I've noticed this is a typical reply on social media platforms. I always thought this is a standard polite response until I encountered this entry on Urban Dictionary:

thanks for reaching out
The most obnoxious possible reply to someone who has contacted you, often used in professional settings.
Hi John, thanks for reaching out. I'm quite busy right now on many important projects. Why don't you reach out to me again at this time next year and see if I have a couple of free minutes then. Or, better yet, how about never? Does never work for you?

Is it true? What does it really mean? Is the Urban Dictionary definition a joke?

  • 6
    It is an often used "stock" phrase, that's all. "obnoxious" is a subjective opinion. Best not to rely too much upon Urban Dictionary for objective information. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 26 '18 at 10:51
  • 5
    Urban Dictionary is not a very reliable source for unbiased information. – stangdon Jan 26 '18 at 16:29
  • This is definitely a joke when it comes to "next year" and "never". – Victor Yarema May 25 '18 at 21:07
  • I think it is most often used in a corporate setting, and would risk sounding insincere or overly-formal if used in a more personal one. I would not expect anybody to have a bad reaction to it if used in business. – Glenn Willen Dec 2 '19 at 20:37

The reference is a somewhat cynical explanation. "Reaching out" is commonly used in english to indicate opening a communication channel.

At work I will say "I'll 'reach out' to the graphics team to consult on the best layout". This means that I will contact them for advice or in an ongoing capacity or in an informative capacity.

I would expect this grew from outreach - the act of extending services, benefits, etc., to a wider section of the population, as in community work.

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