Is it Rude Not to Reply to a Text?

Over the most recent decades, texting etiquette has become a thing. So, what does it say about not replying to someone’s message? 

Is not replying to a text considered rude? Read on below for the answer and full explanation!

Is it Rude Not to Reply to a Text?

Generally speaking, it is considered highly rude to not reply to a text. That said, not every text you receive warrants a read let alone a response.

For example, if your husband or sister texts you, it is rude to not reply. Albeit, you don’t have to do it the same second you receive the message.

On the other hand, if a random stranger, bill collector, or fundraiser texts you, it is far from rude if you don’t reply.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, not replying to a text rates a 7. The reason not replying to a text rates this high on the rude meter’s scale is that most people who text us know us or have a good reason for doing so. 

In other words, more often than not it is rude to not reply, even though there are indeed times when not replying is perfectly acceptable. 

Why is it Rude?

The main reason it is so rude to not reply to a text is that you are sending a signal that you don’t care about the message or the person’s feelings who sent the text.

That’s why it is much better to at least send a quick text or even an emoticon to let the sender know you’ve read the text and are aware of whatever the message said.

You can always reply, in-depth, at a later point when you have the time or are more comfortable doing so (for whatever reason).

Sometimes we need a bit of time to gather our thoughts before we reply, and that’s fine to as long as you do indeed reply at some point.

Common Questions

Why do people ignore text?

People ignore texts for a plethora of reasons. 

Some of the main reasons we ignore texts include being upset with the sender (or the message), not having time to stop and read the text (let alone reply), or simply not feeling like talking to anyone at the moment. Sometimes people also ignore texts when they genuinely don’t know how to reply to someone’s text.

How long is it ok to ignore a text?

There is no golden rule on how long is ok to wait to text someone back. 

That said, most people these days expect a text back within half an hour to one hour (during the day), or by the next day (if the text is sent at night).

When is it not ok to not reply to a text?

It is ok to not text back, whenever you feel like it. That’s right, despite what you’ve heard, there is no universal “must text back” law. 

Furthermore, there are times when texting back can be reckless or harmful (such as when you are walking, biking, driving, or working).