You receive a notification with a new message from your husband and you respond immediately because this is what you always do, then you decide to reply to him with another message in which you say, “By the way, I love you.” You see a case of “reading” confirming that your husband has seen the message and you are waiting for a response after that, an hour passes and the response still remains Not yet come.
The matter is repeated with a friend from afar, she never answers in a timely manner, maybe the reply comes at the end of the week or not at all, others justify their failure to respond to the messages because they saw the message and thought that they answered you at the time, but this only happened In their imaginations.
Why are some of us so bad at responding to messages coming on social media, especially WhatsApp messages?
Fanning the flames of anxiety
When someone does not respond to the messages sent by us, which we urgently need to know to respond to, this leads to a state of discomfort and anxiety and trying to guess the reasons for not responding, and our feeling of discomfort may increase when we think that this person has already read our message but chose to ignore us. Our annoyance increases over time to the point where we bombard the unanswered person with more messages to try to forcibly elicit a response from them.
Some very emotional people who use texting excessively may feel rejected, isolated, and suffer from deep anxiety when the responses to their messages are not immediate.
Reading signs make things worse
What also contributes to our expectation of an immediate response is the technological system that we use for messaging, and almost every application through which we correspond via the Internet has a way to inform us when our message is received by the other party.
David Cowan, a lecturer at the University of Queensland in Australia, says in an article on The Conversation that it is easy to understand how the anxiety caused by not responding to us with the knowledge that the other party received our message, just imagine that you said something to someone and you know that they heard you but Ignoring you intentionally.
Reasons for not responding
When the non-response behavior is repeated to the maximum, Cowan says, the person may have chosen to sever the relationship without any apparent justification, and it often occurs in strong and close relationships.
And a desire for control, others may use the non-response behavior to gain the upper hand in managing their relationship with others in a way they can control, and they may have a desire to give an uncomfortable feeling to their friends and loved ones or perhaps to export a general feeling of their busyness and importance.
In turn, Dr. Mark Winwood, clinical officer for mental health at the British healthcare center, AXA PPP, told Cosmopolitan that no immediate response to messages is an indication of digital exhaustion.
Anyone who has a smartphone will likely feel the effects of digital fatigue from time to time. This type of fatigue is caused by prolonged use of technology that makes us feel very stressed and stressed out.
Winwood also points out that messaging applications have recently become used in personal and business communications, which means that there are no longer clear limits in dealing with the Internet messaging system.
A new social contract
According to David Cowan, we may need a new type of social contract for how we communicate over the Internet. For example, our personal files may contain a box to determine whether our responses will be immediate or late.
And for most of us there is an understandable social contract that regulates messaging operations over the Internet, and part of this contract says that there are certain types of messages that require a response immediately or in a timely manner, just as it happens when communicating face to face, but the rules in the real world do not necessarily transmit easily. To the digital world.
The opposite view
For her part, Cosmopolitan Editor Catriona Harvey Jenner says that despite the free time that appears to be available to many recently, this does not translate into an improvement in the way some respond to messages, the more correspondence the greater the feeling of inclination to keep everything as it is. , Which allows the number of conversations to stack up side by side, and this may add to the perception of an ever-growing to-do list.
Of course, it may be easier to enter and read the messages, but this means having to respond then, and sometimes there is not enough time to do so, and in the end some may feel that they are bad friends, so it is advised that there should be clear boundaries with regard to the messaging system so that others do not get angry with us. And that is as follows:
Set digital boundaries: Our smartphones are always close to us, which means that we often text people at any time we want and receive messages at the time that others want to talk to us, so if you are at work or at your leisure time, they should be turned off so as not to lead to your mental exhaustion, Apps designed to block websites can be used at certain times of the day, and others will get used to the time you specify and be convenient for you to reply to messages.
Use phone calls: Try to call one friend a day instead of using the default messages, to reduce your dependence on applications, and this will not only allow a proper conversation, but it will make you have a richer conversation as well.
Remove the expectation of an instant reply: Help relieve the stress of others’ need to get a response from you right away by taking advantage of the app’s functionality, such as turning off notifications, knowing the last time you were online, and reading flags that say you have already read the message.