DEAR MISS MANNERS: How does one go about politely refusing the entreaties of old friends to reconnect?
I have so many demands on my time as it is. My hands are already full maintaining existing friendships, and I don’t wish to put in the effort to reconnect with someone I haven’t seen in years.
There may be a time in my life when the demands are fewer, but right now is not that time. “Sorry, I’m 31 now and I’ve become very discriminating about who I spend my free time with” lacks tact.
GENTLE READER: So, Miss Manners would have thought, does ignoring requests, but, at least with electronic communication, this is the widely accepted solution.
Etiquette accepts this by inventing the fiction that perhaps the communication was misdirected to spam or the receiver is not an expert at modern technology. The nontechnical equivalent for direct entreaties is the vague response (“Oh, we’d love to, but right now things are very busy”), repeated to exhaustion.