Nowadays, everyone messages or sends texts as their method of communication. It’s convenient and fast and generally results in a relatively instant response.
Occasionally, however, a friend will become digitally dependent, requiring constant attention, whether by DM, texting, or email. Sometimes if there’s not a quick enough response, the person will use all three methods with little regard to the time or what else might be happening at that moment.
Not only can being at someone’s beck and call be frustrating, but the constant expectation is exhausting. Generally, people welcome hearing from close friends and family, but nothing says anyone needs to be connected every moment of the day and night.
First, it’s unhealthy, and no one can sustain that, plus maintain a normal lifestyle. So what should you do when your friend messages you too much? Let’s check out a few ideas.
How to deal with a friend who texts you too much
Technology can be remarkable when it’s not invasive. Unfortunately, a lot of times, that’s precisely what it becomes. That’s especially true in the context of communication.
Texting, email, and DM; each is convenient, fast, and generally offers a somewhat immediate response. The problem is that people become digitally dependent, especially close friends and sometimes partners.
These friends don’t recognize the imposition of the constant alerts or the frustration associated with expecting a “real-time” reaction with each message.
The obligation it can place on someone has the potential to be exhausting and difficult to sustain, along with normal daily responsibilities.
The problem is figuring out how to let someone you care about know they’re messaging too much without hurting their feelings or damaging the friendship. Check out these strategies for handling the situation for everyone’s greatest good.
When a close friendship doesn’t start with clear-cut boundaries, at some point, it becomes necessary to establish these in a firm context. It’s not easy, especially if you’ve been particularly casual with “rules” in the relationship, but it will be essential to stick with what you determine to be necessary guidelines.
The priority is to be honest with your specific needs, detailing where the boundaries need to lie and how your friend can offer support to ensure these are met. It will need to be verbally enforced that responses to messages will not be instant as your friend might expect or anticipate.
Let the individual tactfully know that your digital time is limited for your own mental health, so when you go quiet, it’s not personal. You prefer not to stay connected 24/7.
Technology is the problem but can be a solution
You’ll find virtually any solution with technology, especially when using digital communications. If you don’t want to be bothered during a particular time of the day or at all, you can simply turn on the “Do Not Disturb” feature, depending on your specific device.
The indication is that with iPhone, you can put an “iMessage or SMS” conversation on Do Not Disturb. It relieves the obligation of responding after a long day of working, or perhaps you’re at work in the middle of important tasks, meetings, or details when you can’t be interrupted.
Putting the phone essentially on pause is an effective self-care tool to relieve any pressures you encounter or obligations you experience when receiving messages.
Schedule disconnecting with friends
When it’s clear that you intend to disconnect for specific periods throughout the day or turn the devices off altogether at a certain point at the end of the day, let everyone in your circle know ahead of time when you’ll no longer be available, including anyone you work with
Offer an alternative form of contact in case there’s a genuine emergency that people can reach out to you. Still, these individuals need to know that contacting you in this manner constitutes a true emergency.
If anyone for any reason shows offense at your desire for time away from technology to indulge in private time and self-care, pay attention to how that relationship pans out in the future. No one should be dependent on contacting you or expect you to be available in any given situation.
The phone should be put to bed earlier than you are
Everyone has a usual time that they tend to lie down for the night. It’s suggested that all electronic devices be docked roughly an hour before that time. Staring at the screen right before heading off to sleep can keep you awake for a period.
The other recommendation is to dock these devices in an area other than the bedroom. The problem many people have is they wake up somewhat hazy in the middle of the night, and the first thing they want to do is grab the mobile or another device to see if anyone has contacted them.
Again, the problem is that the light from the screen depletes melatonin and will cause you to be awake, possibly for the remainder of the night, depending on how long you interact with the device.
Most people know the unspoken rule that you should avoid contacting people after a certain hour to avoid disrupting their sleep. That can be a complexity when there’s a substantial time difference, but even then, it’s essential to try to pay attention to where the other person is in their day and be respectful of that difference.
You can set the expectation
People will grow to expect the habit that you develop. If you hear an alert, grab your device and immediately respond. Close friends will anticipate that they will receive a message from you straight away after sending their alert.
If they don’t, most people close to you will start to worry something is wrong because that’s the image you created for yourself. If you don’t want that to be the case, it’s critical not to start behavior you don’t want to be then held responsible for or change the way you respond with an explanation.
You’ll need to reach out to those close to you ahead of time, letting them know you won’t be able to answer right away anymore because it’s interfering with your daily responsibilities.
It would be much more convenient for you and your standard obligations if you had the flexibility to answer messages when you have a free moment. If something is pressing or urgent, you can offer an alternative way the individuals can reach out, maybe call instead of a message, so you answer promptly.
Speak to the close friend messaging you the most personally
When you’ve taken these measures, and most of your close friends are abiding by your wishes; however, you still have one particular friend who insists on continuing to step over the line or crossing the boundaries, it’s time to have a firm discussion with that individual.
While you don’t want to end a friendship or create awkwardness in the relationship, it’s sometimes necessary to open the line of communication when something is not working.
Communication is vital in any relationship, especially a friendship. Suppose the individual is not respecting the boundaries. In that case, they need to be told that it’s unacceptable, that they can’t be digitally dependent on you to the degree they are, and that you won’t respond to the continuous flow of messages flanking your mobile.
It needs to come to an end, or the two of you won’t be able to digitally communicate because you’ll need to block them from being able to message you. Your only capacity for speaking will be in person or seeing each other face to face.
You might lose this friend, or they could find what you’re expressing to them eye-opening. There’s every possibility it could change how they communicate by following the boundaries you set with their digital dependence coming to an end.
People enjoy being able to reach out to close friends, work colleagues, and family with a few clicks and receive a response from those individuals within a few seconds. Technology is incredible.
Many of us can talk to people worldwide with our work thanks to the benefits of messengers and chats or even using video platforms. The problems arise when individuals become essentially addicted to their technology. In reality, that’s not difficult to do.
It genuinely becomes second nature, especially when working to wonder about something, send off a message and anticipate a response. That doesn’t mean you’ll get it.
Usually, it takes about a day to get a return, and most of us are okay with that. Some people, though, will bombard a recipient until they hear back. That’s when you know you’ve become digitally dependent upon your friend.
The best thing you can do when a friend is messaging far too much is to set them down to incorporate boundaries and let them know the repercussions if these boundaries are not followed. That can include no more digital conversations. That can be harsh, but in the worst-case scenario, it’s necessary.