A friend may find it offensive if you don't respond to a text message immediately. After all, absolutely nothing is important enough to take precedence over a juicy text, is it? Basic texting etiquette demands that you respond to a text as soon as you have a chance. But if you suddenly realize that you never responded to a text from a few hours ago -- or even a few days ago -- you can always grab one of these excuses to get off the hook.
Unavailable Cell Phone
Most texters are glued to their phones, but you can always fall back on the excuse that your cell phone was unavailable. That might mean that it was in the repair shop, that you lent it to your roommate, or that you left it at home by accident. Just keep in mind that the texter can blow your cover if she finds out that you texted another friend just a few minutes before or after she sent you the original text.
Believe it or not, most people understand that there are times when texting is impossible or rude. If you are in class with a teacher who does not allow phone usage, you have a valid excuse for not returning the text. If you are in a meeting or if you are having a heart-to-heart conversation with a friend or sibling, you also have a good excuse. Many high schools ban cell phone usage in the classroom, so trying to stick to the rules can be a good excuse as well.
Lack of Reception
Faulty reception can be the perfect excuse for an unanswered text message. Phones can get excellent reception in a specific place one day and no reception at all the next. Two phones can have different reception patterns in the same area and calls are dropped unintentionally all the time due to bad reception. Don't use this excuse too often. Unless you have an old cell phone or a poor service provider, others will question your sincerity.
Your friends should understand that safety comes first. You can tell them that you were driving and couldn't text safely. Driving and texting is dangerous and illegal in most states. If you operate potentially dangerous machinery, such as construction tools, you can use that as an excuse.
"I didn't hear the text alert" is always a valid excuse for not responding to a text message. Whether you are near a busy street, a loud party, or a crowded bus station, it is understandable that you may have no idea that you've received a text. This excuse may not work if you are known to check your messages frequently.
Of course, the best way to go if you forgot to respond to a text is to explain the situation to your friend. Write your friend a text or email -- or give him a phone call -- to apologize for the oversight. If you didn't return a text because you felt uncomfortable responding, communicate your feelings in a straightforward manner.
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