when you don't reply.
is a web installation that represents another side of online relationships.
In the digital age, the way we communicate online can be so different to real life. Something, that might not seem hurtful to hear might be extremely painful to read.
This web installation was created to show how often online communication can make a person afraid of being forgotten, feeling lonely, or being misunderstood.
You can try the demo below or via the provided link.
Not a long time ago I had quite a deep talk with my colleague about virtual communication. She told me about how often she overthinks when she talks to someone online. Apparently, she was not the only one who had such struggles.
Online relationships played a huge role in my life as well. In my teenage years, being the only asian in my school, I used to seek comfort in online communities and language exchange websites, which allowed me to talk to people from all over the world and feel less isolated.
While it brought me a lot of joy and friends, it brought a lot of misunderstandings as well.
Sometimes, delays in response or incomplete messages can create a lot of negative thoughts, often to the point that you start losing confidence, disliking youself and thinking that you are unwanted.
My online friend Tommy Tran
and I decided to create this web installation to remind people that overthinking and having unwelcome thoughts is a part of online communication that everyone goes through. It is normal to overthink sometimes since we are all human. Though, it is important to be aware of it and not to let those negative feelings make you feel unloved or lonely.
How It Works
The project uses React.js to create a web chat interface that waits 5 seconds for you to type the first message. If you did not say anything it picks a random message from a predefined array of 'bad' messages to reply to you.