I noticed on Facebook that a friend whom I hadn’t spoken to in ages was celebrating a birthday. I sent him a quick Facebook message of congratulations which was followed by a longish reply letting me know what he had been up to of late, which made me feel I had to respond in kind, saying a few things about myself and … where will the exchange end? It used to be you sent a birthday card. And the other person received it. Full stop. Now if someone says something, anything really, you feel the need to immediately hit the reply button. Which leaves me wondering: Am I becoming an over-responder? You know what I’m talking about—the type of person who always takes the email or Facebook exchange one step further than necessary. Key words and phrases used by the over-responder include: Gotcha. Yes. Thanks. Done. Confirmed. See you. Right. OK. An email exchange between two over-responders, for example, would end up sounding something like this:
Want to meet at 10am?
See you then.
Looking forward to it.
Are you an over-responder? Answer me quickly. Leave a comment! Hit the button! I dare you not to! (P.S. I promise I’ll get right back to you if you do.)
Antonia van der Meer is a magazine editor, book author and media consultant