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Vexed by Texts

August 6, 2014

My cousin Joe says of everyone he texts with, I am the fastest to respond. “Within like ten seconds,” he says. “Amazing.”text mesage

When people send a text, it’s usually with the intent to share information. “On my way. Be there in ten.” Or “What’s Natalie’s email?” Regardless of the message, most texts solicit a response and very often, need to be timely. If I’m meeting someone and they text me, “Running late! Can’t get a taxi!” Of course I’m going to respond, if for no other reason then to let them know I received their message.

At the beginning of the summer I received a message from an old friend asking for information about a store on Cape Cod. Within two minutes I wrote back. Did I hear from her again? No. Not even a “thx.” If someone takes the time to do you a favor, how do you not respond? Are you conserving your data plan? Who today, unless you’re my friend Susan, doesn’t have an unlimited text message data plan?

Emails I can understand a delay, but a text? On your cell phone? Cell phones are like adult binkies; they go with us everywhere. What other excuse could you possibly use for not responding to a text? Dropped my phone onto the subway tracks! I’ll buy that. Lost my phone! It happens. Phone got eaten by a shark! I’ll even concede that one too. There are – I’m sure – a list of legitimate excuses for not replying, but for the most part, with many of us taking our cell phones with us into the bathroom, that list is pretty short.

When instant messaging first began back in the 90s, the first person I ever IM’ed with was my Aunt Ida. She was 98 at the time and was taking a computer course at her local community college. Our conversations didn’t last long, as Aunt Ida tired quickly, but she was so enamored by technology and the ability to reach out to family and friends, that no matter what I was doing, I would stop and chat. As always, Aunt Ida signed off by writing, “Thank you for taking the time. I know you young people today are so busy. It means a lot.”

I wonder how Aunt Ida would feel about the way instant communication happens today. Or rather, how often it doesn’t.

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14 Comments
  1. Jim Kirstein permalink

    Well said Felice! Acknowledging a person’s message to you is not only polite but also confirmation that their message was heard and understood. Which is essential in any communication.

  2. Debra Topilow permalink

    FYI – I’m such a yenta that I have unlimited talk and limited text!

    Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2014 21:45:53 +0000 To: debra@topilow.com

  3. You’ve never had a technological blip? I have. In both directions. So I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt.

  4. Marilyn Solomon permalink

    I agree with you. I am just learning about texting other wise I would not know what my kids & grandkids are doing. I must admit I would rather hear a voice, so if I receive a text I often reply with a phone call. Hope all is well. LOL. With me that means lots of love!

  5. Deborah Golden permalink

    You are a gem. I hope I am always responding to your texts, blogs, emails and phone calls. Better yet, if – no, when – I have better mobility, I hope to join you for a bike ride, hike or at the very least, a walk. I love your energy.

  6. Eddie McGarry permalink

    Nice Job!

    Sent from my iPhone

  7. Joe faucette permalink

    I have a close relative who at times would take almost a week and a half to answer my email …maybe. I’d be concerned something had happen and I would call. The answer would be that I’m old and overreacting. How’s that for a how do you do. Imagine if I could text.

  8. Billy permalink

    If it is important to get response immediatly, try calling me. Texting and emails I only check once and a while when I have time. Besides I dont like writing on the phone.

    And I dont bring the telephone with me all the time. But most of the time.

    I agree that you should answer back with a tnx.

    • True, calling is the best way to get that response if you need it. I guess we are used to instant response and when we don’t get it…

  9. I agree with you. By now I know which of my friends don’t reply and don’t worry anymore. But sometimes when I get no reaction I worry if I said something wrong or something… 🙂
    But it seems to be happening less and less.

  10. james nomikos permalink

    I wish I had known your Aunt Ida. happy summer, naomi

  11. Andrea Watson permalink

    I knew her James. She was my grandmother. She was the best. Thank you Felice. You are too.

  12. I hate to dissapoint, but sometimes I’m off line completely on Sundays. I need a tech-free day once in awhile. And when I’m at work, I don’t always get to rsvp to texts. But you’re spot on regarding a quick thank you. That’s just polite!

    Dear Aunt Ida. I miss her. She was a really fine woman who aged as gracefully as anyone could.
    XO

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