Why I’ve Stopped Texting Back

Technology grants us access to people whenever we need them, but 24/7 availability isn’t always a good thing.



Photo by Jonah Pettrich on Unsplash

I’m the worst possible person when it comes to texting/messaging/WhatsApping/Snapchatting back. It’s not deliberate; I’m naturally lazy and, without meaning to exude pretentiousness, prefer in person or phone-call conversations. Communication is a beautiful expressive medium that allows us to extract similarities/differences from other people’s subconscious, helping us to expand our worldly knowledge and share our humanity. However, talking to people consumes a significant amount of energy, and I feel a lot of us often forget that.

The technology we use to interact with each other proves we’re really in the future now. Friends and family are well within digital reach, but that doesn’t mean to say we’re all readily available. Not responding to people within a limited timeframe tends to be regarded as anti-social and downright rude, and it isn’t restricted to people you know, either. Everyone from employers to brands you unwittingly subscribed to demand your attention, and will bombard you with e-mails, texts, and Facebook messages until they get what they want.

It’s all incredibly draining. It’s also disrespectful of the human need to switch off every once in a while. While I appreciate the check-ins from long-distance friends or the update on corporate gossip, I struggle to find the energy to sit down and orchestrate a sufficient reply. My ‘three to five working days’ response time is probably responsible for many of my fizzled out friendships, but I don’t think it’s particularly fair. There are people I can go months without seeing or hearing from, but we’ll meet up and all will be just as it was. Then there are the people who get upset, despite me tirelessly explaining in person that I’m dreadful at replying, and unfollow/unfriend me after severely misinterpreting my silence. As such, I feel the need to justify my slackness. Here are some reasons as to why I haven’t replied:

I’ve left it too late.

If the message preview implies that what you’ve sent me is something akin in length to an academic essay, I’ll leave it unopened until I find the time to read it through. Often…