📆 September 11, 2022 | ⏱️ 2 minute read | 🏷️ computing

Read Receipts Are an Antifeature

Why do so many messaging apps come with read receipts enabled by default?

If your life is at all interesting, then responding to others’ texts isn’t your top priority. It’s not that you’re ignoring them. You just have other things to do. Or maybe you don’t feel like responding immediately. Maybe you’re driving, cooking, working, or enjoying a hobby. You may feel pressured to respond after having seen the message.

But when you’re on the other end of that read receipt, you feel rejected when they’ve seen your message and they haven’t replied. Are you not important enough? When are they going to respond? Or if they haven’t read the message yet, why not? Are they ignoring you? Have they read it and just not marked it as read?

The only purpose read receipts serve is making people feel bad. Quite frankly, the whole concept is just creepy and I don’t know why it ever caught on.

If you’re the kind of person who asks your friends to turn on their read receipts or you need to know when someone else reads your messages, you either have attachment issues or you have no life. I know that comes off as harsh, but I really don’t mean it in a derogatory sense. It cannot be healthy to care that much about when someone else reads your texts.

I don’t know why developers keep adding this stupid invasive feature, especially developers of private messaging apps. I wish they would stop or at least make it not be the default. Until then, best just to turn off read receipts.