Complete Story


Texting Is a Hellscape

We must find a way out of it

The away message is a relic of desktop chat apps from decades past. But this simple feature helped keep boundaries between your online connections and your IRL self. Now that we all have tiny computers in our pockets wherever we go, those boundaries have evaporated. Instead, there's now the constant anxiety that comes with being connected—and available to chat—at all times.

This week on Gadget Lab, we talk about how messaging went from casual, asynchronous correspondence to an all-consuming attention hog, and how the tech companies that shape our correspondence could fix it.

Show Notes

Read Lauren’s story about how it’s time to bring back the away message.

Please select this link to read the complete article from WIRED.

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