I fear that our watered down communication methods are putting many of us at a disadvantage. Here are some that I can think of:
1. When we rely on texts and emails, we are relying on technology to deliver our messages. People seem to use this as an "out," as it were. They can pretend like they never got that text you sent, asking them to hang out.
2. We are probably all guilty of reading a text and planning on responding to it later, but then getting too busy, or forgetting.
3. The phone was on vibrate, or they "didn't hear" that they got a text till it was too late. So they just don't respond--not even to apologize for not responding.
In any case, I think everybody needs to grow a pair and just say, "No," if they don't want to do something. Here is one instance where this is a problem:
Text to friend #1: "Hey, are you available for dinner later?"
Friend #1: (no response)
So... How long do you wait before trying to find somebody else to go to dinner with you? 5 minutes? 10? 30 minutes?
Here's where the problem is exacerbated...
Text to friend #2: "Hey, wanna go get dinner with me?"
Friend #2: "Sure, yeah!"
How many of you have had it happen where Friend #1 responds after you've already asked someone else? Then you have to say, "Oh, sorry, I found someone else to go with me. I assumed you were busy."
Really? I think this all could have been avoided with a phone call.
Or sometimes Friend #1 just never responds at all, and you wonder why they couldn't just tell you that they were busy, or didn't feel up to it, or whatever.
Then of course, there's dating. Where, as Twitter member Sofifi says, "All we can be sure about in life is that it's always important not to be the first one to text."
The whole "ignoring" thing is just rude, under any circumstance, but especially with dating. Why do people rely on a lack of response to get the point across?
"Oh, I'll just ignore her, that way she will know that I am not interested." But wait! What if situation #1 above actually happened, and they just never got your text? Is it failed technology? Or is it that you failed?
Honestly, if you don't want to go somewhere or spend time with someone, or you're not interested in dating them anymore, why not just say so? Don't make a person wonder A) if you even got the text or B) if they said or did something wrong or C) if you all of a sudden think they're really ugly or D) if you suddenly have found every other individual to be so much more dateable than they are.
It's really simple. "You know, you are a great girl, and I had a fun time with you, but I think we should just be friends." Or even the less reassuring, "I'm not interested in you romantically."
If they ask why, then you can answer. But really, you said your piece, and you said it politely, and you didn't ignore the person.
Finally, texts make life too easy for people. It's too convenient and doesn't require any sort of risk. Women (and by women I mean "I") can use texts or other electronic means to be more aggressive about dating--to actually pursue men and ask them to do things. Shouldn't men be flattered by this kind of aggression? I think they should! And if they're not interested, they should have the decency to respond, since the girl's not supposed to do the asking anyway. Another solution is to just admit up front, "I'm not good about texting back." Fair enough, I will know in the future to call you instead!
Really though. People need to either communicate in different ways, respond to messages they get, or apologize when they weren't able to do so in a timely manner. If you rely on texts to communicate anything relatively important, then you accept it as a valid means of exchanging casual invitations or other communications. And if it is a valid means of communication in your world, then not responding is nothing short of RUDE!
I think I'm done with my soapbox.