There are lots of ways people disappoint us. Family. Friends. Casual encounters. We’re human. We’re all sinners. So, the fact that we disappoint one another, in various ways, isn’t a surprise.
What I’m referring to in this post, that is so disappointing, is lack of response, primarily related to text messages and emails. I’m no longer surprised or amazed that it occurs. It’s now common place, to be expected. Please note…I’m not talking about people (y’all) responding to blog posts like this one. I’m referring to one on one communications.
I’m not the only one who’s noticed this. In doing an internet search, there are plenty of articles on the subject. People either don’t respond…which is the most frequent issue, or the response is delayed. What I couldn’t find on the internet (I’m sure I just need to search more) is the real reason or the impact.
It Would Seem Being Too Busy Isn’t Valid
As a slight aside, at one time I believed that what I was experiencing in life was unique to me. As I’ve progressed, engaging with many on the same journey, I know that we’re all experiencing very similar things, possibly characterized differently. As such, I now know if I’m feeling it, if I’m experiencing it, chances are most others are too.
One of the reasons pointed to is how busy people are. With the previous paragraph as context, I believe I am representative of most in relation to how busy I am or not. I would assume my inboxes, both work and personal, are similar to others. I would think my text traffic is comparable to most my age.
I respond…really to all my emails and texts. For me not to do so would be an oversight…which I typically catch within a short period of time. Being as busy as others (I think), I seem to have time to respond. BTW, I’m not suggesting I’m perfect. I make plenty of mistakes with plenty of things.
How Would You Feel?
Here’s the other side of the coin…how does it make people feel to not get a response. Ignored, forgotten, unimportant, not a priority? Whether we want to acknowledge them or not, we know none of these things are positives. I’d suggest they add to the statistics for the societal ills going in the wrong direction in our world, i.e. depression, isolation, anxiety, addiction, suicide, etc.
It would seem people experiencing the impact of not being responded to doesn’t seem to positively impact response to others. Does anyone else find that interesting?
This may seem like a silly example to you. Imagine sitting at a table with someone. You say something to them, transactional or possibly with detail and depth, maybe even emotional. After, the person sitting across from you doesn’t respond. He or she just sits there, possibly not even looking at you. You wait for a response…and none is forthcoming. What would that imply about that person? Would that behavior be acceptable? Would you be eager to re-engage with that person?
What Should We Do?
Maybe I’m just wining. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Or does it? To me, it’s a continuation of the downhill spiral that we’ve been on. I’ve come to say the more connected we are (social media, apps, text, email), the more isolation we experience. I’d argue isolation isn’t good. Nor are its impacts.
We’re not meant to go through life alone. We are made for community, for friendship, authentic relationship. The second part of the Great Commandments is, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). Second to loving God, we have no greater call.
I’d suggest the way we treat one another, whether in person or online, is important. I hope the above prompts some thought. When someone sends a note, he or she has taken the time and expended the effort to do so. That person is believing he/she would receive a response…or in most cases wouldn’t have sent the note. As Jesus told us, “love your neighbor as yourself”. More people doing so (responding) would make this a better world. Amen!!!
As always, please contact me with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests at [email protected].
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!
Remember…God made you for Greatness!!!