In today’s world, it’s fairly rare for us to miss a call, a text or a notification. We’re either at our desks (with our iPhones by our side) or eating (with our iPhones by our side) or on the late bus home (um, I think someone just stole my iPhone).
So, the likelihood of not being able to receive and respond to a message right away is getting slimmer and slimmer. Nevertheless certain codes of conduct prevail. Despite our ever increasing links to technology, we remain humans at heart. We still want to manage perception, look cool and be seen to be doing things “the right way”.
With this in mind, I’ve put together a little list of recommended response times for our favourite platforms.
Emails: Right away. Emailing is the new instant messaging. It shows that you are across multiple devices and totally on it. Always cc people, it doesn’t only keep you in the loop: you are the loop. The loop is nothing without you.
LinkedIn invitations: 3 to 4 days. Ideally at stupid o’clock on an early weeknight. This suggests that you are 24/7, going hard, taking names and killing it. ‘I Don’t Get Jet Lag’ is your middle name.
DMs: 20 mins. This says you are busy but accessible, in demand but in control, bright yet breezy. Leave it any longer and you might as well never reply. The moment has passed. Twitter - and you - have moved on. Get over it.
Instant Messages: 4-5 hours. See ‘Emails’. No one has time for IM-ing anymore. It’s not 2003 ffs.
Facebook friend requests: Never. If you’re not already friends on Facebook, then it’s just another person in your life who doesn’t use Twitter.
Twitter follows: Follow back instantly. Within two hours you should have established GIF-based in-jokes, sent inappropriate DM’s and pretty much nailed down that #ff shout out.
Instagram comments: If it’s food related, 3 hours. Everything else, right away. Stay in the feed, yo.
Text Messages: Right away. If they’ve got your phone number, you probably know them in “real” life. It’s probably your Mum.
Actual face-to-face meetings: Plan months in advance, set a Google Calendar reminder to cancel twenty minutes before. Always keep ‘em wanting more.
Foursquare/ Find My Friends requests: Alert the police. Things just got weird.