For as long as I can remember now, the people who message me have been able to see that I’ve read them.
Back in the first few minutes of using iMessage there was a pop up which asked for permission to send them and, hhaving come from a BlackBerry where it was standard fare, I couldn’t think of a reason to decline.
I wasn’t alone. The vast majority of the people I talk to on iMessage have their read receipts turned on. It’s pretty safe to assume that if someone is messaging you from another iPhone then you’ll likely see if they’ve read your message or not.
The situation is pretty similar on other apps too: What’sApp defaults them to on (and hides the off), even Twitter’s Direct Messages let you know when someone has read your message.
But that’s a little strange, when you think about it. Because the only people who thought it was acceptable to have ‘read receipts’ turned on for email were weird distant relatives, and y’know… that person at work.
So I’m starting a revolution.
Earlier this month I turned ‘read receipts’ off globally. No one knows the difference between me reading a message and deciding not to respond, and me (as is usually the case) losing interest and forgetting to respond until it’s so late as to be awkward if I actually did reply.
Nothing terrible has happened, and I’ve not even had a “why have you turned off read reciepts message of doom” from anyone. I feel liberated.
Technology is amazing, but it’s also run primarially be people who need to keep you engaged with their thing. My life is improved drastically by the ability to control all of the lights in my house from my home, but I can’t find any way that sending read reciepts to anyone and everyone is helping.
So I stopped them. Sometimes, even if I love you a lot, I just don’t have any words left. I’ll reply later; maybe you can too?