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kdrive's avatar

What is the etiquette on the amount time to respond to an email, text message or twitter?

Asked by kdrive (155 points ) October 14th, 2010

Is there a time where you expect a response to an email, text or other social media? Is an hour rude for a text, but ok for an email. Just wondering if there is an etiquette? How about when you reply do you follow the same code?

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8 Answers

chels's avatar

They’re different for each medium.

While you could get back to an email in 1–2 days easily, texts and tweets are people looking for a quick response or reply. So essentially those would be easily ASAP.
It also depends on the urgency of the email. Sometimes I’ll reply right away, or sometimes I’ll wait a few days.

perg's avatar

I don’t consider e-mail to be social media, if that helps.

If I get a reply to a tweet more than about 12 hours afterward, not only is it kind of pointless but I forget what I was tweeting about.

Text – an immediate reply is preferred, but it depends on the urgency of the message. I don’t mind as much as a day later if it’s not urgent.

For e-mail, again it depends on the subject. With personal messages, I can wait a few days or even weeks. I know that some of my correspondents don’t get online often. Business correspondence, if the person’s in the office, I prefer to have answered within a day or so, again varying depending on urgency. If I need an immediate response, I say so.

Trillian's avatar

There is no etiquette. All of these forms of intrusiveness pre suppose that the other person has nothing else to do and can respond immediately like a real time conversation.
Business email and chit chat email ar not even close to the same category.
I check my email first thing in the morning, and delete or reply as nevessary. The oly rudenes in texting is setting a time limit for the other person to get back with you. People have things going on in their lives, cells get left places, batteries go dead, there are all kinds of reasons for people not to textback immediately. Or ever, sometimes.

diavolobella's avatar

I try to respond to all as promptly as I can within reason. I don’t consider email or text messages to be intrusive, rather just forms of communication. Obviously, if I don’t have my phone with me or I am in the midst of something critical, I won’t be as prompt in responding, but I try to be considerate. I don’t keep someone waiting or fail respond to them without good reason. Twitter, I don’t use, so my answer only applies to texts and emails. Bear in mind that my personal email and my cell phone number are pretty much restricted to my immediate family and close friends, so I don’t get a lot of texts or emails that aren’t welcome. I can say that no one has ever said they felt I didn’t respond fast enough.

I am diligent about providing a fast response if it involves a situation where someone is waiting for my response in order to make or confirm plans (dinner invite, are you coming to the party, can I get a ride with you tonight) I will respond immediately. I hate it when people make me wait unnecessarily when something pressing hinges on their decision, and so I don’t do that to others.

xxii's avatar

I respond to all as soon as I can, which is usually as soon as I get them. If I am in class and I get a long email, I won’t return it right then, but I will once I get out.

I expect responses to emails within two days, if not within the day. For texts, I expect a response within a couple of hours, unless the text regards something pressing, in which case I expect one ASAP.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t sent e-mails or texts if I need a reply in a timely manner, I call the person. When my husband is home, there are times when I just don’t check my phone all day or even for 2 or 3 days at a time and the same goes for my e-mail. If I hear my phone go off, I’ll check it right then, but I tend to leave it in another room when my husband is home, so I don’t here the text/e-mail notification, but I’ll hear it ring.

Personally, if someone needs an answer for me, they should call. I’d be upset if someone sent me a text and then got mad at me for not responding if I hadn’t even seen the text at that point. I do not consider text messages or e-mails to be definite forms of communication. If you need to get a response from someone, the only way to know they got your question is to ask them directly yourself. Leaving or sending a message is fine, but you really can’t be sure of when they got that message, so to me, they aren’t the best method of communication to use.

wundayatta's avatar

Here are my expectations (which are not a prescribed etiquette)

Email:
1) for most relationships—one day
2) for intense relationships and efforts to organize meetings—several times per day
3) for work—as many times a day as needed. I only check email a couple of times a day, but it should be a lot more often.

Text messaging:
1) for initial message—one hour for a response—after that, a day for acknowledgement
2) at indeterminate end—an hour
3) at clearly defined end—one day to forever

Chat
1) live chat—as long as it takes to type, and the little sign should say you are typing
2) semi-chat—a few minutes up to fifteen minutes. After that I assume it’s over.

Phone
1) professional—that day (hah! my contractors can take a good deal longer than that)
2) personal—maybe a day—two is stretching it

Paper correspondence
1) does anyone do this any more?

Frenchfry's avatar

I always wait a week. People can get busy.

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