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'I have 5 kids but can still text back': Mum asks why people are so rude about replying to messages.

We’ve all been there. You text someone, needing and expecting an immediate response…and they just don’t bother. Either they respond at their leisure, or sometimes not at all.

It can be annoying, but it’s also very human, and…perhaps an indication of how much you may mean to the person in terms of their priorities. But even if they do have a legitimate reason to not respond according to your timeline, their lack of enthusiasm can hurt a little.

Or, if you’re like one mum on the internet, a lot.

This mum shared her recent frustration in a chat forum on popular parenting website Mumsnet, in a thread called “People too ‘busy’ to text back.”

User BerriTerri asked the forum if she was being reasonable in her annoyance with people who took “hours” to respond to her texts, or simply didn’t bother to respond at all.

“A simple question is either,” she begins the post, outlining the two possible scenarios.

“Read instantly then takes hours for a reasonably urgent response such a response to ‘do you still need me or pick A up from school today was the car fixed?’ (and whenever you see them they are on their phone…)”.

BerriTerri conceded the other possibility is that the recipient of her urgent text doesn’t recognise the urgency, and thus simply chooses to ignore the message.

A screenshot of the post. Source: Mumsnet

But either scenario is unacceptable to BerriTerri, who claimed she always has the manners to respond.

"Like anyone is that busy they can’t text inside 48hrs," she said.

"I have 5 kids, work, home Educate and like them I still manage to waste time online."

BerriTerri explained that despite her busy schedule, she'll always respond. It's an issue that is so problematic to her, she sees it "as reason to pretty much drop contact/ friends when it’s repeated."

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She's also bemused as to why friends don't like being confronted about their lack of communication.

"But then they raise it like I’m funny???", she wrote.

Finally, she concluded the post, asking the group:

"Are people just really odd or rude nowadays. Are all these people on Mumsnet and can explain...?"

Forum members were more than happy to oblige with explanations.

Andrew Daddo and Holly Wainwright discuss the intricacies of babies and funerals on our parenting podcast, This Glorious Mess.


"Phones are for the convenience of the owner not for the convenience of the person trying to ring or text that phone," one person wrote.

"Why not phone them if you want to speak to them?", asked another. "Some people don't like communicating by text."

Other people said text messaging is not their preferred method of communicating, and they avoid it if possible. This user put that sentiment succinctly:

"I just absolutely hate texting. Especially replying to massive long essays. It's the bane of my life. I much prefer a phone call."

Another person in the thread observed timing is everything.

"I find if I don't answer straightaway it then gets forgotten until hours/days later. So, therefore if I'm 'busy at the moment' the text arrives then often not replied too. All my friends are the same and we joke about it. If it's important we ring."

However, BerriTerri did get some support.

"I'm totally with you on this," her supporter said.

"Nobody is THAT busy, I don't care what anybody says...It takes 5 seconds to reply. It doesn't need to be a long message back. Just a "Yes" or "No" reply."

BerriTerri herself responded to the comments at the end of the thread:

"I totally get people work/ don’t use them much and a million other reasons. I’m taking about those who show up as ‘read’ very fast , you always see with their phone to hand and do it every time. Obviously if I’m swimming or out I may take a while, it’s those irritating people you know are free and do that affected ‘I’m busy’ stuff. Socially confident but often a little controlling..."

Whilst it may sound a little curious that BerriTerri accused people of being "controlling" when her complaint is based on her issue with them not responding to her when she demands it...but at least she was reminded that phones have other capabilities - such as calling.

Do you find this happens to you when messaging your family and friends? Tell us in the comments.

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