The other day I gave my phone number to a new friend. Two other friends were nearby during this exchange and felt the need to warn her how I am not the best at responding to text messages.

It's true. It is not unusual for me to respond to a text message hours or days after someone sent it to me. I've realized there are several reasons why this may happen:
  1. I check my phone the second I open my eyes in the morning. Which means I'm reading text messages in a half-awake state. I typically won't respond in that moment, and in my half-awake state possibly fall back asleep and forget about it until later.
  2. I will receive a text message when I'm in the middle of something like having a conversation, driving, or doing other important things. I'll read it because I like to see why people want to talk to me (who doesn't want to feel more popular than they actually are?), and if it's not necessary that I respond immediately, I won't. Sometimes I remember to respond the next free moment I have, sometimes I do not.
  3. I will receive a text message that requires a decent amount of thought or typing to respond to, so I will put off doing so until I have more time or better thoughts.
  4. Sometimes I'll start responding to a text message but get distracted. I'll forget to come back to it until later or I'll entirely forget about it. I might even think I did respond, but later find that unfinished thought in the "drafts" message bin ... oops (I have a bad habit of doing that with emails, also).
  5. If someone texts me something dumb, mean, questionable or inappropro I may seek advice from a friend on how to respond first. This is for everyone's benefit, as it saves us all from future awkward situations.
  6. Sometimes my phone hates me and doesn't tell me when I have a new text. It says the person sent their most recent text message before their previously sent text message. It doesn't make sense, I know.
  7. If I'm in my house (which is a fortress) I often don't get the best signal. Occasionally I won't even get your text unless I go by a window or leave my house. But that depends on the day and the weather, I think.
  8. Sometimes I just don't feel like responding at the moment, and every so often I don't feel like responding at all. Sorry?

There you go. The reasoning behind my poor texting habits. One of the friends who warned my new friend of such habits developed an effective method on how to get me to respond quickly: she put "IMPORTANT" at the beginning of the text. So if you don't want a delayed response that might be something to consider. Don't abuse this right, as I may start ignoring you anyway and we could end up with a kid-who-cried-wolf situation. If you tell me all your texts are important when they are not, you could be messing yourself up for when you really do need my immediate response on whether or not your outfit looks ridiculous.

Bottom line: please do not take my delayed responses personally. 98% of the time, it's not personal.

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