- Years old:
- I'm 47 years old
- Sexual identity:
- I love man
- What is my sex:
- What is the color of my hair:
My mother has always been, and still is, a phone talker. The text, which has taken top billing against my will, reigns supreme. I call my mom when I need serious advice but also when I just want to chat. We recently had a delightful minute conversation devoted entirely to the virtues of dry shampoo.
I don't know who needs to hear this, but it's perfectly OK for someone to post on social media even though they haven't replied to your text messages yet.
Sure, it's polite and respectful to respond to messages and answer questions as soon as possible, but taking a few hours — or even days — to do so doesn't always mean someone is actively trying to be rude or disrespectful toward you. It's easy to get annoyed with people who take a while to respond to messages — especially if you see them tweeting, sharing articles to Facebook, or posting Instagram stories in the meantime. Trust me, I get it. I used to make every effort to reply to texts within seconds of receiving them, so I often got frustrated when others took a while to respond to me.
6 things i learned when i stopped texting and starting calling my friends on the actual phone
When people would leave my texts unanswered and I'd see them post on social media, I'd admittedly wonder, "What the hell? I grew increasingly overwhelmed with work, life, and all the chaos going on in the world, and my anxiety made it impossible to text anyone back.
I started having to wait until it subsided to reply to people, and that's when I realized delayed responses aren't always what they seem.
Sending a text seems like one of the simplest tasks in the world. You tap your phone screen to form words and smash the send button, right? Most of the time I do consider texting to be an extremely low-energy task, but much like in-person conversations, communicating digitally sometimes requires real effort, vulnerability, and thoughtfulness. That's not always easy to give. At some point over the past few years, I began staring at light gray iMessage bubbles that read things like, "How are you? My thumbs became paralyzed at the sight of daunting questions that required deep levels of introspection or explanation on my part, so I'd put off responding until I felt up to the challenge.
Your data. your experience.
I occasionally let my text messages pile up unanswered, but I kept living my life and posting to social media. It seemed like a good system, until one of my friends called me out. She had texted me the day before, and I hadn't forgotten to respond.
I'd had a truly horrible week and wanted to take the weekend to recover.
I had every intention of replying to her non-urgent text on Monday, but because she saw me using Instagram, she felt I should have texted her back already. Unless the person you message has read receipts turned onyou likely won't be able to tell when, or if, they've had a chance to read your texts.
Talk to people on the telephone
If you picture someone being too busy to stop and look at their phones — as I'm sure my friend was doing with me — it's easy to rationalize delayed responses. But if a person you've messaged posts to social media before replying to you, their silence in DMs is often taken as a slap in the face. The common thought process here is that if someone has the time to casually be online, then they must have time to reply to your text. If they're on social media, they're clearly using technology, so why can't they take a few extra minutes to answer you?
On the surface, this logic makes sense.
My friend messages me on every platform. how do i politely say 'back off'?
But it's not always as simple as someone failing to carve out time. People might be posting to social media during a quick break from work, they could be using social media to distract themselves from daily dread, or they might quickly post something in the presence of other people and not have the time to devote to texting.
There's also the chance that they just might have forgotten to reply. When my friend called me out for not answering her, I replied honestly.
Send a group text message on your iphone, ipad or ipod touch
I explained that for me, posting on social media requires much less effort than engaging in a personal conversation. I told her I was taking the weekend to recharge my social batteries, and she was super understanding.
We ended up having a really productive conversation about how texting isn't always as easy as it sounds. Reminding myself that texts like, "How are you? And acknowledging that mindlessly scrolling through Twitter or posting photos of food can be easier than talking about your life helped me accept that it's perfectly fine to use social media in between receiving and answering texts.
Sometimes self-care means not texting back right away, and that became extraordinarily clear to me this year amid the coronavirus pandemic and George Floyd protests. When my mind was racing to grapple with all the new coronavirus social distancing guidelines, medical research, and death tolls, I had trouble replying to texts in a timely manner. I did, however, find some semblance of calm on Instagram, and I continued sharing informative updates on Twitter. And after George Floyd died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutesI barely texted anyone for days.
I took time to watch protests spread around the world; to read books and articles, and to watch films to further educate myself on the history of racism and police brutality. I made an effort to donate to organizationspetitions, and support black-owned businesses. Though I didn't feel ready Texting friend and then reply to non-urgent texts for a full week, I felt it was imperative that I continue to use my social media platforms to help raise awareness on the issues at hand and share invaluable resources.
If you're not in the right mindset to reply to text messages immediately, you shouldn't. Prioritizing your mental health is important. But you should also choose which texts to leave hanging on a case-by-case basis.
Always keep a message's content and urgency in mind. If someone's asking a question that requires an immediate response, do your best to respond in a timely fashion. And if someone needs help, you obviously shouldn't ignore them. If you wait to text back, be sure to acknowledge and apologize for the delay when you do get around to it. You can even be upfront with people and let them know upon receiving their message that you need a day or two to get back to them — that way you can relax without the unanswered text lingering in the back of your mind.
Be honest with people if you're too overwhelmed to chat, but please avoid using that viral text reply template. And remember, there's definitely a difference between waiting until you feel emotionally ready to text someone back and straight-up ghosting them. Don't ghost people, that's rude as hell. Ultimately, it's crucial to keep in mind that you never know exactly what someone is going through when they receive your text messages.
It's ok to post on social media even though you haven't replied to texts
Cut yourself, and others, some slack, and try not to read too much into text delays — even if you see people posting on social media before they've replied. If the wait really bothers you, you can always confront them about it. And you might end up having an eye-opening talk like I did with my friend.
As someone who's avoided replying to family members and friends I absolutely adore because of sheer emotional exhaustion, I can tell you that delays aren't always ill-intentioned.
Sometimes people are just overwhelmed. Social Good.
“hey, it’s xyz. how’ve you been?”
Unanswered texts can feel overwhelming, but it's OK to put yourself first sometimes. How have I been? What a stacked question. Wait a bit, but don't ghost people forever. The 13 year-old pug who dictates what kind of day you're going to have Manifesting a bones day!
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