Leon Neyfakh describes the different kinds of flakes, for the record:
There are different kinds of flakes …. the cool, sexy flake (Julian Casablancas from the Strokes, Richard Katz from Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom); the benign stoner flake (Seth Rogen in Pineapple Express); and the misanthropic flake (your friend who never seems to leave the house). All of them are united by being reliably unreliable: They’re hard to get in touch with, they make plans they don’t keep and they stay home despite promises to show up.
On flake behavior:
[S]ome flaky New Yorkers are oblivious to or accepting of their own flakiness, and drift happily along even as social norms increasingly dictate that everyone should be reachable at all times by phone, email or text message.
On flake mindset:
For such people, the idea of being branded a flake has lately become an obsessing nightmare — one made infinitely more urgent by the fact that changes in technology have given them more social obligations than ever, crippling their ability to follow through as consistently as they think they should.
On the flake definition:
[It] has expanded to include behaviors that are native to the digital age. Waiting too long to respond to email is flaky, for example, since everyone knows you have a smart phone and you could be — but aren’t — writing back at any moment. So is ignoring texts, and being a bad g-chatter, and neglecting to keep up with your close friends’ blogs. As obligations proliferate and ordinarily meticulous people find themselves unable to maintain the social vigilance they expect of themselves, small emotional injuries are inflicted with unprecedented frequency.
Whether they care less or are careless, flakes — well intentioned perhaps, walking around with a gnawing feeling in their hearts — might try something different.