That was back in the day where it was not possible to have email kick to your phone; it meant having to turn your computer and log on to check. I didnt even have my own computer back then either so email would be checked maybe once a week.

    Now that emails come to my phone, I always get a response out within minutes. I tell people the only time I don't respond right away is if I'm in a meeting. Typically, i always respond at most a few hours later.
     
  19. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » Apr 23, 2019
    Most of my texts and emails are from close family and friends, so I certainly keep my phone with me and try to reply as soon as I can. If I am out shopping, I may not hear the text alert, and I do not have audible email or IG message alerts...I just check those a few times a day. I always try to respond to emails within 24 hours and texts immediately to a couple of hours later if I am busy or driving. I am in touch with my phone because I always want to be available if one of my kids has some urgent need or just wants to chat. My husband's parents are very elderly and we need to be available for that reason, too. Plus my older daughter might send a picture of her little girls and I surely enjoy that!

    I honestly do not enjoy talking on the phone at all. I enjoy in person visits with friends, and we can spend 5 hours at lunch just talking and catching up! But for most daily communication, texts work great for me. I would really hate to go back to the days of not having them. I do notice my girls getting texts and not even checking them. I always tell them to check! Show respect to those who love you and see what they want before you decide to ignore!!!:naughty:
     
  20. ame
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    by ame » Apr 24, 2019
    If I can NEVER call someone, or be called, that's my goal. I despise being on the phone. Just text me the short short version and I can reply if necessary.
     
  21. doberman
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    by doberman » Apr 25, 2019
    I am old enough to remember the days when it was not expected that you could reach anyone at any time, anywhere. Mobile and electronic communications have created the expectation that other people should be available at all times.

    It's annoying.
     
  22. LittleRed
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    by LittleRed » Apr 25, 2019
    I was taught to not call anyone before 9AM or after 8PM. Calls on the weekend to just chat was s no-no too since weekends were for family time.

    With texting there are no etiquette rules, so to me it’s annoying. I don’t want to be available all hours of every day with an expected immediate reply. :snooty:
     
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  23. bludiva
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    by bludiva » Apr 25, 2019

    What's super annoying now is telemarketers calling late into the evening or getting telemarketing texts. yuck! AT&T called me at like 9pm on a Saturday not that long ago, what the heck!
     
  24. Alex T
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    by Alex T » Apr 25, 2019
    My husband only responds to about 50% of my messages :lol: Usually it’s because they don’t actually warrant a response, like today when I messaged to tell him i’d had to collect one of the children from school as she’d thrown up on the playing field whilst pushing hard at sprint training, but she was home, showered, teeth brushed & fine. He is busy at work & often away from his desk, however I won’t make excuses for how annoying it can be sometimes!! Obviously I know when he’s seen the message, but if I send a ‘statement’ message, it’s tumbleweed city over here in response. If it’s a ‘question’ message then he replies, but again this can be a few hours later.

    On the occasions i’ve asked a question & he hasn’t had chance to respond at all, I get cross & go into Radio Silence mode i.e. the following few days I don’t message him at all for anything. Nothing. We still communicate normally when physically together & i’m good at brushing off my irritation, but I don’t message when apart. This usually ends with a random message a day or so later, mid-afternoon, from him checking in to ask how my day is going. He says that amongst the chaos he’ll suddenly realise that he hasn’t heard from me that day & wonder how I am :lol:

    Generally speaking, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t respond to my messages in a timely manner, and I also respond when I have opportunity.
     
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  25. tigertales
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    by tigertales » Apr 25, 2019
    YES! I follow the 9 to 8(9) rule as well...and, after a stressful week of non stop demands and just PEOPLE, I got a call from my heating service company on a Saturday, asking me to schedule a cleaning. It really bugged me.
    Sounds trivial, but, I put away my calendar, leave my desk behind, and expect some privacy on weekends. That's family time.
     
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  26. LLJsmom
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    by LLJsmom » Apr 26, 2019
    I grew up with just the old fashioned phone. If you caught me or I caught you we talked. If not, oh well. Text and email are additional ways to catch someone. Unless I am very close to someone, I don’t feel required to respond to email or text. I also do not expect others to respond to me. If it is really urgent, I call you or you call me. I really can’t stand being accessible all the time. I do it enough for work.
     
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  27. LittleRed
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    by LittleRed » Apr 26, 2019
    Yes, this exactly.
     
  28. AprilBaby
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    by AprilBaby » Apr 26, 2019
    I rarely use my phone for calls anymore, everyone texts. I answer the text when I feel like it. If I’m out, most of the time I leave my phone home so my full attention is on whomever I am with. I hate being with someone who has to check their phone every time they get a text.
     
  29. LisaRN
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    by LisaRN » Apr 26, 2019
    So true. Recently I was made to feel guilty for not answering a 5 a.m. text until 9 a.m. It was my day off and I was sleeping. Didn't even check my phone until after I had my morning coffee.
     
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  30. LLJsmom
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    by LLJsmom » Apr 26, 2019
    My question is the opposite. When did it become normal to be expected to respond immediately or at all to email or texts? I am referring to non-work situations. I think part of it is generational. I don’t take offense easily and don’t really care that much if not responded to unless it’s life or death. Unfortunately I assume others are the same. So if they do get offended easily, they won’t be my friends for long.
     
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