Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Read Receipt Rage: That Moment When a Read Receipt Turns You Into a Psycho Hose Beast

A close cousin of both "reply all rage" (unmitigated rage at receiving a reply all email) and "group text rage," (irrepressible rage at receiving a group text from which you cannot unsubscribe), "read receipt rage" is a distinctly modern phenomenon that anyone with an email address, a Facebook account, or text messaging capability has likely experienced at one time or another.

The “read receipt"--also known as the shittiest technological development since the atomic bomb and BluRay---appears on text messages, Facebook messenger, and emails, and it tells you in no uncertain terms that someone is blatantly ignoring you for a very long period of time.

I’ve written before about responsiveness and (in)security, and how a lack of responsiveness in human interactions (electronic or otherwise) can often be interpreted (correctly or not) as an intentional form of rejection in relationships personal, professional, and everywhere in between.

Tech-savvy people who are trying to ghost your ass know better than to default to the read receipt. They're smart enough to disable that function and keep you guessing. For those who have not yet learned to hide the fact that they're telling you to fuck off forever, there's nothing quite like the "read receipt" to get that message across loud and clear. 

But WAIT a minute . . . is that REALLY what's going on? Maybe not! And here's where the read receipt does its dirtiest and most insidious work.

Maybe they're dead in a ditch somewhere. Or off the grid. Or just busy. Or maybe they hate you. That MUST be it. Maybe you did something to make them angry? What could it have been? Maybe they're just not a loser like you who's in front of a cell phone or computer 18 hours a day? THAT must be it. But wait a minute. Two WEEKS? I mean, I KNOW you saw my email/text message! It says so right here on my phone! And yet you are not responding to me. Why? This is 2015. There is actually no legitimate excuse for this. Surely I am being dumped, de-friended, fired, or stonewalled forever in a cold, calculated manner.

Or am I?

And suddenly you feel like Lara Flynn Boyle in Wayne's World. Before there was electronic rejection, there was something equally effective and far less cowardly that people used to do. It was called in-person rejection, and it looks like this 1:11 of pure genius.

Here's a piece of life advice and a note to self: It takes a bit of willpower, but it's for the best: Be a Wayne. Not a Stacy.

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