Is It 0K to Ignore Text Messages? Rant but Real Question

Updated on June 27, 2012
T.K. asks from Grand Prairie, TX
27 answers

I'm a texter and so are all my friends and family. It works for me. EXCEPT for the nonresponse. I am so done with selective responses. If I text someone something and the answer is no or something uncomfortable, there is no response. Is this suddenly ok?
Me: "Hey sil, are you going to Nieces Bachelorette party?"
Sil: no response

Me: "Hey daughter, have you checked on your financial aid this week?"
Daughter: No response

Me: Something came up; can you switch Saturdays with me next month?"
Coworker: No response.

Oh, but an hour later, I can text something good and get an instant response
Me: Hey SIl, I need your address to send your birthday gift. SIL: 12345 Main st.

Me: Hey daughter, I got free concert tickets, do you want them?" Daughter: "I'm on my way!"

Me: "Hey, I have some clothes my son grew out of, do you want them?" Coworker: "Heck yeah, thanks"
Is this the new norm? IS it ok to just ignore people? Is no response an acceptable implied NO and I should not be offended by it? Why don’t they just answer with the simple response “NO” Is this the mother of all avoidance tactics or what? Ignore it and it will go away. If they keep ignoring me, I’m going away!! 

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So What Happened?

My people, co-workers, sil, daughter, and myself do not answer the phone!! We don't waste minutes. We all have stuff going on. My daughters in class or at work. My sil is at work or has her kids, so do I and my coworkers. I'm sure you know, the minute you get on the phone, the kids go nuts. It's not an issue of people not wanting to text or feeling comfortable discussing certain topics via text - they dont want to discuss them at all. Those aren't even real scenarios. I just threw out hypotheticals. It is simply easier to avoid uncomfortable topics via text. These same people are not going to answer the phone. And I am never going to be rid of them.

Featured Answers



answers from Charlotte on

Those would be the people who I wouldn't text anymore. I'd bother them with multiple attempts to call. When they say "Why didn't you just text me", then I'd say "Because you don't answer back when I need to know the answer to a question."

That'll show 'em!

Happy Monday to ya, T.!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

I hate texting --- simply hate it. My cell contract does not include texting --- I can receive but not send. My feeling if you want to exchange information with me TALK to me.
I understand that uses up minutes but I find texting way to impersonal and quite insulting.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

If you texted ME, you KNOW I'd text you back. Psh.

(Yeah, I do not like being ignored either. Sometimes I actually have to WALK UP THE STAIRS AND KNOCK ON THEIR DOORS when my teenagers don't answer my texts, the Facists!)

Texting is closer to leaving a message then having a conversation, you know?

Whole world's gone straight to Hell.


5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Minneapolis on

my circle of friends/family only uses text for open-ended topics we don't need/want immediate answers for. "Anyone want to go out tonight?" "Does anyone know so & so's phone number?" For questions we need/want immediate feedback on, we dial the phone number & leave a voicemail if necessary. The phone ringing tells the other person that you are going the extra step to contact them and speaking to them is important - immediate - unlike a text that can be responded to whenever. I always take a non-text response as a 'no' answer, and if it's that important i pick up the phone at that point.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

If it's important, maybe you should follow up with a call.

Or you can be upset, wonder why people are rude, never switch work hours and fume.

Totally your call.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I am completely with you! But, I have to admit, if the response requires some thought, I may not respond right away and forget. If I don't get a response I follow up with a phone call and leave a voice mail that will probably never be heard :/

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

it is rude to ignore people, even if it is via text.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Honestly, I get texts often when I can't reply. I will look at the text, know that it can wait until I have a few minutes and then I will deal with it later or sometimes I forget it's there. It's not that I don't care about what was sent, it just can not be addressed right now (like when driving or in a meeting) and then the notification is gone from the front of the phone screen. We all have busy lives, which is why texting has become so common place, just because it is important to you and you want an answer now,does not mean it's as important to the person who received it. I would not take it as an implied no, just a don't have time right now. I have texted and got an answer several days later, answer was just as good then as it would have been 5 minutes after texting it. :) Just a different perspective

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Selective texting is the new selective hearing. I wouldn't take it personally. I just wouldn't take it at all.

When all else fails, change your behavior.

If it's really important, pick up the phone.

Gosh, I miss the phone. Wait I think my ears are ringing!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I pretty much hate talking on the phone and prefer texting. It's like sending an e-mail and gives them an opportunity to see things spelled out. I let them respond at their leisure.

For something time-sensitive, I either note that in the message or call to say that I need a quick response to my text message.

Message to SIL--I probably would have ignored her lack of response. If I see her, I see her.

Message to daughter--Unless this would affect me directly, I might have just said, "Reminder: Check on financial aid this week," and let it go. If she forgets, then she suffers, right?

Message to co-worker--Sorry, I would have put it in writing only for the record. I would have followed up with a phone call.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I hate texting. I am terrible at it.. I have learned to use the recording that translates it to text, but sometimes, that is such a mess or so crazy.. Ugh.. I like email..

I do not check my phone while driving, ever. .

I also turn my phone completely off when working and I expect my employees to keep their phones in their pockets while working.

I will check it, but if it is not important to me, I will not answer it right away.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Somethings require a phone call .. all of the non response texts should have been phone calls. IMHO texts are to be used as only information sharing such as:

Your son had a great day at the zoo, we will share when you get home :)
I will be home late, call me if you need me home before 10.

OR no timeline questions like:
What is your fav meal?
How are the kids doing?
How is your day?

I think it is terribly sad that people are replacing words and in person conversations with text.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Some people find texting impersonal and for serious questions like
will you switch shifts with me?

Some people don't like to talk about their money problems via text or want other people in their financial business via text or at all. yeah - they may have vented to you once or twice about it - but after that? it's not your job to find out their status if they haven't asked you to do so.

Maybe your SIL is ignoring you in hopes that you will go away. Is that right? No. If she has a problem with you - then she should be an adult and tell you what her problem is. So stop texting her. Really. Just. Stop. Let her fend for herself and find her own way. When she's ready. She should let you know.

There are some people who are NOT comfortable with texting. It's an age thing.

I would stop texting my SIL. If you need to talk to her - TALK TO HER. Maybe that's how she wants to deal with you. I don't know.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I think people don't respond to texts for a few reasons:
-can't respond at that moment
-forget to respond....they read it & it no longer pops up as new
-don't want to respond

I think if it's acceptable for us to text then it's acceptable for me to answer in any way I want to: no response, one word response etc.

Do I like some answers? No but then again maybe some people don't like that I text.

What I like about text? If I don't want to answer, I don't have to deal with it. (However, I almost always answer...hahaha).

In person, you don't have that option.

It's just a sign of the times. New age, new era.

It's like back in the day, when we had answering machines (heh heh) and we wouldn't pick up if we wanted to see who was calling first then didn't want to talk to that person.

Then came caller ID. Woo hoo. See who's calling. Decide if we want to talk to them.

It's all just a matter of the times we live in.

I say if it's important call.

No reall biggie. I wouldn't let yourself get upset. Going forward, if it's really important & you want a response, put in the call leaving a message if you have to. Then follow up with a text later.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I have that happen a lot mostly with my brother and sister in law. They don't answer all the text they are sent. Usually I have to send a few before the respond and getting them to answer the phone is like pulling teeth so you are not alone!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I've never been a fan of texting, except for stuff like sending across Addrs, or numbers, name of a restaurant/shop, etc - something I'd like in writing, for quick reference.
For conversations, I'd rather call and speak. One may not text after really thinking through, its easy to just text back a non-committal reply just for the sake of replying, it is possible that you don't respond promptly due to any kind of circumstance under the sun. Its tough to really determine cause and effect.

As for your question, perhaps Dawn's suggestion works?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I don't always answer right away - I could be busy or my phone could be on silent or many other reasons. If it is something that is important like th Financial Aid - I would give a call/leave a message and then if no answer back text again.

I don't think it is a big deal. Texting is like leaving a message on an answering machine.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

It irritates me! I have a few friends like that, but when they want something from me they have no problem texting!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

sometimes if its an awkward question or I'm not sure how i want to reply, or I J. dont feel like texting at the moment I will have intentions to reply later and then forget completely and text a day or two later.
Also if I know the text is oing to go on and on, and back and forth I sometime swill avoid it for a bit. Its the same as not answering the phone on ocassion
Obviously if its something Im excited about or very important, I'm going to reply right back...not because I only text when i want something, J. because I would feel like talking about that topic or not have to think about what I want ot say, or if it was something serious I would be there for that person asap.

Sometimes its annoying to be able to be reached 24/7

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

My husband does that all the time. But that's his norm. Whether it's a text or in person, if he thinks it's bad he'll ignore me. I've learned to let it go. And I'm working on new ways to approach him. Have you tried calling them? Texting is convenient, sure, but it has a built-in safety net. If you call it will be less likely for them to avoid the conversation.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anniston on

sometimes i dont respond right away but i wouldnt completely ignore it! Thats the problem with txts you dont have to, but if you call they obviously cant just sit there in silence lol

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

LOL I have noticed the same thing . . .

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If they don't respond, follow up with a phone call.

I'm a selective text responder. I don't text at work, while driving, or when I'm busy with my kids, cooking dinner, talking with my husband, etc. If a text comes in then, I don't respond immediately, and my not catch it for a day or two. If I'm standing around doing nothing, I'll respond when it comes in. I find it rude when I'm socializing with a friend face to face, and then they start responding to a text in mid conversation.

If I dont know the answer, I may not respond either.

I view texting as very informal. If something is really important, I think they person will call.

ETA - I also dont always answer my phone! I dont feel that I have to be accessible to people 24 hours a day. When people used to just have a house phone, there were certain hours that you called people (between 7 and 9). You didnt call during dinner, and you didnt call late at night. You didnt call at times you knew the other person would be busy. You didnt want to intrude on people's lives. Now - people call or text whenever they think of something they want to say. They can call or text wehever they feel like - but I can answer whenever I fell like it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I am annoyed by this too. I think its rude when you text someone and they don't text back, (I think its ok to text back hrs or a day later), but when they never do-its plain rude. I have one friend who does this and everyone else I know always texts or calls back so I don't know what to think about this one friend. I sometimes take it that shes mad or doesn't like me, lol. :/

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I hope not. It's just plain rude.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hm. I never really noticed that. . . I think it may be people, not "texters" per se. I always respond if a response is needed (ie a question) however, I do have some txts that come in days - no joke - after they were sent. they come mainly from my mom, though, so I think it is user error.

I don't think it is ok to ignore questions via txt, but a lot easier to. :) I'd start including _ "I need to know ASAP!" so they know a response is needed/wanted.



answers from Dallas on

I am not a fan of texting. It amazes me at how someone wants me to text all day a 5 minute conversation. I am not interested. I wish texters could understand that you want to text that is fine. I want to actually talk and why can that not be fine as well. I am one that enjoys 1 on 1 conversation and I am personal. It is rude to me when I go out to eat and the people I am out with are busy on Facebook or busy texting. Life is short and I prefer to complete task and move on to other things. I realize this and let my texting friends know. If it is one or two questions feel free to text however when multiple questions come I will text you, "I will call" and that is the end of my texting.

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