This Wall Street Journal article points out that "disconnecting" from your always-connected online life when you want to go on vacation would be a whole lot better if SMS had an "away" message feature (as they called it in AOL Instant Messenger and Internet Relay Chat), or as we like to call it in email land, an "out of office" reply. And they're right. And your old friend email has got you covered, better than those newer technologies do.
Google Hangouts? You can set a status message but nobody ever reads it. Apple Messages? No such feature. The WSJ author suggests a cumbersome workaround to try to allow you to respond to Apple Messages with a sort of half-manual "go away" reply macro, but it doesn't sound that great.
I never thought I'd say this, but here we are: When are we going to get "Out of office" replies for SMS? I want that.
To me, this is just another reminder that email is useful. Once upon a time I thought OOO email auto-replies were uncool, but this article got me thinking, and it reminds me that I've been neck-deep in the corporate world long enough to see the value in making sure that people know immediately that you're not going to be able to respond to their request in a timely manner.