I confess that I am a bit old school, being from the generation of wall-mounted phones and clunky answering machines, but some things never go out of style. Like; respect, courtesy, and plain old-fashioned manners. At least that’s my opinion. Maybe I’m even more old school than I realize.
Nowadays almost everyone has a cell phone and we have this marvel of modern technology known as texting. We don’t have to actually hear each other’s voices or even hold the phone to our ear. We just type words and hit “send”, or the little arrow icon, or whatever is on our phone for performing that function.
On the receiving end, we have the incredible luxury of not answering right away. In my day, you either answered the phone and committed to a conversation or you let the answering machine get it, in which case you could also deal with it later. Answering machines malfunctioned all the time, or someone else in the house could all too easily listen to and delete your message without you ever hearing it. It was extremely easy to have a good reason for not responding to the message-leaver.
Today, not so much. The technology is way beyond answering machines. Chances are good that you are the only one with access to your phone what with access codes and facial recognition locking screens. And we all know how attached we are to our phones, younger people especially. So, when I text my 18-year old granddaughter or my 20-something kids I know the chances are very high that they saw my text.
So, why don’t they text back within a reasonable amount of time if at all? This is where manners come in. Granted, there are legitimate reasons for not responding right away; they’re in the middle of kneading bread and their hands are covered in dough, they’re in a meeting and their phone is on silent, they’re in the bathroom and their phone is charging in the kitchen, their battery died (😂😂😂) – it could happen! I’m sure there are other reasons that I’m not thinking of. Even so, when the bread is in the oven, when they’re phone is charged or they’ve finished in the bathroom and their meeting is over, they check their phones. We all do it.
We want to make sure we didn’t miss that important business call or the call from that guy or girl we’ve been waiting to hear from. And there in the list will be “Mom” or “Grandma”, or whoever we don’t want to talk to at the moment, and it is just too easy to be rude and ignore it. Instead of shooting back a quick “Busy” or “Ok” or even just an Emoji. Something to acknowledge the other person. That just seems respectful and courteous to me.
I have sent text messages to which I have NEVER received a response – some of them to family members (who shall remain nameless and they know who they are). I have texted multiple times in the span of a week and still get no response. I’ll admit that I’m a sensitive person, but how would you feel in my position? I felt . . . the words, “disrespected”, “neglected”, and “hurt” come to mind. I reached out to a loved one and was ignored. That hurts.
I do my best to respond asap when texted. I never want my friends or family to feel ignored by me. If it’s just the latest Subway discount, that’s one thing – they don’t even expect a response. But, someone with whom I am in relationship, someone I supposedly love and respect – they get my attention when they ask for it. Even if it’s to tell them that they’ll have to wait a bit for my undivided attention. But then, as I confessed earlier, I’m a bit old school and I think more of us need to go back there.