Last night, I was laughing with a guy that I had sent a text to. The center of the ‘joke’ was that I sent him a text message that he didn’t respond to. What made it ‘funnier’ is that, I waited a day and sent him a follow-up message asking the same question, which he still didn’t respond to. His reasoning for not responding was that he figured that I already had the answer. Hmm…
All of my friends and family know that I write about what I experience. This transparency keeps my letters fresh and every changing. This messaging thing wasn’t a big deal until I began to think about how many times people don’t respond to messages. I say messages because it’s not just text messages, but also email, social media, and old-fashioned voicemail messages, which begs to ask the question, “Why?”
There’s an old saying, “The more I teach you, the dumber I get!” This is the way I feel about messaging in general. The more ways that we have accessible to us, the less that we ACTUALLY use them. I remember year ago when one of the high points of the day was arriving home to check the ‘answering machine’. The worse thing that you could see was that zero, no messages!! And as I think back, the crazy part is that we only returned half of those calls then!!! Our reasoning for not returning ALL of the calls was because knew that so-and-so was going to call back anyway. So, we’ll just wait. But, that’s jacked up! The person already called. Why don’t we just call them back?
In plain, uncut, unreserved English… the reason that we don’t respond is respect. When my mom would make me clean my room, it would stay clean seemingly for months. I know my dad would not agree but, it stayed clean for a long time because, after I had put in all of that hard work, I loved what my room felt like. I loved having it. I respected not only the work that was done but the outcome. Now, MY children, on the other hand, they do a haphazard job of cleaning their rooms. Most of the time, I give them a pass because I’d rather not keep fussing at them or end up whoopin’ them due to their lack of focus. But, when they ‘finish’ cleaning their rooms and get the okay… You can count to three, go back into the rooms and see a brand new mess!!! They didn’t respect their own work. So, they see no value in keeping it up…
Whether we’ll admit it, or not, when we don’t respond to messages, all we are saying is that we don’t value, or respect, the person that left or sent the message. We may not go as far as dishonoring them but we don’t respect them enough to answer them immediately.
Here’s a real life example… One of my partners is in Florida. He called and left a message for me to call him back. When he called, I was in the middle of a conversation and decided to call him back when I was finished. Well, one thing lead to another and a few hours later… He sent me another message saying that he was with another guy and they were talking about me. And he wanted me to call him. Well, three things happened… (1) Oh crap, I forgot to call him back!!! (2) He’s talking to who? About me? (3) I called. Now, here’s the paradox, the three things happened in less than 30 seconds whereas my initial response would have still been ‘pending’!! I didn’t show my partner his due respect by calling him back in a reasonable amount of time but, when he added another layer my response was different.
We ALL do it ALL of the time and quite honestly, it’s not right. What makes it worse is that we think nothing about doing it to others but when they do it to us, we get all bent out of shape. We get bothered because we know we’ve been dissed… But, what about the people WE dissed?
So, first, I’d like to apologize to everyone that I’ve put off and didn’t return your message in a timely manner. Secondly, starting NOW, I will make a real effort to not continue in that path!!
Oops, I almost forgot…
Bill collectors, y’all keep leaving those messages. I ain’t calling you back!!! I’m just sayin’
I love you ALL!!!