Social Question

suzanna28's avatar

Why don't some people respond to emails/texts?

Asked by suzanna28 (684points) July 2nd, 2011

I find this to be really rude and a shows a lack of courtesy/manners.

And no they are not ignoring me.. because occasionally they would send me a random email or call me up to ask me how I am.

For those of you who do this or have had this experience, can you give me some answer as to why some people are like this ?

What particularly annoys me is that these same people expect you to answer right away when they send you an email or text.

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18 Answers

Aethelflaed's avatar

Occasionally I do that. I don’t mean to, but sometimes I’ll forget. Normally, it’s because I got your text when I was a bit drunk, or busy doing something else, and thought “I’ll get back to that later” and then didn’t. But I do give people quite a bit of time on replying to me, especially if it’s not asking them to go do something pretty soon after.

Bellatrix's avatar

I get literally hundreds of emails and many texts. I do try to answer everything that needs answering but sometimes things get buried in my email account under the pile that lobbed in after that one. I try to remember to flag everything I need to come back to but I’m human and sometimes I forget.

zenvelo's avatar

Are you asking them a question? Or are you just posting something random. I get so many emails everyday that if you don’t ask me a question (even as simple as “how are you doing?”) I won’t reply.

And I don’t reply to texts that are more than a couple hour old.

jrpowell's avatar

If you send me stupid shit like “It is sunny!” I will not reply. If what you said needs a follow-up I will. I’m too old to play the I love you, I love you more game.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@zenvelo Does that include texts like “Do you want to grab dinner with me tomorrow”? Do you have exceptions to the 2 hour rule for if you didn’t have your phone on you?

Aethelwine's avatar

Because many of us long for the days when you only had to respond when someone knocked on your door?

Just because most people have immediate access to others now doesn’t mean they must respond immediately. If you have a legitimate need or problem, I’ll respond immediately. Anything else can wait.

Bellatrix's avatar

I had a student complain to senior management that I hadn’t replied to an email sent an hour earlier. People can have very unrealistic expectations in terms of how quickly an email should be responded to.

jerv's avatar

Given how many teens freak out that their boy/girlfriends take twenty minutes to reply to their texts, I have a hard time taking this question seriously. Let us also look at how many such messages are totally inane.

But I think the real root of it is that some of us are just not that fucking sociable.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I mentally separate email and texts into 3 categories. Answer now, answer later, and delete.
I also have three levels of interaction, Face to face , telephone, text and email. If I am with someone, and you call, you’ll get my voice mail. If I am on the phone and you email, you’ll wait.

If you send junk texts like “SUP”, that is going in the trash. If you send emails with pictures of cats in mittens, that is going in the trash. If yo ask a complicated question that needs a long response that will probably desiccate in my email box. Call me.
If it is important, call me and leave a voice mail if I don’t answer.

Bellatrix's avatar

@worried guy .. and don’t leave a complicated long message on your voice mail that takes you ten minutes to listen to? Give you the gist, keep it brief and make sure you say your telephone number and name clearly and slowly so it can be written down and responded to.

I hear you!!!

Aethelflaed's avatar

@worriedguy See, I would soooo rather you send me a long email than leave a voicemail. I hate voicemail. Now that I have Google Voice’s transcription, it’s better and I respond to most of them, but before, most of them got deleted because, well, fuck off, that’s why.

Plucky's avatar

I am one of those people. The reason? I don’t usually check my email daily. I rarely have my cell phone on – it’s used more for an emergency (it’s a flip phone ..no fancy smartphone). People in my life, that are close to me, know this about me. They usually are not surprised or angry about it. There are times when I will be online more though ..and check email/facebook way more often (which they love).

However, my mom got a smartphone recently and has been annoyed that I do not answer her “sent via Blackberry” emails right away. I have to keep reminding her that I do not have my email/phone connected to my brain (like she does now). If it’s important, bloody call me via phone (and talk one on one). Same goes with Facebook ..do not leave a post on my wall saying, “Omg call me!” ..I will most likely not see it right away (because I usually don’t check that every day either). She is getting to the point where she won’t talk to anyone unless it’s via online or smartphone.
Don’t even get me started on when she visits me; so many times, I have wanted to just shut her bloody phone off (or smash it, lol). Instead of visiting, she’s constantly staring into that thing.

roundsquare's avatar

Smart phones are part of the problem for me. I see a mail on my phone when I’m not at my computer that requires some time to respond and I decide to wait till I get home. By the time I get home, I have forgotten about it and unless I remembered to mark it as important or unread, it gets lost.

Also, by the time I get home I usually want to just chill out and read/watch TV. Compared to even 5 years ago, its getting harder to get any “alone time” to just brood/think/relax.

That being said, it depends on the email. What kind of email are you sending? What kind of response would it need? The ones I tend to respond to most consistently are things like “what time is your flight coming in?” Anything where I can hit respond and reply in 30 sec gets an immediate response almost no matter what.

I also don’t like saying anything complicated over email. I worry too much about it being misinterpreted and by the time I write the email with enough precision there are too many trees for people to see the forest.

To summarize: people want too much from email and I think its a poor way to communicate. But, its here for the time being so I use it.

P.S. this is coming from an C.S. major and ex-software developer who grew up with email… just for context

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

This is exactly why The Golden Rule fails in my book. If you treat others as you want done unto you, expect disappointment.

The Platinum Rule is more applicable in this case. “Do unto others as they want done unto them.” This really didn’t dawn on me until I was in a management position where the people reporting to me lived in remote locations. One preferred daily correspondence via e-mail, one preferred regular phone conversations, and the third preferred little conversation in any form unless necessary. If you need a response, find out how that person prefers communication and how they prioritize responding.

zenvelo's avatar

@Aethelflaed I am an old so people don’t text me asking about the next day, they send me an email or call me. If you did text that question to me, I would wait until I had time at a computer to send you an email saying yes or no.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Always check your spam settings first before jumping to conclusions. That aside, some people love to read an email or text “checking in” with you but then get sidetracked to respond. Sometimes people function on the mode of if it’s not bad news then everything is ok.

Lots of friendships get derailed this way, I experienced a close call myself before learning a friend of mine was terribly depressed and didn’t want to share that around.

Hibernate's avatar

If I do not reply to email when I get them then I’d prolly forget to answer later.

AS for texting .. well even sms or im chat I have the pc open 24/7 so I am not always around the pc so I reply when I can [ if I feel like it ] . If I had a bad day I won’t bother say it and just ignore the message if it’s not important .. if it’s just “hi .. how are you ? ” then I won’t reply .

Ajulutsikael's avatar

I won’t respond if I’m busy. If it’s someone who has a problem and I’m not in a good mood I might ignore it because the last thing I need is more stress added to my own.

Other than that I reply as soon as I get them.

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