How often do you receive replies to the emails that you send?
Receiving (and sending) replies have become uncommon to so many of us and although we don’t admit it, it is a burden.
This is especially true in college and I experience it too often at East Stroudsburg University.
Whether it may be with a professor, a faculty member, a friend, a classmate or a peer, I encounter moments where an email doesn’t get sent back to me with a reply.
Alternatively, the email sits in my Sent folder, as if it has been achieved.
Generally, the emails I send include a thorough explanation, description or even questions given for the other person.
Naturally, I would expect a reply of some sort. I don’t necessarily expect a paragraph-worth of dialogue.
However, I do anticipate for the person to do the logical thing and read it.
Having said that, one benefit of replies is that it allows us to be informed.
Informed that the receiver has both seen and read the email.
Considerably, we have all experienced emails being sent to various folders, especially Spam.
Moreover, emails are sent for a purpose.
To put in perspective, there had to be some reason why the sender went out of his or her way to write the email.
Thus, when replies are not given it brings frustration to the sender.
In many instances, professors and students have needed to contact each other regarding grades, assignments, absences and simply general information.
As an editor, I can relate to this all too well.
Us editors are responsible to reach out to individuals, to gather information and to make the most of everything.
Yet, it is difficult for us to do all that if people do not reply to their emails.
In the past, I have sent emails to both professors and students.
Some were a success while others were not. Those that weren’t seemed officially archived.
Because I never heard from them again.
This leads me to my next point.
Emails are a long-term conversation rather than a quick response.
Thus, it is expected that a reply would take longer.
However, it becomes overwhelming when the reply is received a month later.
In fact, it is ridiculous.
What makes people think that an extremely late reply will still be relevant or even helpful to the sender?
Even so, when we do find ourselves in these situations, what are we supposed to do?
Are we supposed to continue waiting for a reply? Do we disregard the email and move on? Do we approach the person?
Obviously, the most reasonable thing to do would be to approach the person.
Then again, the purpose of email is to make it more convenient for both the sender and the receiver.
We may not necessarily have the time to visit during office hours, we may need a reply within a certain period, the email may be urgent and so forth.
It’s quite ironic that us college students experience such a thing, especially since we are continuously reminded to check our emails.
However, this proves that not everyone checks their emails and replies.
In all, it is understandable that we will have moments where we are incapable of giving a thorough reply.
We are human.
Yet, we should all respect our peers and try to reply to emails in some way.
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