By John Sonmez August 6, 2015

Why You Shouldn’t Message Me

In this episode, I tell you why you shouldn't message me.

 

Full transcript:

John:               Hey, John Sonmez from simpleprogrammer.com. I’m going to talk about something that kind of annoys me a little bit here which is when people message me. This video is why you shouldn’t message me. I don’t mean to offend you if you’ve messaged me before. I’ve probably responded politely to your messages and if you’ve continued to message me I’ve probably said something like, “I don’t really use messaging platforms and whatnot” and then if you’ve continued you’ve probably just seen me go offline because I’ve blocked you.

There’s a couple of things like just in general that I want to talk about this subject because I think a lot of people don’t really understand this. I think there’s different cultural type of things or just what people interpret as social norms.

First of all, I want to talk about why I don’t use messaging and I don’t like messaging in general. Now, I’m on Skype, I’m on Google or whatever and Facebook and if there’s an emergency or something someone can message me, on Skype someone can message me obviously if they really need to, but in general I don’t like messaging because it’s like a distraction and you waste a lot of time going back and forth. Because when someone messages you you type something, texting is the same thing as well, but you type something and then you wait for a response. You don’t go and do something else. Typically, you sit there with your phone or you sit there in the message program and you wait for someone to respond.

All this time gets wasted, this going back and forth, whereas if you just picked up the phone and called someone you could just have a conversation for 5 minutes and be done, but that same messaging could take an hour and nothing happens during that hour or very little happens because you’re multitasking. I don’t like being interrupted. I work the Pomodoro Technique during the day. I try to focus and get my work done and to me messaging doesn’t add any—it’s not a productive thing and it’s immediate, it’s an interruption. It’s not something like—answering email I can batch, I can do that on my own time, on my own terms, but messaging, it’s something that interrupts my day and interrupts my flow.

That’s why I don’t like messaging in general is I don’t want to be at other people’s demands and I don’t want to have my day broken up. I don’t want to waste time.

The other piece of this, so obviously you shouldn’t message me unless you’ve got a super emergency. Even my family, even my wife, I tell her don’t message me. Don’t message me unless it’s a really important thing. If you message me that should be really something—it should be something I need to drop everything else and attend to this, otherwise just send me an email because then I can get it at my own leisure. You can send me information and I can look at that and I don’t have to be—there are certain things that aren’t immediate. If it’s super immediate then call me on the phone but it should be a really good reason.

That’s my blanket thing about messaging, but in general also this is something that I didn’t think I would have to say, but I think it’s worth saying just as general protocol. I get a lot of emails everyday, right? I do these YouTube videos, I’ve got my blog and all this stuff and so I obviously can’t respond to everyone, but a lot of times I’ll get a message from someone out of the blue like who I’ve never heard from before and it’s kind of rude to do that to anyone that has any kind of a large audience or something like that. Send an email, that’s fine, like introduce yourself, send an email, build a relationship. In order to message someone you have to be at a certain level of relationship with them and I don’t understand—like when I say people don’t understand this, you don’t just message someone out of the blue who you don’t know especially if they have any kind of audience or they’re any kind celebrity in their space or anything like that. To me it’s extremely rude because they then are in this tough situation where they have to either humor you, they’re hoping maybe that you’ll just like—you just sent one message and they’ll either have to humor you or they’ll have to try to act polite or they’ll have to be forced to be rude to tell you like don’t message me, like who are you?

In general, don’t—just think about this. Think about it before you message someone about if it’s appropriate, if you have the relationship that would be at that level and if you’re interrupting someone. I would apply the same thing—exact same rules in general to texting as well because that’s really a form of messaging. It can be—especially even like some things that people don’t think about is if you message someone because we all have smartphones right now, so we put them by our bed. If you text someone at 3 AM like their phone buzzes or you message them even on Google or Skype or something, their phone buzzes. Consider that as well. Just use an email, right? That’s usually a better form of communication.

To me messaging is like the bastardized—it doesn’t—it’s a really bad—it’s never usually the best tool. It’s almost always better to send an email which isn’t time dependent and someone can answer at their leisure and you can include a lot of information in there or to call them on the phone which is immediate and you get all the information out at one time. Messaging is this weird like in the middle that tends to waste a lot of time.

Anyway, that’s my rant about messaging. If you message me—if you’ve messaged me in the past, I don’t mean to offend you, you might not have known how I—but now you know, so don’t message me unless your hair is on fire. Take care.

 

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."