Here’s something I’ve learned recently: People are waaaaay more responsive to SMS than email. If you need to get a quick short response from someone, you should definitely text them.

Why is this? Two hypotheses:

  1. I’m burning some collective commons where SMS is reserved for higher priority communications and by exploiting this, I’m degrading its signal to noise ratio.
  2. You can’t write elegantly on SMS because of the phone keyboard limitation, so you feel less awkward about replying with super short messages like “ok then”. This means that you’re less tempted to put off replying. (I have a web interface to SMS, so this limitation doesn’t actually change my behavior. But this limitation changes the social norms in a useful way even if it’s not present for everyone.)

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