Causes for anxiety vary from person to person but there’s one thing we agree we collectively get anxious over — messages saying ‘Hi’ without context. Whether you’re the most professional of professionals or the youngest sibling receiving a text from your most annoying sibling out of the blue, we all fear that one-word message. Who hasn’t received them?
Don’t reply to anyone who just say “Hi” without including their question or what they need. It’s about time we normalize not wasting people’s time and stop unintentionally triggering anxieties. 💁🏻♂️
— M.A. Buendía ☻ (@MABuendiaHD) March 3, 2021
It’s ominous. It activates your fight or flight response the same way a “Can we talk?” message can. Saying ‘Hi’ or just simply typing your name leaves you to imagine tons of scenarios. This conversation could go from 0 to 100 real quick, depending on what this person wants to say and they’re purposefully concealing the topic.
Is it someone reminding you to drink your medicines? Do they want to ask if you already have a life insurance agent? Is your boss demanding to know why you’re underperforming? Or is it someone who wants to ask a challenging favor?
Please text with purpose, we can’t be hey heying everyday.
— Athena (@SelinaTeyie) June 27, 2022
In one-word message scenarios like these, usually, the sender would wait for the receiver to respond before laying out what they’ve got to say. Is this the digital version of asserting dominance over someone? Maybe.
Sometimes it’s unintentional, but this careless action has triggered many an overthinker’s anxieties. It’s unfair bait that gets you roped into the conversation. The sender capitalizes on the fact that you, a curious human, would want to know what they want.
Sometimes it works. But most of us collectively agree we hate it.
In these cases, seenzoning is perfectly justified
You often take a while to read these anxiety-triggering messages. As ‘proper’ Filipinos who were taught by their parents to respect everyone, leaving a message unread might not sit well with you. But remember, messaging someone without clear intent downright rude, so we can’t blame you for not responding.
Content creator Macoy Dubs a.k.a. Auntie Julie had his fair share of experiences with single-word messaging scoundrels. Guess what? He didn’t feel bad about not opening that message or leaving them on read either. If the sender wants to bait you, they would be frustrated. If they were innocent, they would send a follow-up message clarifying what they want. That simple, that easy.
This message wasn’t for me but I still got anxious anyway.
A proper format to avoid messaging ‘Hi’ without context
Format: Greetings > Message / Inquiry > Thanks
— M.A. Buendía ☻ (@MABuendiaHD) March 4, 2021
Since some people clearly don’t know the proper etiquette in messaging someone, a netizen had to go and remind them of how civilized humans do it. “Format: Greetings > Message / Inquiry > Thanks,” M.A. Buendia tweeted.
It’s pretty straightforward but for those who say instructions are still unclear, here’s a quick example:
Incorrect: Hi Jemerlyn!
Correct: Hi Jemerlyn! It’s been a while but I saw you updated your job info on Facebook. I just wanted to ask, are you a nurse rin po?
Incorrect: Apple Mae, tanong lang.
Correct: Apple Mae, tanong lang. Could you be my girlfriend?
If it can fit in one message, send it all at once. It’s not that hard.
The proper way to message someone is to value their time and attention. Got a question? Ask it immediately. The conversation will be shorter and everyone will end up happy.
So, my fellow anxious-overthinkers, it’s okay. To repeat — you’re not alone. You simply want to proceed with caution and exercise your right to Know What’s Up before responding and that’s not wrong. Leave them on read and teach them a lesson!
To those living their lives recklessly and wreaking havoc via Messenger, it’s not too late to change and save others’ sanity. Check yourself.
What do you think about people who message ‘Hi’ without context?