With a furrowed brow and serious tone, our dear neighbor Marilyn asked, “Is Scott mad at me? Does he dislike me for some reason?” She shared that many times my husband Scott ignored her when she tried to greet him. I quickly explained the situation. Scott wasn’t ignoring her; he just didn’t hear her. Scott suffers from hearing loss and wears hearing aids, so when Marilyn called from across the street, if Scott wasn’t facing in the right direction, he didn’t hear (or see) her. Relieved, Marilyn promised to make sure Scott knew when she was greeting him. Scott had a valid excuse for not responding to Marilyn, but is there ever a valid excuse for not responding to emails or text messages? Even though technology takes away the the physical connection when communicating, it’s important that technology not take away the personal connection when communicating. If you receive an email or text message, respond as soon as possible even if you can’t address the issues or answer the questions right away. Draft a standard response that you can repeatedly use. Say something like, “I received your email, but want to give it the appropriate attention and will respond as soon as possible.” You would never ignore someone face-to-face, so no one should be left trying to figure out why you are not responding to an email or text message. etc Strategies believes that a timely response to an email or text message keeps that personal, professional connection that makes communication even better.