Want Lower Stress Text Messaging? Turn Off Read Receipts

Woman checking her SMS on her iPhoneImYanis / Shutterstock

Enabled by default in many modern email applications, "receipt reading" (confirmation that the sender has read that you have read his / her message) is a source of unnecessary stress for everyone involved. Turn them off.

The principle of read receipt is simple: when you open a text message in iMessage, WhatsApp or other text-based communication platforms, the sender is notified that you have it done (and probably read it). While some people are very exciting sure the importance of reading receiptsBy saying that this leads to transparency and forces us to recognize other people in time, we could no longer disagree. We are not fans, and it turns out that not many other people are either.

The beauty of text messaging is that it is an asynchronous activity that, unlike face-to-face discussions or phone calls, does not require an immediate response. SMS gives you time to think about communication because the other party does not know you are even present. You could be sleeping. You could be busy at work. You could do something other than read their text message. The reading receipt removes all the beauty of asynchronicity and adds extra stress to the interaction by screaming, every time you read a message, that you have, in fact, read it. Not only is it stressful for you, but it is stressful for the recipient by telling him that you have seen their message but, on the basis of your silence, you are not responding for any reason.

You can restore the simple root of text messaging by disabling the read receipt. Use iMessage? It's as easy as opening the settings on your iOS device and under Settings> Messages, turn off "Send Reads". You can do the same thing in the settings of WhatsApp and other messaging applications (the received parameter, "read reports" or "messages viewed" depending on the application).

Once you've done this, you can enjoy a less stressful text messaging experience and respond to your pace.

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