New York Times reporter Alina Tugend noticed that lately, people are much less likely to respond to emails from their friends and colleagues.
- We’re not used to the pacing yet. Rutgers Business School professor Terri Kurtzberg says that while in audible conversations “it’s clear how long a silence should last before you need to respond. Tere’s no norm with digital communication.”
- We want to say no to a favour asked, but feel guilty. “I want to say ‘no’, but feel that the right thing is to say ‘yes’, so I am frozen and then I plan on going back to the e-mail to draft a reply, but it gets buried. Then I feel even worse for not replying and put it off again. It’s not nice to leave people hanging, but I do.”
- It’s easier. “If people send me a message that I don’t want to deal with, it’s easier not to respond. At this stage, there are so many requests from my children, I can’t deal with requests from adults.”
- Not replying sends a message. “Recently, a nanny asked me for a job reference. I don’t think the nanny deserves the reference. I thought about responding, but didn’t. To me, it’s easier not to say something.”
- “No response is the new no.”
- We mean to write a thoughtful response, but never find the time. “Sometimes, I don’t answer because I don’t have time to give the response I think is deserved, so I put it off until later, then forget and the message winds up being that I didn’t care enough to respond, when, in fact, I cared too much.”
- Replying will just result in more email. “Replying to e-mail is like slaying the Hydra. Once you answer one, it often generates a flurry of more e-mails.”
On Twitter, WSJ publisher Raju Narisetti linked to this article, and said, “ignoring E-Mails is a new way to say “No”, increasing irritation levels.”
NBC chief digital officer Vivian Schiller responded to the tweet, calling the trend, “inexcusable.”
What do you think?