You text someone and they text back six or eight hours later. I’m sorry but that’s a slight form of rudeness by today’s standards. Same thing if you leave a voice message and you don’t hear back until the next day or even 36 hours later. When you take this long to reply you’re basically saying to the other person, “I got your message but I decided right away that replying to it was not exactly a grade-A priority for me so, you know, I got back to you in my own time…no worries, no hurry, chill.” Really? Because replying in this manner isn’t much different than being asked a question by a friend at a cocktail party and responding by (a) avoiding eye contact with the friend for two or three minutes and (b) ignoring the question for the same amount of time. I make a point of always responding to texts within minutes. I might take an hour or so if I have a lot going on, but I would never respond six or ten or 24 hours later…never. Same thing with voicemails.
But that’s me. I’m in the back-and-forth communication business and things are always moving at a fast pace so you can’t slack off. Others don’t see it this way. Others feel they have to protect their souls by responding slowly or randomly or lazily. Texting rudeness almost never happens among under-45s, trust me, but it occurs with some regularity among over-45s and particularly when you’re dealing with boomer or older-GenX females. They just don’t care to respond with any haste, and they don’t consider it especially rude either. Older women feel that texting and phone messaging are very slight violations of their souls, you see. Responding in a polite manner is an intrusion upon their privacy and sense of serenity, they feel, so they take their time. They feel it’s almost a point of honor to hold back on a response to a text. When a text comes in it’s almost seen as a troublesome thing. They need to ponder the message, take a walk, buy some things at the local Whole Foods, go to a Pilates class, meet friends at a local cafe, visit their doctor, walk their dog and then respond to the text message they received six or seven hours earlier or the day before.
I’m sorry but that’s how it is. It’s not that boomer and aging GenX women don’t get it. It’s that they don’t want to get it.