Reading Unseen

We all have that moment almost every 5 minutes when we are engaged in a social media messaging. The moments when the message comes into your phone, you read the message by sliding the notification bar and expanding the notification without getting face to face with the message itself. This means that you’re actually reading from a distance instead of reading it directly.

This habit tends to occur either unconsciously or by “playing safe”. Yes, this action is becoming a habit unaware to many people who doesn’t jump into the message directly but rather stands at a distance to read the message.

Why has this habit occurred? All thanks to Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp. Both have introduced a system that allows the senders to be notified of their messages read by the recipients. For instance, when notified, Facebook Messenger shows a “Seen”  and Whatsapp displays two blue ticks respectively at the bottom right of the conversation window.

Of course, you’ll be asking, “Why is this a big deal anyway”? To some people, yes, what’s the problem? There’s no problem at all. Like I said, it’s a habit that have become a norm in the community. For some people, they just dive in straight away to reply the message while for some unfortunates, they have both the time to read the message and doing housechores but no time to reply. Of course, the “Seen” appears and then this would create a misunderstanding for the sender as if the recipient simply doesn’t want to reply.


Because of this misunderstanding, this habitual action becomes a way for us to read the message “safely” without damaging the relationship. This has indeed forced our hand to read from a distance. Some do this for a few reasons:

  1. To play safe as to avoid damaging relationships
  2. To prepare a reply of your intended answer as to compare with an impromptu answer
  3. To postpone the reply when you are feeling tired, busy, etc.
  4. To determine the nature of the message before replying


In conclusion, there’s really nothing wrong about it but it exists among us. What we really cannot determine is its fallacy in the future when every conversation exists in social media messaging.



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