EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Lifestyle

March 3, 2013

Email, voicemail, text ... no response: WTH?

(Continued)

But even then, she says, there are only so many hours in the day: “I still need time to eat and sleep and shower.”

As she sees it, getting no response — even when she’s the one unsuccessfully trying to contact someone — is just part of life in a high-tech world. A lot of young people say that, so they’ve become accustomed to having to try again, or try a different mode of communication if something is truly urgent.

“I think there’s this understanding because we’ve grown up being bombarded by communication,” says Mike Gnitecki, a 28-year-old special education teacher in Longview, Texas.

So he’s willing to try “multiple points of contact” when trying to reach his students’ parents — because, if he wants a response, “that’s just how it is.”

David Gillman, a 25-year-old Chicagoan, also opts for brevity and efficiency by sending mass texts to several friends at once to save time.

He only expects those who have time or inclination to respond, and doesn’t take it personally if they don’t.

It gets trickier, he says, with people from older generations, including his parents, because they like to leave him voicemails, which he doesn’t like to take time to check.

“I need to get better about that,” he concedes.

Those types of missed communications — and a lack of response — can cause “turbulence” in a relationship, says Dan Faltesek, an assistant professor of social media at Oregon State University. But, he adds, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“It can be a little awkward, but you should talk to people about how you like to talk,” Faltesek says. “Everyone will be happier when they say what the rules are.”

And it’ll go even more smoothly, he says, when people are willing to step outside their own favorite mode of communication to those preferred by the person they’re contacting.

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