1. Alicia

    Last night a friend sent me a text at 5pm. It was asking a casual question. I saw the text but was not in an easy place to answer it so let it go thinking I would text back later. Friend then texted me a :-( face at about 8pm and when I spoke to him later complained about my not responding to the test message promptly. The question under discussion is do text messages require a prompt reply or not. I think not. Particularly with people who have been known to do whole long conversations via text. But I turn to you. Should you feel the obligation to stop what you are doing and respond to a text message the way you would respond to a phone call if someone called you? Or is it fine to get back to them a day later like a voicemail?

    • Lilli

      By assuming that texts should be answered immediately, the sender is basically saying that you should actually be reading immediately. What if you are driving? Or socializing/working with other people? Text messages are the same as any phone call, email, or voicemail – you respond when you have the opportunity to do so safely and without being rude to people around you.

      • Joanna

        Agreed. But I think that a good many people are currently under the delusion that texts must be answered the second they’re received — and that is where a major societal problem lies. We end up with people more engaged with their phones than with the people they’re with face to face, or the people who are waiting to serve them, i.e. cashiers, waitresses, secretaries, etc. I find it utterly depressing and beyond rude to see how many businesses now have signs reading things like, “Please turn off your phone while being served. If you do not, we will immediately go to the next person.”

        Bottom line, I think many people are so involved with their various technology now, that they tend to forget we are all supposed to be out and about, actually living real lives where we do things and go places and interact with real people, lol.

        • Jody

          Joanna — agreed, it’s sad to think that businesses *have* to put out such signs these days. Still, I’d love to patronize businesses who do that and stick to it. It’s frustrating to be behind a customer who is paying more attention to his phone than the transaction and it must be utterly frustrating for the salesclerk to wait on somebody like that.

    • Jody

      I think Lilli is correct. You respond to text messages/voice mail messages as you can. If the message requires an urgent response the sender should start out by saying so. If the message is something like “Hey Alicia, a group of us is getting together, let me know by X time if you want to join us” the sender has still let you know he would like a response by a certain time. If I don’t have either of those two conditions in messages left for me, I return them when I can.

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