Is it Rude Not to Text Back Right Away?

Texting has come a long way since its inception at the tail end of the 20th century. 

Today, people enjoy sending back-and-forth messages within minutes of each text. Sometimes, these texting conversations go on all day long.

But, what happens when you stop texting back quickly? Is it rude not to text back right away?

Is it Rude Not to Text Back Right Away?

It isn’t always offensive to not text back right away, though much of the time that is exactly what people view your lack of a quick response; rude.

When you are in the middle of a convo, and both parties are quickly replying to each other’s message, suddenly not texting back right away with no warning is likely to be seen as rude.

On the other hand, if you have been texting, and the other party knows you are now stepping into work, a class, or into the driver’s seat of your car, not texting back right away is not seen as rude.

How Rude Is it?


On a scale of 1 to 10, rude meter rates not texting back right away 5. The primary reason for this middle-of-the-road rudeness score is that it is just as often rude to not text back right away as it isn’t rude. 

For example, if you are working, sleeping, shopping, or driving, not texting back immediately is not rude whatsoever.

But, failing to text someone back right away who is waiting on a response is more often than not seen as rude every time.

Why is it Rude?

Taking longer than half an hour or so to text someone back is considered rude by most texters. Firing a text away to someone only takes a minute or two (if not just a few seconds). 

Choosing not to do so, unless you are seriously busy, sends the signal that you aren’t willing to make the effort to keep your end of the conversation. 

In other words, not texting back right away gives people the idea that you don’t care about them enough to text back in a timely fashion.

Why is it Not Rude?

It isn’t considered rude to not text back right away under a few key circumstances including being at work, or at a professional meeting, being asleep, and being on vacation. 

Likewise, it isn’t rude to not text back right away when you don’t notice a message right away. 

In addition, early morning texts and late night texts also fall into the category of not requiring an immediate text back.

Common Questions

Is it rude to take hours to text back?

Unless you are genuinely too busy to text someone back (which only takes a few seconds or a minute or so), it is considered rude and uncalled for to take hours to text someone back.

In truth, people these days expect a quick response when texting back and forth (around 20 minutes).

Is it alright to not text back immediately?

Generally speaking, it is ok not to text back immediately, so long as you do so at some point. Keep in mind that most people who text you regularly expect a semi-fast response.

Taking more than 30 minutes to text someone back is considered a rather long wait time these days.

How quickly should I text someone back?

The average amount of time that today’s texters expect you to text them back is right around 20 to 25 minutes.

If you take longer than half an hour to text, people begin to worry or find your lack of a timely response rude.