submitted 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago) by RememberTheApollo_ to c/adhd

When texting people in general I find it frustrating that people don’t seem to view it as a conversation. If someone texts me and I catch it and text back right away, I get frustrated when people don’t return the favor. They might text back 5, 10, minutes or an hour or more later. Why did you text me if you didn’t want to have a conversation? Why am I the one sitting here waiting for a response?

It’s like someone sitting down across from at a table and asking you “Hey, how ya doin?” You respond “Great! what’s up?” and they just sit there for 10 minutes not saying anything.

Might be the whisper of ASD in my ADHD contributing to not understanding how this social interaction actually works vs how I think it should work.

Anyone else have this grinding their gears?

E: apparently it’s just me!

Thanks for the replies, everyone.

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[-] [email protected] 47 points 2 months ago

I resent people calling me, because I have no choice but to be rude or to be forced in to a conversation that takes all of my attention, but on their schedule

A text is the opposite of that. Treating it as if it were a conversation would make it just as annoying as a phone call

[-] Ottomateeverything 12 points 2 months ago

Yeah this is why I don't get it. If you expect me to respond instantly, you should be placing a phone call and not sending a text.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 2 months ago

Thanks. This is exactly how I feel about this.

There's this person I know who will text you several times asking you to urgently call them back.
When you eventually call back...

Them: "So, how about that thing?

Me: "Yes. Something something"

Them: "Ok thanks, see ya" — click

Drives me nuts.
I find it disrespectful and they can't fathom why.
They're an otherwise cool person, but this one thing...

[-] loveluvieah 36 points 2 months ago

Wat? I have ADHD and I view texting completely different. It is not like a face to face convo, it's more akin to email, but less formal. You reply when you have time, unless it is urgent.

[-] [email protected] 27 points 2 months ago

You do need to figure out what is the difference between asynchronous and synchronous conversation.

[-] Dubiousx99 23 points 2 months ago

I see texting as a method of asynchronous communication. I tell people, “If you need a fast reply from me, call, don’t text.”

It could be they just wanted to checkin and see how you were, not really looking to have a conversation. I think it really depends on what the opening text was.

[-] AFKBRBChocolate 20 points 2 months ago

My wife and I have a hierarchy:

  • If you want a response right away, call
  • If you want a response as soon as they're not busy, text
  • If you don't care when you get a response, email

In addition, we use email when we have longer, more involved things to say, and texts to send a quick "I love you" or whatever.

[-] art 14 points 2 months ago

If they wanted a real time conversation they would have called you. The nice thing about texting is that it's a passive communication not an active one.

[-] TheBananaKing 13 points 2 months ago

If I send someone a text, I don't expect them to read or respond in any given timeframe. I don't get to just demand their full attention on the spot, and I fully appreciate that they may not be in a position to hear or respond to their phone bleeping at them at any given moment.


If someone sends me a text, and I respond to it within seconds, then yes, I expect them to treat it like a conversation.

I will never understand these people that hit send then immediately throw their phone out the goddamn window so any response no matter how fast stays on delivered for the next hour.

[-] SacralPlexus 8 points 2 months ago

Sometimes I’m just really busy and something occurs to me. I send a relevant message and then get back to what I was doing. Or sometimes I send a message then a crisis occurs (I work in healthcare) and I don’t see the response I received until much later.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 months ago

It's an asynchronous conversation and you can't assume that someone received your reply immediately after they sent their text, even if you immediately respond as soon as you see it. There have been way too many times that I've witnessed where both people responded immediately, but one or more parts of the exchange were delayed, so no one got an immediate response and the conversation was spread across hours. This is especially true if one or more party in the exchange is traveling.

[-] [email protected] 13 points 2 months ago

I have a friend who gets pissy with me when I text and don't answer follow ups right away. So I decided to save him the pain and just don't text him much anymore. His loss.

[-] disgruntledbroad 3 points 2 months ago

Amen. It's friendship, not a customer service role

[-] [email protected] 9 points 2 months ago

The whole benefit of texting instead of calling is that it is an asynchronous form of communication. The conversation can continue while at the same time other things are happening. Since other things are happening, that means replies aren't always prompt, and that the benefit.

If you want immediate replies, use a phone call instead. You know, the form of communication that is directly suited for that.

Not to mention that people don't always have cell service. I take all weekend to reply to a text sometimes if I'm at home, because I don't get service unless I drive to town.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

I also have ASD and I actually have the complete opposite view! I don’t like it when people text me expecting me to reply instantly, because I don’t feel like text conversations have a well-defined start and end. That bothers me in a “unfinished business” way. As in, if I respond immediately, and then they respond immediately, and so on and so forth, when does it end? Nobody really says goodbye in instant messaging anymore. I appreciate people who understand that I’m going to take my sweet time to respond, especially because I don’t use my smartphone often anyway (as it’s very distracting and can be a huge time sink for me).

I like to let all my friends know that if something is important or they want an imminent response, they should just call me instead. That way I don’t have that feeling that “the ball is in my court” after the call ends, i.e. that I need to check my phone and respond to something before someone arbitrarily decides it’s been too long and gets upset with me.

I am a “zillennial” (born in the late 90s), and one of the things I miss about the early days of the internet with stuff like MSN is the focus on statuses (online, busy, offline) and how accurate they were. If someone were marked as online, you knew they were on the computer at that very moment and it’s not just whatever status they had set on their smartphone or whatever.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 months ago

I second this with Agoraphobic AutADHD. I desperately miss the days of flip phones and simpler IM clients. The "requirement" of having a smartphone in this day & age means that, at a low level, there is always a baseline anxiety present in me from wake to sleep.

I'm a person that needs alone time every day or I can't fully destress so knowing that anyone can always get ahold of me, or if they can't, they expect immediate responses whenever possible stresses me to holy high hell! Thankfully the friends I do have all understand this, so even if a week or a month passes between messages, it's treated like no time has passed at all. Without that, friendship is nearly impossible lol

[-] [email protected] 7 points 2 months ago

Other people definitely feel like you do. Not me, I view texting as asynchronous, but a lot of people have expressed to me that they get frustrated when I don't text back promptly.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 2 months ago

I find the minimal obligation to respond immediately to text messages convenient and relieving. Perhaps it may help to consider text messages like emails instead of like chats. My first phone displayed texts like emails, so that's how my brain treats them, despite the chat layouts of modern apps.

If I want to have a conversation with someone, I will either call them or meet up with them. As a general rule of thumb, if something requires urgency or more than a couple of texts to resolve, it should probably be a phone call.

[-] TootSweet 5 points 2 months ago

As someone who (I think it's probably fair to say) doesn't have ADHD (but possibly has something else diagnosable, though hasn't sought a diagnosis), I'll at least throw in my 2¢, just to explain why I don't usually immediately answer texts.

It's kindof... physically painful?... to know something's wanted from or expected of me. Social interaction (face-to-face, telephone, text, email, whatever) takes effort. I'd say I manage it quite well, but only by spending a lot of my time alone and completely not thinking about other people who I might possibly ever interact with. It's how I "recharge."

I don't often get or send texts. But if I get a text while in "not thinking about people" mode, that gives me a lot of anxiety. If I get a text while I'm in "adulting and socializing" mode (like while I'm working or out shopping or even just in the presence of or in a conversation with humans in any capacity), the text is the thing that always sinks to the bottom of my priority queue.

So, if I answer a text, it's probably going to be at the next point at which I'd otherwise be shifting contexts out of "socializing" mode and into "alone" mode. The end of the workday for instance.

That said, I basically never initiate text conversations. If I have a text conversation, it's someone else who intiated the conversation. So perhaps this doesn't quite fit your question. But also, as soon as I do respond, I remain responsive until the conversation ends.

Also, I'm a bit of a Luddite in general. So that might also have something to do with it.

[-] RememberTheApollo_ 2 points 2 months ago

I understand all of this. There are plenty of texts I just have a hard time engaging the gears to answer. I just don’t want to engage in that social interaction. I don’t not reply if in a conversation, though, where there is back-and-forth.

[-] monkeyman512 5 points 2 months ago

I remember this being covered in a college engineering class. It's an issue of synchronous vs asynchronous communication. In person, phone call, instant messaging are all synchronous with an expectation of a timely response. Email and text are asynchronous with an expectation of inconsistent and/or delayed response.

I know how I feel about a situation is often dictated by my expectations. Hopefully this is a useful mental model.

[-] alomsimoy 2 points 2 months ago

I believe that this is the key. Some people consider a text message syncronous and other asyncronous. I remember using text as some evolution of MSN messenger, and my friends did as well, so it was syncronous, but as time has passed and I'm more bussy, i now see it more like email, so asyncronous.

There are still times where both individuals are online and the asyncronous texting becomes syncronous, but it has become more the exception than the rule.

[-] BilboBargains 5 points 2 months ago

Yes and no, depending on how each person views it. You cannot automatically assume it's a conversation.

I've found living in a world of text communication to be toxic for mental health. I can't keep up with all the communication channels unless I devote all my time to it. These things ought to serve us, not the other way round. I've almost completely abandoned email and was surprised to discover how much better I feel.

[-] Holyginz 1 points 2 months ago

Unfortunately abandoning email isn't something I'm able to do with my job but I bet it would feel amazing not having to worry about it.

[-] BilboBargains 1 points 2 months ago

The main reason I stopped using email was my former job depended on it. I quit that job and email at the same. The anxiety lifted like a weight off my shoulders. I cannot lay the blame solely on just email, that place was badly managed and I was not well suited to the role. Sometimes you just need to say, fuck it, I quit.

[-] Markimus 4 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

I'm delighted when people text back and we have a conversation, though I don't find it frustrating when that doesn't happen.

This is mainly because I keep track of important conversations in some external system, messages I'm waiting for, etc.

You never want to be sitting there waiting for a response, the only reason that's annoying for you is because you have that tug on your mind and you're not able to do other things until that tug has resolved itself. Keeping track of it externally means that you're not having to keep track of it internally. That's what you're really frustrated at, that pull at your attention that means you're not able to focus on other things.

[-] Bonesince1997 3 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

A close friend would/might text back soon and keep the conversation going. Most people don't seem to have that.

It's not just you.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago

It's not just you. I hate texting in general unless it's for work. Usually if I'm running around on errands or a nice walk, I end up getting a text response to someone from an hour ago, and it boils my nerves that I feel I need to respond.

I'd rather be on a phone call to get all information in/out at once. Especially with wireless headset/earbuds

Though my therapist thinks I'm AuDHD. So that gives credence to your asd worry

[-] zralok 1 points 2 months ago

I have struggles on calls, mainly video calls. I tend to let it turn into background noise and do not provide the attention the other “person needs”.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago

when I send a text I immediately forget about it

this post was submitted on 29 Feb 2024
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