Ask an editor is The Franklin Post’s new advice column. Submit inquiries through our instagram @thefranklinpost to receive considerate and thought out advice from one of our editors.
Q: I have a friend that I only communicate with through text. We are able to have good conversations and I value their friendship but sometimes they take a while to respond. I will often ignore their messages as well. Sometimes it is accidental but other times I just don’t want to respond. I ultimately feel guilty when I don’t respond and apologize, but it keeps happening. I want to keep being friends with them but sometimes it is difficult. Am I being a bad friend?
A: Text conversations can make communication incredibly difficult; social cues become harder to read and the rules are completely different than they are with in person interactions. Waiting for someone to respond almost always causes unnecessary anxiety, and it is hard to tell what the other person is trying to say. Is your friendship worth maintaining if it is only over text and there is little to no face to face contact? Are you benefiting from this friendship, or is it just stressing you out? That said, it takes only a few seconds to respond to a message, so the real question is why are you purposefully ignoring this person? If it’s only on accident sometimes, then there is a problem; don’t string people if you don’t value their time and friendship. If you appreciate it when your friends respond promptly then you should do the same. Think about how you impact this person as well. Could your friendship be helping or hurting them? Are you an engaged and supportive friend? Take a beat and figure out why you seem to not want to build your connection with this person and if you find that their friendship has a positive impact on your life.