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So many communication pathways, so little time

In this modern era of near instant communications and immediate gratification, it’s distressing to find that you’ve missed a conversation (be it an email, IM, post on social media, whatever) and it makes me wonder how others perceive delayed / missing responses. For example, this morning I realized that I had a number of messages that were waiting for me on a social media platform that I didn’t even know were there. They had backed up in the last month or so due to an aggressive travel schedule and I felt a distinct dread when I noticed just how many were sitting there. Many of them were simple “hi” or “thanks for wishing me a happy birthday” type messages, but a few were responses or part of conversations. How was my lack of immediate response perceived by the senders? Am I on some sort of social pariah list in their minds as “that guy who doesn’t respond to my messages?” Or are these ephemeral messages just fleeting thoughts that once sent are gone and carry no social weight at all? As a person who always feels awkward in social situations I want to know if there is a modern day digital equivalent of Emily Post that I can refer to?

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