I’m a fan of the “three dots in a bubble” that pops up when someone is responding to your text message — and I want to create a counterpart. We need a new icon with three lightbulbs that shows “I’m thinking.”
Not just with texts but with communication in general, there is an expectation of an instantaneous response. We would be better off if there was an easy way to allow people to consider their reply without leaving the recipient in cyber-limbo. You could hit the three lightbulbs to indicate that you need a moment to ponder – to think of the implications beyond the obvious that came to light upon reading the query and to craft a thoughtful response that uses more words than smiley faces.
Currently, we’re faced with the dancing ellipsis that impatiently nudges us to hit “send” in order to pacify the eager recipient who is also watching the dots for them to morph into a message. Until my three lightbulb idea comes to fruition, intentionally ignore the icon boogie and prioritize a wise response over a speedy one.