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Artwork: Daniel Fishel

Here we are. Internalizing the time it takes for someone to respond to a text. When did we begin to confuse text communication with verbal communication? The same rules do not apply. Texting is in the moment. At times an interruption. In some cases when we engage in verbal communication, it is intimate, involved and, intentional. You can hear the person’s voice. There is a time to engage and pause. To listen. To laugh. 

Text on the other hand is short and quick. Initially, texting’s primary use was to engage quickly, briefly, and without much thought. Today however, the lines have become blurred. Technology creates entitlement. The constant need to be in the know has created this sense of entitlement to timely responses and explanations, if late to respond. What was meant to be a quick exchange of information, runs the risk of turning into a full blown misunderstanding. Case in point: if someone does not respond to a text that reads “Hey, want to meet up for lunch?”  an instant timer is placed on the sender’s radar. If a certain amount of time has passed, all of the sudden the conversation becomes one sided. The one sided conversation that sounds a lot like this,  “Guess they don’t want to meet. Wonder why? Was it something I said? Was it something I did? Maybe I am not that important or interesting? They flaky anyway. This is the part that has to stop. Internalizing time lapses in between texting does not mean anything other than, time has passed. As the sender, it does nothing for you to analyze, question, judge, heck even toss a person to the trash pile, all because they did not respond when you felt they should have. 

“Relating the time it takes for someone to respond back to your text, is not a direct reflection of your value or importance to the responder.” 

Be patient and realistic. Sometimes, people just are not in the mood to text. They may be busy at the moment. They could be crying. Using the restroom. Need a break, at work or, even  eating for that matter. I mean the list goes on and on. Technology has a way of “spoiling” us. It has a way of bringing things into the relationship dynamic that was never meant to be there in the first place.  Just because you are ready to  engage in a full blown conversation, or send an impromptu invites, doesn’t mean that the other person is available to respond, stop or, even think for that matter. It is not fair to insert assumption and judgement, on a text that light hardly started with a simple gesture. So who are you unfairly judging? Are you thinking too much or putting too much thought into simple messages of communication? People have a right to choose how they wish to engage with you. Let them make that decision. Besides, basing the health of a whole friendship off of the whim of a few texts with delayed responses is just plain silly. Use your words. Share how you feel and ask your friends, how do they wish to communicate? What works best for them? Often times, we assume that how we are is how everyone else is.





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