/ / / Editorial: Do You Return Emails Quickly?

Editorial: Do You Return Emails Quickly?

Debbie Stanton | debbiestanton.com | Writing

In the time before emails, business letters were written the same day to answer a letter received, or at the very latest, the next day. Personal, handwritten letters were probably answered with a week.

Now it seems that business letters are not returned as quickly, and sometimes handwritten letters are not written at all. (I would guess they’re written by fewer and fewer people, myself included–and I’m a writer!)

What about emails? Is there a frequency code that people follow? I’m really lucky that my friends and I send and receive emails fairly quickly. If people are really busy, they may send a few words in response, such as “I have a situation going right now, I will write you later.”

On Facebook, people aren’t always efficient about returning notes on Messenger. I know I return messages on Messenger within 24 hours, but many don’t. Sometimes they are not returned at all.

I know everyone is busier now than they ever thought possible. Please check in with your opinion: do you agree with the examples I gave? Why or why not? What do you wish would change about the way we communicate?

Photo by Paul Esch-Laurent on Unsplash

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  1. I have to confess to frequently getting behind. I just find it so hard to keep up with everything anyway from a health point of view and I periodically abandon Facebook and then feel guilty when I see messages I haven’t replied to . With text messages, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Facebook, let alone email it is almost impossible. I’m not so bad on the first few as they shown notifications but I get around 50 emails a day and if I am away from it for a few days aaargh!!!

  2. I like your response, Sally — I too would love to see old-fashioned letters come back into vogue – but I don’t do anything about it. 🙂 I have two boxes of stationery that are waiting to be used – maybe soon. 🙂

  3. I usually try and reply to emails as soon as possible, especially for my business, sometimes you have to think about things before you reply. People are too quick to have a knee-jerk reaction to stuff, text messages in particular can be quite terse and misinterpreted. We keep in touch with a newsy letter to Dave’s daughter in New Zealand once a month (time difference is sometimes a bit difficult) but any particular news we email and she usually responds quickly. I still try and write letters/handwritten notes on pretty notelets when possible. Messenger on Facebook can be a ‘thumbs up’ response to show that you’ve seen it but not everybody is glued to their computers or phones all the time. It is still so nice to receive a missive through the post!

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