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Read Receipt etiquette. Why keep them on? By: John Romaniello

Got this from @Johnromaniello, an author who I follow on Instagram and it resonated so hard that I just had to share. I must say before reading this, I was against the read receipts and now I can’t see a reason not to use them (at least for close friends, family, and co-workers). 

“Read receipts: They should always be on unless you’re a coward, a garbage human, or too technologically inept to figure out how to turn them on.


  • It actually cuts down on texting. 
  • Example: when I see that you’ve read my text, I consider that acknowledgement of the information contained therein. 

    There’s no need to respond with “kk” or “great talk to you then” or any of that nonsense. I saw that you read it. We’re good. 

  • It keeps you accountable. There’s no “I didn't see your text.” 

    This includes you. If you read a text, they know you read it, and you can respond or not. But it removes the ambiguity. 


  • It serves as an unspoken Do Not Disturb sign. Or, at the very least, an indicator that I'm busy. 
  • Everyone knows that I have my read receipts on. So if i haven’t read their text, it’s simply because i haven’t looked at my phone-which means i’m working or busy doing something else.


  • Building on the above two points: keeping them off allows you to wield power. It gives you the control of the information. 
  • When you have them on, you make the other people aware that if you’re not responding, it’s not because you haven’t read the text; it’s because you are choosing not to respond. 

    This is overtly wielding power, and is more honest. 

    It’s also a much more effective “fuck you”- Oh, I SAW it, I’m just not getting back to you.

  • It’s an indicator of activity.
  • When you text with someone often and you know their habits, deviation from those habits can create concern. If someone is normally responsive or is always on their phone, and you have no idea if they’re getting your messages, you don’t really know the deal. And when this is someone close to you, it can be worrisome. 

    If read receipts are on and they read your text, you know they’re alive and probably and probably still in possession of their phone. Or at least that the phone is open and in use. 

  • Keeping them on is all upside and no downside. None. 
  • If you think there’s upside in keeping people in the dark about whether you’ve gotten their message, or you LIKE being uncertain about whether they've read yours, you’re basically operating with a grave misunderstanding of how to effectively communicate. 

    At the VERY LEAST, you should have them toggled ON for your close friends and family (and, if you run a business, your staff).”

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