Texting > Calling

Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2011 by Alex R. Cronk-Young

Let's try one of those Plinky suggestions for today's One A Day post. Do I prefer text messaging or actually calling people? That's easy. Always texting.

No, I'm not a 14 year-old girl, but I really can't stand talking to people on the phone. Every second that goes by feels like torture. Here is a typical phone conversation with my mother:

Mom: "Hello?"
Me: "Hi, I'm supposed to ask you what day would be good for us to come over this week."
Mom: "Oooooooh, I don't know. Uuuuum, let's see."
Me: "Wednesday? Is Wednesday good?"
Mom: "Ooh, I think so. I don't think your dad has anything that night."
Me: "Alright, we'll assume Wednesday and you can call Zoe if that doesn't work."
Mom: "OK. So what's new?"
Me: "Uh, nothing."
Mom: "How's Emmy?"
Me: "Fine?"
Mom: "OK."
Me: "Alright, we'll see you Wednesday. Bye."

Like torture. It's not that I hate talking to my mother, I just hate talking to people on the phone entirely. I'd much prefer to just send her a text message that says "Does Wednesday work for us to come over?" and wait for the response.

And this doesn't even necessarily mean I dislike actual human interaction. My mother-in-law has the annoying habit of leaving a completely pointless voicemail whenever she calls and I'm in a bad service area or something and miss it.

"Hello. Caaall me back."

Ugh! I had to call my voicemail inbox, enter my password, listen to the robot lady for 10 seconds, and press another button, for that? If I see that I have a missed call, I'm going to assume that I should probably call that person back. It is completely pointless to leave a message asking me to do so without actually just leaving the information that you called to deliver in the first place. I have told her this and it hasn't stopped her from doing it. Which leads me to believe it is just something that comes with that generation.

Like when my mom calls me and tells me who it is. Yep, I know who it is, because my phone tells me who it is before I even answer the phone.

It's quite clearly a generational thing, and some people hate that. They feel like text speak and a desire to constantly shorten the time it takes us to communicate is destroying the English language. I think it's easy to assume things like that, and takes a little bit more thought to actually analyze it like Clive Thompson has multiple times in his monthly Wired column. Taking shortcuts in our means of communication isn't making us less intelligence, our intelligence is just evolving to adapt to our new technology.

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