I unexpectedly bumped into a new acquaintance of mine recently who apologised for having not responded to a text I’d sent.
They said that they felt bad for having left the reply so long and then they felt too bad to reply that and then so much time had lapsed they felt silly. We laughed at the spiralling nature of it all. And I finished up by telling them that I wouldn’t have minded this ‘late reply’. What we had been discussing was not pressing so a gap in the conversation was okay. In fact, it was like communicating in letter speed!
Remember those days? Did you ever have a pen pal? Or send letters to family and friends on the other side of the world? Or work in a time when decisions were based on letters going back and forth that were dispatched via typing pools? Not emails?
I often think about how fast things have progressively got. Such as wars. Especially when compared to when decisions and knowledge about the next move were dependent on messengers who’d run post to post with intel. Amazing.
So yes, if this acquaintance and I had been communicating about something with a deadline then it would be a different story altogether. But with no deadline, just general chit-chat, I think it’s totally fine to do things at letter speed. Rebellious even.
For example, I have a couple of pals on email and Facebook Messenger that I respond to monthly. I get their reply, I read it (as I would a letter), I then snooze the email or archive the message, and make a note in my calendar to reply in a month’s time. Just because technology is fast doesn’t mean that you have to be in all areas of your life. This is the DELAY tool at its most powerful. Deciding when works for you and doing a task at that time.