I mean, seriously, notoriously, terrible at responding to texts. I’m fully aware of it, I’m not proud of it, but at this point, it’s just a fact of life.
What Actually Happens After You Text Me
Option 1. I see it while I’m in the middle of cooking dinner and tell myself I’ll get to it in a few minutes. Or while holding a crying kid. Or two crying kids. Or trying to focus on a work assignment. Or cleaning the house. Or sitting in a parking lot before I go in for groceries. Etc, etc…
Then I get focused on what I’m doing or distracted by the 8,000 things I should be doing at every moment (like responding to messages), and the memory of your text disappears.
Option 2. I see it while I’m frantically opening my phone for some urgent reason like a phone call or reading an important email. I see your text, but I don’t really see your text–so then I forgot that it was ever sent.
Option 3. I’m so flattered and thankful that you texted me that I overthink my response. I want to make more of a connection with you than I really can over text, so I tell myself, “I’ll respond to that when I can sit down in peace and take a few minutes to fully express myself.”
It sounds like a great plan, doesn’t it? The problem is that I’m a working mom, so those moments don’t really happen. By the time the kids are in bed at the end of the day, I’m so drained that I don’t have the energy left to respond–even if I miraculously remembered I was going to do it.
Option 4. Ironically, I’m actually a big planner. So if you text me plans while I’m in the middle of something, I will not answer you until I’ve checked my schedule and know for sure if I’m free.
The problem with this is that then I have FOUR tasks to do: check my calendar, check with my husband (or anyone else involved), make a decision, and then respond to you. That can take anywhere from 5-15 business days. I’m not Amazon.
Option 5: There are so many notifications and red dots on every app on my phone (yes, I’m one of *those* people) that I actually missed your text completely. This happens less frequently, but still far too frequently.
I Didn’t Forget About You, Just Your Text Message
Here’s the part that I wish my friends and family could fully understand:
I didn’t forget because I don’t care.
I’m painfully aware that it can feel that way–and trust me, I feel plenty of guilt over that!
I also didn’t forget because I didn’t want to talk to you.
When I eat ice cream, I save the chunks with the most chocolate chips for last. Because I’m a “save the best for last” kind of person–and that’s often what I do with texts.
Sometimes I don’t text back right away because I’m so excited to talk to you. I don’t want to send back just a few words–I want to take the time to truly connect with you again, even though that can only go so far over text.
However, I can’t put in that mental energy when I’m actually supposed to be finishing a work project or when my kids want to play with me, so I wait.
Is it a personal fault? Absolutely.
Is my texting response time an accurate reflection of our friendship? Definitely not.
I’ve probably thought about you a minimum of 15 times before my message to you actually got sent. And I am probably wishing that I could connect with you on a much deeper level–but as someone who’s lived in four states and built many deep friendships around the country, that’s not always a possibility.
To all my friends and family who don’t constantly judge me for being terrible at texting, you are the real MVPs.