Is it Rude Not to Text Back?

Today, people text all day long. In fact, many people text far more these days than they actually talk over the phone.

So, how about not texting someone back? Is it rude? Read on below and find out!

Is it Rude Not to Text Back?

Choosing not to text someone back is absolutely your choice to make. However, if you opt not to text back, you risk being considered rude.

By not texting back, you are sending a sign that you are not interested in the conversation or you do not wish to put the effort forth.

The main exception to being rude when not texting back is if the message you received in the first place was disrespectful, uncalled for, or otherwise doesn’t warrant a reply.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, not texting someone back rates 8

If someone is taking the time and making an effort to text you, it is only polite and proper to text them back. 

Even if it is someone you don’t care for too much, so long as the text wasn’t rude, not texting back at least a simple reply is more often than not considered rude.

Now, that is not to say you are obligated to text back immediately, or with a novella-sized message. 

It simply means most people consider it rude to not text them back eventually.

Why is it Rude?

Not texting someone back is bound to hurt their feelings, whether they are a co-worker, friend, or family member. 

The fact of the matter is, if you are ignoring someone who has put forth the effort to text and communicate with you, it’s more often than not seen as a lack of interest, if not an outright offense when you fail to hold up your end of the conversation.

Common Questions

Is it rude to not return a text?

It is not generally seen as polite or proper to not return a text to someone you are in good standing with. For example, if a co-worker, friend, or family member sends you a text, it is indeed rude for you to not return their text. That is not to say that you can’t wait until the next day, or even a week to do so (as long as you do it eventually).

Is it okay to ignore texts?

It is okay to ignore rude texts and texts that come in while you are busy (or late at night). For rude texts, indefinite ignoral is fine. But, for texts you received while you were too busy to answer, eventually returning the text is considered the polite thing to do.

How long is it ok to not text back?

According to researchers at Google, the average amount of time it takes in between texts for people to start perceiving your lack of a response as rude is just 20 minutes. This short period of time may seem surprising to the older generation, who were used to going hours, even days, in between communications with friends and family.