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Message-senders expect immediate replies. They may get annoyed and ride an emotional roller coaster when a message isn't immediately answered. 'Maybe something bad happened.' 'Maybe he's mad at me.'
The sender may wonder why they can't just respond with a busy now, talk later. These negative feelings can increase when sending a joke or meme and expecting a quick haha or a simple emoji.
Part of what cause these uncomfortable feelings is that there's no universal agreed-upon etiquette for behaviour in a 24/7 digital world.
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In other areas of our lives, we have clearly defined norms we regard as 'correct.' For example, when you share big news with someone, an immediate congratulations is generally expected, while a delayed response may seem rude.
Communication technology has created the expectation of people being always and instantly available. A 2021 survey found that 30% of Americans are constantly online.
If you get angry about a slow or non reply, it may help to remember that you're projecting your own anxieties on the recipient when you don't know what is going on with the other person.
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