Duane Storey wrote a post about friendship etiquette, on which I’ve commented so much I just decided to write my own post and link on back to him.
Someone once told me a big part of any successful relationship, be it friendship or something deeper, is about *making* time for that person, not just about *having* time. Everyone has spare time to do random things, but itâ€™s far harder and more important to *make* time for the things that we care about or are important to us [DS]
This day and age, everyone is connected and everyone expects everyone else to be connected. We pick and chose our content, our calls and who we interact with on a daily basis. You don’t have to read ALL the news, you can subscribe to the sites you want to receive updates from and read stories at your leisure via RSS. You can even customize that selection process by picking which of the articles coming in on your feeds you’d like to read. Out of hundreds a day, do you really read everything? Having all of those bolded “unread” stories doesn’t seem to bother anyone. It’s all about customization – choosing which information you want to put in your brain that day and with whom you’d like to interact. It used to be that we didn’t have a choice.
When it comes to Instant Messaging, do you ever put yourself as “away” even though you’re sitting right in front of your computer, typing a blog post perhaps? Thing is, why do you sign on to the chat client if you’re just going to be away? Sure, you might actually want to log in and receive messages while you’re out but if you are just sitting there I suspect we just like to know who we “could” be talking to. Who’s online, who might message me, who I might want to message, it’s all about the customization again. Selective IM’ing.
Screening your calls with caller ID allows you to talk to the people you want to have a conversation with but on your terms, if you chose it’s the right time for them to call. Does this make you a bad person? Or are we at the point in our society when people consider it rude to just “call” someone up. Sending a heads up IM or text message is becoming the norm. Our private time is noted as valuable although our status is being publicly displayed for all to see. I’m available by landline, cell, IM, and VOIP but I can’t guarantee I’ll respond. If we don’t pick up the phone on the first ring, or answer every IM – is that rude?
How hard is it to pick up the phone from time to time to say hi? How hard is it to respond to an SMS message periodically? How hard is it to write a quick email to let someone know you care? Are people in this world so busy that they go around making other people feel bad because they canâ€™t *make* a few minutes of time to help make others feel good?[DS]
The focus of Duane’s post was to point out that even though we’re busy, “away” or haven’t answered a call, there’s always some time to give a shout back, if even just to say “I got your message, I can’t talk, will call later”, the old school “TTYIAB”, or something to that extent.
I’m not always connected 24/7. I am in the other room cooking dinner or I leave my phone in my purse and miss a couple calls. With everyone knowing your every move (thanks Twitter!) being available to talk is much different than being online or being reachable. But it’s no excuse for being a bad friend… or daughter either.