Leaving Comments?

Look at the message input box, how elegant.

I am able to take my time, relax, reflect on what I just experinced, take a coke from the fridge, type in some feedback, do some proofreading, add the missing ‘e’ to ‘experienced’ that I just wrote, and then click the submit button. Isn’t this one of the best ways to encourage people to leave feedback? At least much better than the chatting window on Amazon that always reminds you your session will be out in one minute, right?

But, yes, it’s true, people don’t use the feedback function. How weird it is (at least to me)!

Because people don’t know if what they’ve written will be read by someone (some real people!), not to mention there is still a possibility that people hit the submit button, and then the page froze, and all the words in the input box just go to another dimension.

I think people are obsessed with getting replies or, more philosophically, feedback.

You shared funny news with a friend you haven’t chatted with for a while, 60 minutes passed, 6 hours passed, a whole night passed, and you haven’t gotten a reply. It does not really bother you, but you start to wonder from now and then, why you didn’t get replies? Is it because the friend didn’t receive it? Is it because he doesn’t want to reply? Did we lose the taciturnity we used to have?

Well, this might not be a good example. Say, we are interacting with our boss:

  • Can see availability from Google Calendar but still want to confirm availability with invitees before setting up a meeting (especially small ones)
  • Submitted a sick leave request in the system with detailed reasons but still want to tell the supervisor in person

Right? You have done this, I have done this!

I can say this is because people want to make sure the message is delivered, as the cost of reconfirming is low, and the cost of the message failing to deliver is high. (And you also don’t want to lose a friend or at least figure out why the friend didn’t reply to you in the previous example!) People always have fears of the unknown, and if they can turn it into known, why not?

I guess that’s why IMs have the read receipts and ‘last seen’ function.

Hmmm, I hate read-receipts; I’d rather eat an apple.

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