Friday, April 13, 2018

Time Zones, Internet, and Messaging

Growing up, the rule in our house was no phone calls to friends after 10 p.m. The thinking was that if you could wait till that "late", you could wait until morning, when it's a more reasonable time.

In today's day and age of the Internet, cell phones, and more messaging apps than you really need, one would think being aware of time would be standard. Almost my entire family lives along the eastern coast, which puts me seven hours ahead of them. Which is why I wait until 2 p.m. to send a WhatApp message to my siblings. That's 7 a.m. for my sister, brothers, and sisters-in-law. My other sister-in-law (Zach's sister) lives in California.  That's ten hours behind us. So I send her an email when I need to talk with her.

I keep my cell phone near my bed at night. It serves as my alarm clock. Now, it has a sleep mode setting, so that between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. it's quiet. No notifications ping, phone calls are screened, and it's nice and quiet. The problem is there ARE people who may need to reach me in case of emergency, and the work around to get through is a right pain in the butt. The person has to call, let it ring a certain number of times, and then call back within a certain number of minutes. Quite frankly, if there's an emergency, they're not going to remember that. So I took my phone off sleep mode.

Last night I received several Facebook messages from friends on the East Coast of the United States. One person sent me multiple messages at almost 1 a.m. my time. For her, it was almost 6 p.m. Two hours later, I received another couple messages from someone else. Again, where she is, it's a perfectly reasonable time to message.... if you don't take into account what time it is where your recipient is.

I'm not naming names, I'm not calling anyone specific out, there's no need to apologize. Just be aware of the wider world we have access to thanks to the Internet.

What rule did you have growing up that thanks to today's technology makes it difficult or irrelevant?


  1. I took fb off of notifications. It really makes life more pleasant that way, even during the day.

    1. I have my newsfeed notifications turned off. This was for Messenger.

  2. As a teenager, I didn't call friends after 10 at night, unless the friend I was calling had his/her own line. However, I did make long distance calls after 11 p.m., because that's when the rates went down.