Read Receipts, Always Off

When a product gives me the option to turn off Read Receipts, to notify me if a message has been “read”, I will keep it off. When a product forces this feature, I will not use it.

So for me, iMessage has this feature turned off and Facebook Messenger and messages don’t get used.

The problem with this product feature is that “read” does not always mean read and it’s intrusive.

I really don’t want someone thinking I’ve read a message that I’ve only seen and not really read. Maybe, I need to think about it, clicked on it by accident on my way to something else or want to enjoy reading it carefully later.

Read receipts just seem intrusive and make a sender sound a bit child-like, “Do you see me now? Do you see me now? Do you see me now?”

For whatever reason some like this feature, professionally it sends a poor message in my opinion (and many others)

I wouldn’t be surprised if this data is mined (meta-data anyone?) by companies eager to build out their profiles of us and to better serve appropriate ad units in the future. I would enjoy reading the MRD and PRD (Marketing Requirements Document & Product Requirements Document) to get a closer look behind the scenes for new products implementing this feature. Of course the data can be mined without a user visible “read” notification, but visible or not, it’s one more channel to be used against user privacy – another topic for another day.

The message that’s being sent is that a size-able portion of users view a “read” notification as meaning a message was actually read. Any quick search on social media for “Read Receipts” indicates that this is a very common belief.

Also, how real is a read receipt if someone bypasses it in the notification center?

The reality is that a read receipt means a message was opened – possibly viewed, possibly glanced at and possibly really read.

Assuming that a message is actually read though just opens the door for misunderstandings and feeds the “my content needs to be seen”-iosis.

If you use the “read receipt” feature, I’m sure that you have a reason and probably enjoy it.

I just wanted to explain why I personally do not use this feature and why you might see only “Delivered” on your iMessages – and not “Read”.

It’s also the reason why you probably won’t get a reply from me on Faceboook’s messaging service these days. I don’t even read the messages there and just open it to clear notifications from time to time. I have this personal policy stated on my profile as well.

On the flip side, I won’t demand to know if you’ve “read” or “opened” my messages. I’ll let you read them if you choose and respond when and if you choose without pressure.

But, read receipts of teaneedz shouldn’t be looked for.

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