The growing use of technology in the way we communicate with each other can have a negative affect on our manners and social skills if we aren't careful.
Whether it's a result of the general anonymity of the internet or just a product of the absence of face to face contact, people seem to be getting less and less concerned about showing respect to the person on the other end of conversations. One of the ways this shows up is the ugly practice of ignoring someone who asks you a question. This is not a good thing to do. Here are some thoughts:
(1) (Almost) always answer questions sent by text, email, or phone. It is a slap in the face to not answer someone who asks you a question, even if it is a minor one. Don't just leave it alone. Don't take five days to respoind. Try to avoid being too casual about ignoring people, even accidentally.
(2) The only time to NOT answer people is if you want to get rid of them. This is the only exception. It's okay to ignore people if they are a jerk, a crazy person or maybe someone on a dating site that you would rather not talk to. But these are about the ONLY times that it's okay. Don't make the mistake of accidentally treating someone like you don't like them.
(3) No question is too small to answer. The seriousness of the question is not the point. Manners are manners.
(4) Don't think that ignoring a question is an acceptable replacement for a "no" answer. Doing this not only lazy, it's just plain rude.
(5) Try to answer within 24 hours of the time when the question is asked. I'm not saying that you should be staring at your phone all day waiting to answer everyone immediately. Answering during the same day a question is asked is reasonable. Next day at the latest is a must.
So, separate yourself from the growing number of knuckleheads who are so casual about letting questions go unanswered. Make a point to try to answer everything that's asked. Leave yourself a note or set an alarm if you have to. The way we communicate with people is a great opportunity to show how much we value them.
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