Did you just message somebody? Are you currently waiting for their reply? Have you seen that they’ve seen it? Are you wondering what is taking them so long? Are you thinking of possible reasons as to what the hold up to could be? Do you also have a message sitting there that you haven’t replied to? One that you said “I’ll reply later” about? Are all these questions stressing you out? You are not alone.
In this era of constant availability where we’re glued to our phones and every messaging app is just a move of the thumb away we are more stressed than ever at the pressures of replying. A 2021 survey found that 30% of Americans are ‘almost constantly’ online and that has led to feelings of anxiety if messages that are sent aren’t met with instant replies.
We have more ways to get in touch with each other than ever before and it is stressing us out because there is no set of rules as to when somebody needs to reply. If you fire a quick message off right now, you want a reply back just as quick, and the longer you have to wait the more annoyed you become. The same goes for when you receive a message, you feel the unread notification hanging over your head until you get back to the sender.
It didn’t use to be this way, back in the day if you sent somebody a letter you could expect to wait months to hear back from them. Even if you called them directly at home, there were still rules about what time of the day that could be. It was a huge social error if you called the house after Blue Heelers had started. That was much too late to be calling somebody for a chat.
Now, those lines have been blurred. It’s unclear whether you should expect a message back the moment you send it. Nobody really knows how late you can contact somebody. This is no real etiquette around when you can contact another person anymore.
So, with that in mind here are some rules we can agree on:
If somebody sends you a meme you have already seen – NEVER REPLY If your parents get in contact – WAIT UNTIL THEY OFFER TO BUY YOU THINGS BEFORE YOU REPLY
If it’s a message from the group chat – DON’T BE THE FIRST TO REPLY
If it’s a message from somebody who is in the group chat but they are messaging outside of the group chat about somebody else in the group chat – REPLY IMMEDIATELY, GOSSIP IS IMPORTANT
Now, send this article to a friend and see for yourself the rise in anxiety you experience as it takes them forever to reply.