Opinion: Instant messaging


“Your message is important to me… however…”  We all get them, these polite rebuffs. Our friend, business associate, or support desk operator is not available when we reach out. Understandable. Nature calls, travel happens, and sometimes we just need a break. But the art of rejection is not as simple as some would believe it to be. And in the current torrent of communication mechanisms and chirping apps, we have greater reason to hide out than ever. 

Studies report that humans are reaching an interchange apex. We send and receive scores of emails, texts, calls and posts each day. Please pardon the reference, but it is now common to be listening to someone taking a phone call in the bathroom stall next door. Why? Is it really that imperative? 

Could it be that we don’t know how to graciously take a breather? Or, is it that those who demand our attention won’t tolerate even one? So, we blithely post that “out-of-the-office” form letter promising false love to whoever may reach out. Could we more honestly say, “You may be important to me. If so, I’m sad to miss you and will reach out promptly – but you may not be and you’ll soon know.” It would be great to talk about it more, but it’s time for a break, and as the great Joe Walsh sings, “Just leave a message, maybe I’ll call.”