Left On Read

What does left on read mean?

When a recipient reads a message but does not reply

When you message someone and receive a notification that they read the message, but they don't respond, you are "left on read." It is a frustrating experience because the recipient seemingly doesn't deem you or your message worthy of a reply.

Where did left on read come from?

Apple introduced "read receipts" in 2011 for iOS devices, which notified senders when their messages were read by the recipient. Other messaging services, such as Android messaging apps, Snapchat, and Facebook Messenger, adopted this feature.

Most services allow you to turn off read receipts, so your app will not notify the sender when you have read it. However, if you do keep it on, it can infuriate senders when you don't reply in a timely manner.

This led to the creation of the "left on read" term to put a name to the horrible experience of being ignored. There is no clear creator of the term, but it did gain popularity in 2017.

Why being left on read is the worst

Being left on read conjures up a feeling of unworthiness because it makes you feel that the person doesn't value you enough to reply. There are various situations where being left on read can be really annoying.

A prominent example is when you are on a time crunch and need some type of information from the recipient, but they do not reply promptly, if at all. Another common example is when you are heavily invested in the answer you will receive, and the wait is killing you. You may have asked the person out on a date, or you may have confessed something really embarrassing.

The situation is only made worse when someone posts on social media while still leaving you on read. This may prompt you to call them out on that same social site, but don't; that will only make it worse.


I was left on read for the whole weekend until Sylvia finally responded
It goes without saying that it was not the answer I was looking for
Dying might be an exaggeration but it's not great to be left on read
Dying might be an exaggeration but it's not great to be left on read
Scorned Twitter user that was left on read
Scorned Twitter user that was left on read

Related Slang


Updated August 11, 2021

Left on read definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "Left on read" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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