Texting vs. Talking: What’s Your Stance?

BlogHer Original Post
Person holding and dialing cell phone

I am finally recovering from phone call phobia. In the old days, the building anxiety while waiting for the other person to pick up as well as the anticipation of the inevitable shakiness of my voice and awkwardness of my word choice made the stomach of my middle school self contract into a tiny raisin.

While I have virtually no trouble picking up a phone today (the only remnants of my phone call-dreading years surface while leaving tongue-tied voicemail messages), I rarely have the need. School assignments and work questions can be dealt with via email. And I can reply to that party invitation over Facebook while I simultaneously consult my friend on proper party attire through a text message.

However, many parents, mine included, are confused by the generational depletion of the phone call. Well, allow me to break down my texting vs. talking guidelines in a bullet-pointed list.

Reasons Why I Text

• Taking the 2 minutes to type out, “Hey, I’m running late because my alarm didn’t wake me up, and now an entire family of ducks decided to take a field trip across the street, but I’m on my way” is so much more efficient than the time it would have taken to dial my friend’s number and tell her verbally.
• How else would I know that that guy I gave my number to three months ago (you know, the one that I contemplated giving a fake number, but felt too bad and couldn’t think quickly enough to do so) wants to know, “wuts up?” when he’s a little too drunk realize it’s 3:27 am, and the only thing that’s “up” is my REM sleep count.
• Saying “I am nervous about taking too big of a breath right now due to the amount of dandruff in the hair of the kid in front of me” in a phone call during a lecture doesn't have quite the subtlety I’m looking for.
• My witty banter doesn’t have the same ring when I say it aloud as it does in tiny, pixelated characters on my cell phone screen.

Reasons Why I Call

• Despite running across the street in heels while flailing my arms at the driver, I missed my bus and figured a call home would be the best way to pass the time during my 2 hour waiting period.
• My doctor/dentist/academic advisor/hair dresser would probably prefer a phone call scheduling an appointment rather than a text message saying, “You free the 7th?”
• My message is urgent and the person I’m trying to contact doesn’t receive/reply to texts (i.e. I can’t remember the name of that one *NSYNC song, and my older brother who knows every song ever written doesn’t get texts.)
• I’m running low on texts.

And email is for non-urgent work or school questions, and the occasional catch-up message that’s too long to text to someone that -- I’ll admit -- I just don’t feel like talking to over the phone.

Are you a talker or a texter? Comment with your take on the texting vs. telephone call debate while I listen to the voicemail my mom just left me.

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