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The Facebook "Seen" message gives me a lot of anxiety! When I see that the person has "seen" the message, but does not reply, I start thinking about all the possible reasons why they would 'ignore' me... Does anyone else feel this? If so, how do you cope?

320 Answers
Last Updated: 09/19/2021 at 5:53am
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Lisa Groesz, PhD


With evidenced based therapies, we find the root of the problem together to implement solutions. We all face crises, transitions, or disorders at some time.

Top Rated Answers
August 24th, 2015 12:05pm
I think our society stresses too much on wanting things and wanting them now, people are no longer patient. Rather then getting worked up knowing someone has "seen" your message, understand that we have the opportunity to wait and reply when the time might be a little more convenient, we don't need it now. I try not to let other's dictate my emotions, it gives them control of my life.
June 23rd, 2015 3:22pm
i worry about it also. i start crying and feeling like they hate me. i do not cope well when this happens to me
March 3rd, 2015 11:38pm
I feel this way, and I decided that to give myself some peace, I would quit writing to the people who do not respond after reading the messages. It makes my life a lot more peaceful, and they get to learn to communicate with me another way :)
April 21st, 2015 9:57pm
I know how you feel. Ever since Facebook has installed that darn thing I feel like it has made things a bit more stressful on the site! Personally, I've learnt to just take my time and distract myself with other sites or anything else so I'm not waiting around for that person to respond. Plus it doesn't mean they're ignoring you.. sometimes they might not be able to answer straight away or something has caught their attention at that moment. It's not a thing to lose sleep over, trust me.
March 29th, 2016 2:15pm
I feel that way too, whether its on facebook, kik, or imessage. I know it can be nerve-racking, but one way I have gotten over obsessing over a read message is finding other ways to distract myself, and remembering that they're not the most important person in the world. If they are leaving you on 'read' frequently, they probably aren't going to be a very good friend of yours anyway
January 21st, 2017 8:22am
Sure, someone can be late in replying. But if someone is not replying at all, you need to reconsider if you even need that kind of NEGATIVITY in your life. Perhaps, stop texting people for a while and see who comes to you instead. Those who stay, are worth everything. Hope it helps. Stay strong.
December 29th, 2015 6:01am
I feel this. Usually I will send them one or two messages like "are you there" to check that they didn't just not notice the message. If they still don't respond I check their profile to see if they might be up to anything that would keep them busy. If that doesn't explain anything, I walk away from the conversation for a bit and find something to do.
June 17th, 2015 11:20pm
I used to get anxiety over this feature a lot, it's like a little reminder that someone is choosing not to respond. But then I started looking at it from their perspective, for example: Maybe they're busy? Maybe something came up and they simply forgot to reply? Or maybe they just have to think about what they want to say next. My advice would be, don't worry about it too much! And if someone ignores you, you could always remind them that they opened the message :)
August 11th, 2015 10:22pm
I remember that in modern society people don't always respond promptly. I remember it is not about me, but rather bad manners maybe.
April 1st, 2015 7:50pm
I know exactly what you are talking about. Social media has unfortunately given us all sorts of reasons to be anxious about things that are probably non-issues. The reality is, people have a right to respond when they feel like it. I am personally used to people instantly responding to me, but i had to accept that not everyone is like that and usually there is a very good reason for the delay.
April 16th, 2017 10:03pm
God! that "seen" message shouldn't even exist, I feel exactly like you and I think a lot of people do to, It's totally normal to feel that way, it's like if you say something and the person just nods, turns around and leaves. I normally don't get to stressed about it, those people aren't worth my time and not yours believe me. If they don't want to talk to me or are annoyed by me, that's fine, I see it that way: those people are just cowards that don't want to say straight to my face why they don't talk to me. And yes, hearing that might hurt, but then again don't ever get hurt about what bullies and people like that say. So, next time you see a "seen" on your messages please love, do not ever think low of yourself, do not think it's you and it's something that you've did. :) I hope I could talk to you and respond respond and respond without ever letting you on "seen" because we both now how that feel ;)
November 2nd, 2015 10:02am
Facebook gives me so much anxiety on so many levels from wondering what my ex lover might be up to right down to who is paying attention to me. I took the liberty to delete my Facebook for the time while I seek therapy and get through this anxiety I am having. The less "triggers" the better. I would rather keep in touch with people that are my real friends and not a bunch of social media nonsense. The contacts list in my phone is all I care about anymore.
March 4th, 2015 10:15am
I consider this way. There are many reasons for not replying immdiately. Sometimes people just read the message and we see it as 'seen'. However, they might be busy in some work and might have thought to reply later. They might not be intentionally ignoring, there must be some reason. Also, I think about their usual habit like they reply immdiately or not, or how is our friendship, are they the type of person who will ignore me? What must be the reason for them to ignore me or I am just assuming it? I shouldn't assume anything. I try to think rationally when I have automatic anxious thoughts or sometimes when anxiety is too much, I write down all automatic thoughts. That calms me. Even if someone ignores me, I try to think Facebook is not the world and I try to keep limited use of Facebook, so that it won't be powerful enough to take control of my emotions.
April 17th, 2015 2:36pm
Remember that with messaging system available on our cell phone, sometimes we might see a message (which leads to the seen message) but we never really read the message (because we are busy, we are in the middle of something, someone interrupted us, etc). So remember, when that happens, it's not because of you, it might just be due to the many other reasons that lead to the person not being able to reply you.
November 24th, 2015 12:12pm
I think every Facebook user has experienced this at some point. It's a useful feature because you can verify whether your message has been received, but on the other hand it's also bad because this way the recipient can never just leave a message to reply to at a more convenient time (well, they can, but what you're describing is what happens). I think when you see your message has been seen but the recipient is not replying, you shouldn't think the worst of it. There can be many reasons why they chose not to reply (yet). Maybe they were busy and were just about to log off, maybe they didn't have an answer yet and need to ask someone first, maybe they need to think about their reply for a while. And maybe they indeed don't want to reply. What I usually do is wait it out for a bit. If after a few hours or days they still haven't replied, I'll send them another message as a reminder. I mean, it has happened to me as well that I got a message, didn't have time to respond and then forgot about it altogether. If they still don't reply the second time, you could try asking them why they're not replying. That way you'll know for sure what the reason is, rather then letting your head walk away with it. Hope this helps!
December 2nd, 2016 8:24am
It's been a lot of times that I felt that way about somebody reading my message and not responding. I would think that maybe I'm boring or anything of that sort that's honestly ridiculous. The thing is, maybe you messaged them something that didn't need replying, such as confirmation messages etc. What you need to understand and realize, and I mean this in the most positive and lighthearted way, is that people aren't obligated to reply to you at all. And that includes you. You can read a message and decide not to reply for whatever reason you choose. And you absolutely do not have to explain yourself to anybody and tell them your reason for not responding. Everybody should learn to respect that. So with the understanding of that, you can see somebody has read your message and not responded and think "Oh, okay then let me go about my day" because small things like that don't matter. If you've asked them something important or something you do need feedback on, you can always ask them again or resend your message and add that you really need their opinion or an answer. There are various reasons for why people don't respond to messages. I've been down that road before and sometimes I'm just not in the mood or I'm feeling a little down and later I forget to go back to it and reply hence I highly appreciate my friends having that level of understanding for me. I hope that was helpful. :)
March 15th, 2015 5:54am
Haha... I don't use Facebook much, but I know that feeling very well. Usually, I just reason the likelihood of them ignoring me or simply just unable to reply at the moment (it's nearly always the latter). Coping is simple: Let it go, and don't bother thinking about it. But do not—REPEAT—DO NOT try not to think about it, because the more you try not to do or think about something, the more likely it is gonna be for it to sink into your brain and nag you forever and ever until you've wasted all your energy obsessing over it and can no longer think. @_@ Don't take my word for it; try and find out yourself!
December 9th, 2016 1:26am
Hey there. All social media does have a correlation with anxiety. I can understand why you would worry when you know someone has seen your message but has not replied. It's frustrating also sending a message and not getting a response. Have you considered the possibility that while it says "seen" they might have left messenger open?
July 27th, 2015 8:23am
This is such a common issue these days. People put such an onus on Facebook, and Social Media, they actually forget about real life situations. I've had this anxiety before - If my partner read their message, but did not reply, It would trigger ALL sorts of intrusive and unwanted thoughts; where are they, what are they doing, who are they with, what if their angry with me, what if they're in trouble! I found it very difficult to cope with these, and could often start to be a sure-fire way to start an argument. When you sit back, and view the bigger picture, and think of LOGICAL possibilities as to why, perhaps they're busy at work, perhaps they're speaking to someone they know, they could be driving - heard it, looked, but it's too unsafe to reply. When you rationalize it (Which I know is easier said than done for Anxiety Sufferers) you start to view a broader picture of what your friend could be doing!
October 22nd, 2016 7:39am
Many people feel this way! I imagine most of the things you're coming with as possible reasons are negative. It's best to distract ourselves from these kinds of thoughts right away before they lead to self-doubt and negative validations or worse, self-fulfilling prophecies. The worst that can happen is the person will never speak to you again - and why would it matter, really, since you deserve to be surrounded by a supportive group of people who do eventually respond to you. Distract yourself until that time - and if it's an emergency, find another way to contact them, liking calling them, texting them directly, or writing them another facebook message that says, "I'd love to hear your thoughts on that!"
March 22nd, 2017 4:32pm
Accepting that by them looking at the message, they are not "ignoring" you so much as opting to not respond or to respond at a later time. Reminding yourself that other people are living separate lives, and may not be able to engage fully in a conversation with you when you want to converse with them is also important. In these days of instant communication, people tend to hold onto expectations for immediate acknowledgement, but we also rarely say good bye or end conversations in a finite way. Perhaps also taking the time to realize that you probably often do the same thing to other people you know without realizing it... Recognizing that you do this as well, without having any ill intent, could very well help you recognize the same in others. Worst case? Turn off the feature completely using an extension for your browser.
October 27th, 2016 4:55pm
If i see that someone has seen my msg but he/she isn't replying me then i just minimize their chat window and do any other work which i have (Obviously waiting for someone to reply is a time passing work), its better not to reply him again and again because it will just make our personality down infront of them they will think about us that we dont have any work to do or they will think that we are really alone, yes you can do one thing if after few minutes still they have not replied then you can send another msg like (Are you there?) and even if he/she does not reply then nothing you can do more it is better to accept the fact that they are not interested to talk to you instead of getting stress about why they are not replying to me.
December 4th, 2016 3:26pm
When this kind of thing happens, I force myself to remember the times when the reason why the person was not responding was not ignoring me nor anything to worry about. Then, once that is assessed, I give them space or try to contact them later via something else than facebook. Some people may also not realize that one can be anxious about that, so when you tell them they might try to avoid leaving you without response in the future.
March 8th, 2017 1:25am
Yes, and it is a bit unnerving. When social media starts giving me anxiety, to me this means it's time to take a break. You don't want to take these things too seriously because what happens if the person is multi-tasking when they saw it and forgot to respond, or what happens if they are in the middle of something but really wanted to read what you sent them and they plan to get back to you as soon as they are done with their current endeavor or maybe it's a person who just doesn't respond well with messages... there could be a million different reasons and here we are going crazy trying to read people's minds and understand. Chill out - take a breath - and sign off. Social media is not supposed to make you feel this way. It's supposed to help you connect with people on a different level, not stress you out. Remember, you have your true friends and people who love you - don't get yourself all worked up over a message that someone saw on the internet. It's not worth it. Hey - you can always follow up with a phone call!
March 15th, 2017 9:16pm
I'm fairly sure some people do have the same feeling, and honestly if someone see's your message but doesn't reply back, they might be busy or just are being rude or what have you. Best way to cope with it is don't make such a big deal out of it. You'll be okay from the whole thing.
April 8th, 2017 5:06am
I too experience this feeling quite often. I have come to realize though that people are busy at times and may not be able to reply right after reading the message that was sent to them.
September 22nd, 2015 7:26pm
I feel this constantly, but I cope by thinking of all the reasons they could not reply. They opened the message, but had to set their phone down real quick to do something and then accidently forgot. Things like that.
November 24th, 2015 4:57pm
I get this a lot too! Sometimes I forget though that some of my friends take longer to read and write. I also know that they want to help/answer me in the best possible manner, so this takes a bit longer for them to think about. (I also have one friend who has bad internet and can't always reply straight away)
February 23rd, 2016 12:11am
Sometimes I wonder why people haven't messaged me back but then I realize that they might have other things to do that are super important and give the other person the benefit of the doubt.
September 21st, 2016 10:04pm
I feel this way too sometimes, I often try to think of how busy my own life gets sometimes and how i can't respond to every message.