You sent a text message, but after an hour, your friend has not responded. You’re becoming increasingly mad with each passing minute. The longer you wait, the more concerned you become.
There are more ways to reach people than ever before, and the urge to respond has become more common as communication platforms have become tucked into our pockets and carried with us wherever we go. Because we appear to be capable of responding at all times, we “should”. Furthermore, our phones’ apps and social media platforms have ingrained 24-hour communication into our daily lives, which is especially true now that remote work is becoming more common.
“We’ve been conditioned towards immediate returns,” says Michael Stefanone, a professor of communication at the University of Buffalo in the United States who specializes in social networks. Meanwhile, if your blood boils the next time someone fails to answer your message, the best solution would be to simply put the phone down for a while – being connected 24 hours a day, seven days a week is stressful enough.