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read receipt : is it a bless or a curse?

There are times when I think the read receipt we all have in our life right now does more damaging things instead of being useful. How do...

There are times when I think the read receipt we all have in our life right now does more damaging things instead of being useful. How do we make the call between answering the digital siren call of our smart phones and giving our undivided attention to what's happening in the real world right in front of us?

Perhaps your boss whatsapp-ing you to ask you something but you were in the kitchen with your mom making a cake and then they got angry because they can’t reach you for 20 minutes? or maybe your friend ask you something but you were in the train and you saw the message but you can't type the answer back yet because you were holding a lot of things. For me, it is crazy that they got angry over something like that. Most people understand the important of answering text messages right away. But maybe perhaps I don’t? Sometime like other human being I sleep? Sometimes I go poop? Sometimes I read real books in peace? Sometimes I took shower? Sometimes I go to mini market for 45 minutes without bringing my phone? So what does that make me? Am I sinner? Do we live in the era where it’s a sin for not answering text or call? Do we live in the era where we judged as not a professional because we don’t glue our phone to our hand? 

I find it ridiculous and disturbing in so many levels that read receipt are transitioning from a semi-invasive e-mail option to an always-on feature in messaging services like Facebook messenger, Whatsapp, Kakao talk, Line messenger etc. Read receipts can be great. For instance, there was a time in the early days of text messages when it was hard to tell if messages had gone through. Read receipts could help. But nowadays, services are turning on read receipts by default or, worse, providing no option for turning them off. Like Facebook, whatsapp and Line that enforce always-on read receipts. Give me a break!

The implication of always-on read receipts is that both conversation partners are comfortable with the obligation to respond to each other. But that level of comfort seems reserved for close relationships only. When someone doesn’t respond to your message, it sometimes can be a blow to your ego. What was wrong with what you just said? Was it too harsh? too dumb? too boring? Has the conversation been boring the entire time and you didn’t notice? Have you been bored this entire time but just didn’t have the heart to end the conversation first? In short, It can affects your relationship with your friends. In many instances, they create a mild, uncomfortable social pressure.

So, what do you think about read receipts? And what do you do when you know your message has been read, but no reply has been sent? Or when you engage in real life situation but people who message you demand you to answer right away? *sighs* I don’t know, Sometimes I wish we can go back to the old fashioned texting messages where nobody can’t literally push us to answer their messages right away all the time 24 hours a day. On the other hand, I also feel thankful for what technology did to our life. I think there is no right answer for my question *sighs*

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2 comments

  1. I think the read receipt is a curse for me. I had intended to make the read receipt off caused of it's really hard to always respond the message right away. I dont always have my phone with me everytime and everywhere. 😁

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