Why We Ignore Digital Communications

By / Feb 2, 2018 (MissTuni/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

In the age of instant communication, why are people taking their sweet time to get back to us?

We all have our smartphones nearby all the time. And nearly everyone should be seeing your personal or professional texts and emails as soon as you send them. Given that, why does it seem like it’s harder and harder to hear back from people?

And add to it that when people don’t respond right away, it can provoke an uncomfortable, antsy feeling.

“It’s anxiety-inducing because written communication is now designed to mimic conversation—but only when it comes to timing,” Julie Beck writes in a thoughtful piece for The Atlantic. We often expect instantaneous responses, and when we don’t get them, it leaves us feeling stressed out.

But the truth is, as much as we often appreciate the on-demand nature of digital communications, texts and emails simply do not carry a sense of obligation the way phone calls or face-to-face interactions do.

“Written instant messages create a smokescreen of plausible deniability if someone doesn’t feel like responding, which can be relieving for the hider, and frustrating for the seeker,” says Beck.

So, why aren’t people responding to texts and emails right away? They don’t feel like they have to. “Just because people know how stressful it can be to wait for a reply to what they thought would be an instant message doesn’t mean they won’t ignore others’ messages in turn.

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a publication of the American Society of Association Executives.

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About CMCA ~ The Essential Credential

CAMICB is a more than 25 year old independent professional certification body responsible for developing and delivering the Certified Manager of Community Associations® (CMCA) examination. CAMICB awards and maintains the CMCA credential, recognized worldwide as a benchmark of professionalism in the field of common interest community management. The CMCA examination tests the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform effectively as a professional community association manager. CMCA credential holders attest to full compliance with the CMCA Standards of Professional Conduct, committing to ethical and informed execution of the duties of a professional manager. The CMCA credentialing program carries dual accreditation. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accredits the CMCA program for meeting its U.S.-based standards for credentialing bodies. The ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accredits the CMCA program for meeting the stringent requirements of the ISO/IEC 17024 Standard, the international standards for certification bodies. The program's dual accreditation represents compliance with rigorous standards for developing, delivering, and maintaining a professional credentialing program. It underscores the strength and integrity of the CMCA credential. Privacy Policy: https://www.camicb.org/privacy-policy

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