I often forget about messages I've received through texts and email. It's rare for me to ignore someone on purpose. Sometimes I'm in the middle of something important and I automatically dismiss and forget about them. Sometimes I'm half asleep or inebriated and I'm not in the best state to respond. It happens!
One of the more uncomfortable feelings I get is I look back at past messages and realize that I totally ignored someone for more than a week. Multiply that feeling by 10x if read receipts were turned on. I think that this feeling of uncomfortableness can be utilized to help me and others like me to get better at being responsive and respectful to others.
What is the feeling? I am uncomfortable because in my mind it lowers my reputation as a reliable person. My own fear of what others will think of me enhances these feelings. I imagine design solution to this problem would be to bury me more into this feeling.
My solution to this problem I have is to simulate further messages from people that I have forgotten to respond back to. For example, let's say my mom texted me "We miss you back at home! When are you coming back?" I get the text but I clear my notifications by accident so I never see it. I propose an application that detects when you have not replied to any message received after a set amount of time, let's say 2 hours. The application would then fake a text from that specific person with a guilt ridden message like "Nevermind, just forget about it." These types of messages would definitely get my attention, increasing my anxiety to force me to check the texts. Of course, when I check the text, the application would inform me that it was not a real text. However, hopefully this feeling of discomfort would encourage me to reply back to my mom with a greater sense of empathy.