Being an oldie I remember waiting by the home phone for hours for that all important call on where we would go Saturday night. “Ring, please ring, oh for goodness sake just ring you silly phone”, I would mutter to myself. At times I remember picking up the receiver to check the phone was working. In those days a lot of patience was required.
Sounds silly, I know, but hey that’s what we did before mobile phones.
Has this changed because we now take carry our phones around with us?
Not long ago I was organising a night out with friends via text message and was again finding myself constantly checking the mobile to see if i had any replies. For sure I was not confined to the home and life did go on, however I was starting to become impatient about the lack of replies. As I’m an instant replier (whenever possible) I was starting to think perhaps the slow repliers were avoiding answering to decline the invite. The next day I sent another text to say it’s ok if you can’t make it,. I received the reply that I deserved: “Hey Larry, you know I would love to go, why doubt me? I have been flat out with work and life that I had to put your message on the back burner”.
With this I realised my habit of instant replies should not be expected of others.
Texting and social networks are a fast and simple way of inviting people to events and definitely have their place but sometimes I think technology may be making us paranoid about extending an invitation or responding to an invitation. By this I mean are we afraid of the potential for the invitation to be declined and we feel like we should make it easier for the invitee by not expecting a quick response.
If you post a party invitation on Facebook and people don’t respond but show up anyway, is that rude? Similarly, is accepting an invitation on Facebook not a “real” acceptance and there is still no pressure to show up. On the other hand, does it depend on the nature of the invitation? Would you respond to a wedding invitation issued via SMS or Facebook?
I’m now flipping it the other way around.
The other day I received a text from a mate and, unusually, I didn’t immediately reply. Several hours later I received another text asking if I was OK. Naturally I replied immediately to put his mind at ease.
We later discussed itand came to the agreement that if there has been no reply after a 24 hour period there may be cause for concern and we should try to contact each other again. If there still is no reply for 24 hours we are to call either the mobile or the home phone.
I have now adapted this for my family and other friends, purely as a precautionary measure, particularly for those who live on their own. This creates a little bit more of peace of mind.
What are your limits of non-verbal invitations and do you have a time frame agreement with friends and loved ones for a reply to ensure all is OK?
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