There are two things that can happen when you send a message to a friend.
If your friend has been thoughtful enough to turn on read receipts, you'll get this message after they read it.
Perfect! That's what the human beings are doing. That's what we're looking for! You should be applauded!
This is the alternative. The "delivered" just sits up there, forever. Like a rotten, stinking fish in the sink that never goes away. The above "friend" hasn't turned on his read receipts. Awful. This is no way to live. It's a terrible way to have a friendship. If you intentionally do this to your friends, you don't deserve to have any friends. In fact, you don't deserve to have a phone. Your phone should be taken away from you and you should be slapped across the face with it.
That was kinda harsh.
But was it? Maybe not.
If we were having a conversation, and you pretended like you didn't hear what I was saying, even though you DID hear what I was saying, I think we can all agree that would be rude, right? Well, pretending you didn't get my text is the same situation. It's as if we're in the middle of a face-to-face conversation and you refuse to look at me and refuse to acknowledge that I've said something to you; you are refusing basic human interactions. It's rude.
I'm not saying you have to turn on read receipts on your email. That's ridiculous and completely different. You can hardly compare email to texting. Email is akin to calling and leaving a voice mail or sending a bill in the mail. No one expects a reply in a few minutes. When you get to it, you get to it. Unless it's an URGENT email with the little red exclamation point, odds are pretty good you'll never even read it. In fact, if someone really wanted to get you, you know what they would have done? That's right. They would have texted you.
Why? Because a TEXT is completely different.
Texting is the same as talking. Yes, I said it's the new talking. You remember talking? That's what people used to do with each other when they'd go to bed at night, when they were sitting on a couch together, or when they'd go out to eat and split a chocolate shake, two straws. At times, a girl would do it through a plastic device that would fit in her hand and she would it put it up to her ear that had seven holes for listening to her boyfriend on the other side of town. "You hang up." "No YOU hang up."
Texting is much more like talking that than any other kind of new communication. In fact, it's even more intimate than talking on the phone. Think about it. Only those close to you are texting you. You're not texting back and forth with political parties. You're not sending the electric company a smiley face. You aren't taking pictures of your latest meal (can we PLEASE put a stop to this!?) and sending it to the carpet guy. Why? Because you don't text people you don't know. You text your friends!
And because it's a more intimate form of communication, like talking with someone face-to-face, it's rude for you to pretend you don't see the text. If you aren't close enough to the person you're texting with, to let her know that (gasp!) you actually read her text, but can't yet respond (that's all a read receipt is, for crying out loud), then stop texting her altogether. It's an absurd way to go about living your life.
In this world of fake lame-o communications, the LEAST you can do is let your friend know you got his text by changing your settings to "send read receipts." It adds just a tiny bit of authenticity that we are desperately missing in this world.
If your relationship with him is so fragile that he can't handle seeing a read receipt without an immediate response, delete him from your contacts, because he's not your friend. And if no one in your contact list can handle the read receipt, you better pick up the phone and talk to the carpet guy. Because he's the only friend you have left.