I’m not living under a rock. As much as I hold true to verbal communication, I understand the technology in front of us. We communicate via text, Facebook, Viber, What’s App and anything else we can find for convenience or verbal avoidance.
When all these programs and applications were built, they slid in a little feature called the read receipt. When you are texting on an iphone you can see your message went from Delivered to Read. On Viber and Facebook, your message has been Seen.
Oh my lovely messaging applications, why oh why did you build in this feature?
I think about this often…probably way too much. I try to think of what emergency you would choose to text or message someone and need to see that your message was Seen.
Ok, business… I get it. It originated in email and yes, it’s great to confirm your oh so important work email was seen and now the responsibility is on the recipient. Your message has been Sent and Seen. You have confirmation and can move that into the folder you keep in case one day your boss questions you or the recipient claims they never heard the information you Sent.
But, texting and Facebook. What do we need this for? Big news? An emergency? Maybe I missed my flight home and I text my parents Missed My Flight. Then I see, Seen. Yes! Mental note to myself, my parents got the message. Your husband missed the appointment. It’s A Boy! Seen. Yes! He knows.
Isn’t this the information you call for? Leave a message?…that’s permanent.
Shouldn’t the general assumption when you’ve sent a message be that it has been delivered? This additional notification is just there to feel like a swift punch to the stomach or a little kid taunting you in the school yard…Na-nana-nana nah I got your message! And I’m not going to answer it!
So here we are, with this added feature. This applies in all stages of a relationship: Meeting someone, dating someone, boyfriend/girlfriend, just friends…even marriage.
You are in mid (message) conversation. You say something like:
I need to talk.
Hey, do you want to hang out tonight?
What happened last night?
Can you come get me?
I had a really great time tonight.
Meet me for coffee?
Is everything ok?
What did you need me to pick up from the grocery store?
And then it comes…
And you get…No Response. Hours pass, sometimes days, sometimes eternity.
Ok, you read my message and we were just mid conversation but now nothing. Are you busy? Did you just have your own small emergency? Well, that can’t be possible because you Read my message. Did I go to far? Should I have not said anything? Are you ok? Your phone must have just dropped in the toilet. Then, a moment of sadness as you clearly had all of your fingers cut off in a tragic machinery accident.
Cut to the person who created this programming hovering over us somewhere in the Universe chuckling like Dr. Evil. Message Read creator, you must be having a great time up there. Congratulations, you designed something with the only intention to completely fuck with people, suck up their energy and waste their time.
Everyone with an Iphone, save your time and sanity and turn that off! Facebook and other texting Apps, I can’t help you. Those are the really, really bad guys.
I’d rather pretend my message got lost in space than stare at that Read reminder with hours of time on my hands to be left wondering.
Why do we need to know where someone is, what time they were there and that they Read our message? Too much information people. Too much.
Damn You Message Read Creator Person. Damn You.