Just some musings for today and food for thought.

It’s the feeling you get staring at your IM messenger and seeing that your message has been read by the recipient, but no reply.
It is the feeling of looking at your phone and seeing that you sent that text…..days ago, but no reply.
It is checking your e-mail inbox and wondering if that e-mail you sent per chance went into their spam folder, or into a digital vacuum, or if (gasp) maybe they are injured on the side of the road having flipped their car because they were illegally trying to answer your e-mail while driving and now they are in desperate need of medical care with their phone just out of reach of their fractured fingers….But the result is the same; no reply.

Yes communication has changed and we now live in a digital age. This is a wondrous thing in that we can communicate with each other like never before, anytime, anywhere. For some this is AMAZING because we see too little of people in person and we are hungry for fellowship with friends. For some I know this can also be an annoyance in that we become slaves to our devices. No matter how you feel about digital communication I want to set that aside for a moment and have you consider the thoughts and feelings of the recipient of the “no reply” (please note I am not talking about those that get back to you hours or a day or two later, I know we are busy).

The things that the No Replyee might be thinking or feeling

1. I don’t matter to you.
2. I annoy you
3. You don’t like me
4. I am very low on the list of people in your life
5. I think you are a rude person who is giving me the equivalent of the silent treatment
6. I have offended you
7. You just forgot
8. I am a stupid/annoying/unimportant/obnoxious/ugly/wasteofspace person and no wonder people ignore me and I should just shut up and not contact people because it puts them in the awkward position of just “try and ignore her and maybe she’ll go away”.

    So, for those who never answer I really do spend a lot of time pondering what is going on in your head; when you see a message in whatever form it came in (especially if it is personally addressed to you) and decide to never reply. No really! I am curious because with dead air I can only guess at what is going on with you, and I’m sorry but with my history of where the enemy likes to attack me I am usually going to default to #8. So this is me really and honestly asking the question to those of you on Facebook who I can see have read my IM…..months ago and never replied, and to those who have received texts and never replied, let me know! I have a lot of grace and I am ALWAYS totally cool with “hey sorry, I don’t have time” or if it’s a question just a quick “no”. You aren’t going to hurt my feelings, but please explain the dead air which for the No Replyee is the equivalent of standing in front of you talking and you just staring back not saying a word. It would seem rude right?

Also please have grace for us, the digital communicators. Especially the vast community of us who have endured isolation due to illness and or distance and being able to communicate with our friends digitally is a beam of light in our world.

So. Am I sending this out into the void? Or by chance will a few reply……



6 thoughts on “The Recipient Of The “No Reply”

  1. I hear ya. This post caught my eye right away. Not getting replies is hard for anyone, but ESPECIALLY those of us with a chronic illness. If I were busy living my life like everyone else and not stuck in bed some days with only my phone and computer for personal interaction, then I know this wouldn’t be so much of a problem. It is really hard and yeah, it can make you feel pretty icky about yourself when you’re staring at your phone and seeing that several people you reached out to just didn’t get back. And I doubt much if any of it is mean-spirited or intentional. But it’s also one of those things where I know I can’t make people change. I think it’s good that we get our frustration out somehow and maybe actually talk to certain friends about it. And after that, we got to be good to ourselves. And I just gotta say that I think you’re an amazing person, Jennifer. I hope to keep reading your blog more regularly! The very fact that you have a blog and are willing to chronicle your journey with Lyme disease for the rest of us to see is phenomenal. Seriously, girl. xo

    • Thank you for your kind words, and yes it is so true if we didn’t rely so heavily on communicating with people this way being ignored would not hurt so much.
      It’s when you are alone in bed and trying to reach out…

  2. I am a big communicator, and like you, I get bummed when people don’t respond. I am having a situation with a close friend that has me wondering the exact same things… I am starting to wonder if she is just ghosting me.

  3. People who don’t answer or even acknowledge communications, are not worthy your attention. And as a rule it is their loss. Fortunately, I am not young, and old age gives wonderful freedom to be who you are without reservations. Do not waste time and so precious energy on people when there is no reciprocity. I am actually grateful for being affected by illness. Having very little energy at times demanded its rationing and taught me to use it very wisely.

  4. This kind of stinks but I try not to take it personally when people don’t answer my messages. I try to respond to people how I want to be treated. If people don’t reply to my messages than I focus my energy on something or someone else. If I try to be kind to everyone than usually the non-responders come around, or if not, something or someone better takes its place! I try to focus on the other person and not myself. 🙂 It’s also good to remember that others have problems and give them the benefit of the doubt. They may have been in a crisis of some sort or lack the mental energy to respond. They may not even be interested at all. And that’s OK. Because many times I receive messages that I don’t know how to respond to or can’t respond to right away. Expecting others to respond immediately would be selfish on my part. I am ok with people also not wanting to be my friend. That’s their choice and their loss 🙂

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