Sound Off: Comedian Sahar Ali on messages being left ‘on read’
We all know the agony of someone seeing our messages and not promptly replying
The struggle is real; it’s like sending a home a carrier pigeon but never getting a reply.
The year is 1800. You’re on holiday with the girls and you’ve made sure to bring a few homing pigeons with you. After a ladies brunch of larded rabbits and pigeon pie, with your ink and pen ready, you write a letter to your beau back home.
“Hello, how are you? I had such a great...” you begin to write before changing your mind, scrapping the parchment and starting again. “Hi, it’s me! Miss you…” You change your mind again; you don’t want to come off too strong.
You settle for “hey”, small case letters because you’re as cool as ice. You tie the parchment to the pigeon and send it on its way home. Ten hours later, you do the math, it’s bound to have arrived by now. You check your messages… nothing. You send another message: “U busy?” Before the ten hour delivery-time is up you send another “It’s me, lol”, and another “ok fine nvm”. You decide to enjoy your holiday.
The next day, no new pigeons arrive with messages from home. “You’re with her, aren’t you? I knew you would do this.” You send another “I hate you.” You decide to enjoy your holiday again, and this time you do.
It’s time to return home. You’re ready for the fight of your life. You’ve had time to practice exactly what you’re going to say. Your jaw drops as your wagon pulls into your home. Or rather, what used to be your home.
What’s left now is ash, slain body parts and empty animal enclosures. While you were away, your home was pillaged by historically-inaccurate pirates. Circling the remains is a flock of pigeons.
The year is 2018. You’ve lived many lives since. You’ve gone from pigeon to telegram, to telephone, to iMessage and yet you still haven’t learned that when someone leaves you ‘on read’, they are busy, not obliged to reply, or even maybe dead.
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