Texting vs. calling -- interested in your thoughts

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While in one respect we have come a long way technologically in our society, in other ways we have gone backward. I know I'll reveal my age when I say this but I am old enough to remember what it is like growing up in a house with one phone -- and it wasn't cordless. And if you missed a call, good luck knowing because there was no answering machine.

Nowadays, the technological aspect has a negative effect on our relational skills. I am somewhat guilty of it myself in that I text message more so than I call someone. It's not because I don't want to talk to someone but more so that for me it is more convenient. In fact, for something quick, I prefer texting but if something takes time to explain I don't want to go on a 50-text exchange.

However, it is a major pet peeve of mine when I see people no more that two feet apart texting each other. REALLY! Texting someone two miles or two hours away is one thing but not two feet.

Your thoughts?
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I'm guilty of texting across the room. If I want to share a picture or something, I can by too lazy to walk over and show them.

Not sure if this is the norm, or just my group of friends, but we work weird schedules. Medical, hospitality (airport), plant workers, has everyone on weird schedules. I never know when the majority of my friends are at work/sleeping/driving, so it's easier to text.

If were texting back and forth for a few minutes, I'll call.
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I actually think technology has had quite a positive impact on our relationship skills. People are a lot more brazen over text and such, much less shy and more likely to be funny and a bit more 'out there'. It builds confidence. It's freeing.

Also, it's convenient. Texting is so simple and easy and quick, it's a great way to get a message to someone without any fuss. And you don't always have enough to say to warrant a phone call. It'd be a bit silly to ring someone up just to ask a simple question or say something random.

I also don't see why it's so essential that you see someone's face when you're talking to them. If you're having a meaningful conversation, what does it matter HOW you're having it?

Obviously, texting someone when they're just across the room can be a little ridiculous and lazy. But also, sometimes it's funny. Like if you want to say something and you're in a group and only want to say it to that one person (say, a private joke). Or if you're at work. Or if you and your friend are just playing around.

I think people are really quick to poke holes in how technology is having such a negative impact and kids are too reliant on it and people are obsessed and blah blah. Personally, I think it's cool that we've invented new and quick ways of communication. Humans are social creatures and now we get to socialise in a ton of new ways.
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I like texting because I'm better in print than in person, but I think it's rude when two people sitting beside each other (read: teenagers and/or jerks) are texting each other.
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Just what to add btw, that one thing I do think is rude is when people are always on their phones when you're talking to them. Like, if you're trying to have a conversation with someone and they keep checking their phone or they're texting/scrolling through Facebook while you talk, clearly paying minimal attention.

My friend does that and it f*cks me off so bad.
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I find it rude and inconsiderate when people do that. If people can't take the time out of their busy schedule then I wouldn't make the time for them. It seems like as if they would rather be else where while they are there with you.
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I find texting more convenient for a lot of things (i.e. "I'm on my way"; "I'm home now, all is well", etc.) I don't need a phone call for that. In fact, a phone call for that would annoy the heck out of me, because it's what, 3-5 seconds?

However, non stop texting = the need for a phone call for me, because it's easier to say what is contained in the 17 text messages.

I do think that we've become less aware of conversational skills (by this I mean face to face) because they are not necessary when texting.

To follow up on what BB said, I do believe it makes people more brazen, which in my experience (which is different from hers), this often translates to a loss of compassion (meanness, bullying, being rude) and understanding of another's viewpoint. It's just words on a screen, not a "true human interaction".

All of that said, I am older than some, so I didn't grow up in a time where technology was the way to do things, so it is not the way I was taught to communicate, so I watch and judge from that perspective. I cannot possibly know how this is received/seen/felt by those who have never had any other types of interactions (did that make sense?)

And, no matter how much I say I think it limits "true human interaction" if you don't know anything else, I'm not sure that it feels less "true" to them.

I do believe (and this is an introvert speaking) that we are pack animals to some degree and we have to learn to work in community and with one another - isolation is an issue for humans (this is why "isolation" in prisons is closely monitored to see if it is cruel and unusual punishment - and I believe in some cases it has been found to be just that), and if we don't know how to interact other than behind a screen, then that can be a problem. Spin off thought from this: does it cause as much damage to be behind a screen and isolated as it does to be in complete isolation? I don't know.
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My 16yo daughter has a new sweetheart and they are constantly Facetime-ing. So, great, face-to-face interaction but she carries the iPod around the house with her and I feel like I have a constant houseguest. I've had conversations with her when I didn't know there was a 3rd party listening in, nothing private or earth-shattering but still feels like an invasion of privacy to have a listener you didn't know about. We've had to set some new ground rules about alerting people when they're on Facetime and disconnecting during certain hours of the evening.

I guess mine is less a worry about technology and more a worry about how technology is enabling people, particularly kids, to be in touch SO constantly through SO many different methods, which is some types of kids can lead to obsessive relationships. In addition to turning off Facetime and texting in the evenings, we also make her leave her communication devices charging downstairs when it's bedtime. But it took lots of trial and error for us to figure out how she was circumventing the rules to be able to text or email or WHATEVER after hours.
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I agree with texting/technology being a double edged sword. I think yes on the one hand being able to message someone makes me less introverted ajd more likely to talk to someone. However, I've noticed people really feel awkward to talk in person. Not to mention that sometimes I thing we spend more time on our devices talking to people that way rather than in person. I also think that a lot of people freak out when a person calls them because it's weird for them to do that. When people sit at a bus stop or outside a classroom it's much easier to sit and stare at your phone than talk to the person next to you. I want to throw my phone away sometimes because it makes me sad. I literally wake up and go to sleep to this dumb rectangle. It's the last and first thing I see. Not to mention the misunderstandings that come from a lack of an lol at the end of a phrase or how mean a period can make a person. It's ridiculous.

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I like texting bc there's a record of your conversation & you can remind yourself of info (dates, addresses, to do list etc), remember chronology, jokes, sweet nothings, have pics to accompany the words, clarify if there's a misunderstanding.

I prefer to text unless there's a lot to say.

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I actually think technology has had quite a positive impact on our relationship skills. People are a lot more brazen over text and such, much less shy and more likely to be funny and a bit more 'out there'. It builds confidence. It's freeing.

Also, it's convenient. Texting is so simple and easy and quick, it's a great way to get a message to someone without any fuss. And you don't always have enough to say to warrant a phone call. It'd be a bit silly to ring someone up just to ask a simple question or say something random.

I also don't see why it's so essential that you see someone's face when you're talking to them. If you're having a meaningful conversation, what does it matter HOW you're having it?

Obviously, texting someone when they're just across the room can be a little ridiculous and lazy. But also, sometimes it's funny. Like if you want to say something and you're in a group and only want to say it to that one person (say, a private joke). Or if you're at work. Or if you and your friend are just playing around.

I think people are really quick to poke holes in how technology is having such a negative impact and kids are too reliant on it and people are obsessed and blah blah. Personally, I think it's cool that we've invented new and quick ways of communication. Humans are social creatures and now we get to socialise in a ton of new ways.
Originally Posted by BotticelliBrit

I have to disagree with most of what you said and it does not comes from a lack of understanding about technology or it perks. It comes from walking the line between both worlds. Knowing what interaction was like before vs how it is now, etc. I love texting people as much as the next person but it has had a very negative impact on one portion of a generation. People do not say that because they are being mean. They say that because they spent years looking at kids who can not have a face to face conversation with ease and are incredibly uncomfortable talking on the phone. Both are still needed. That is a fact. I find it incredibly sad when someone says they do not like having a face to face conversation b/c texting or typing gives them more room to think about what they are going to say and allows them to craft a more careful response. That is just a round about and flowery way of saying you can not think on your feet, which is something that will always be needed to survive. I also think 99.9% of people who say they are introverts now are just socially awkward via preferred methods of technology.

Another person mentioned Face Time/Snap Chat. I am glad the youngest Generation is using that. It should help with some of the awkwardness but not all.

I also think the so called Digital Natives are exposed to several unhealthy pratices in relationships that seem perfectly normal to them. You've got a stalker, not a boyfriend/girlfriend!! I've watched so many of my friends kids (teenagers to tots) say and do some rather unhealthy things over the years. No restraint. Totally exposed. A lot of it is stuff the generations before them experienced too, just not on a public stage level. There is no way I would have stood on a table in my cafeteria professing my love for the 15 year old I just met last week and am now "in a relationship with". At least a one sided one. That is essentially what kids do but now you have 1345 "friends" watching you do it and taking jabs when you change your relationship status back to single 2 hours later. The openness has it's issues too.

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Personally, it's a double edged sword for me. There are times texting is more convenient. No doubts! There are times I would rather hear someones voice and/or see them face to face (read their tone & body language because nothing is better) and they would rather text across a room. I'm not really into dating devices/tools. Flesh and blood is always preferred. I've been on dates where guys have texted someone else the whole time or been to gatherings where people would not put their phone down and look you in the eye. I think it depends on the level people take it to, and I come across many who take it to an extreme actually creating more of a loneliness than a connection.
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Last edited by Fifi.G; 04-24-2015 at 02:32 PM.
One more little side note which applies. Not trying to jack the thread, promise. I've came across multiple accounts of teens over the years who will see each other face to face for a few min after school, quickly part ways and go home so they can text each other or talk on Facebook/Whatever. They are simply more comfortable with distance. That is bizarro to me. Their parents have been very confused too. I'll watch my friends get on Facebook and cuss their kids out becuase they are posting about their heartbreak, how loney they are and how the person they dated for 5 days tore their world into and destroyed their trust in the oppisite sex. My friends are like... Stfu and quit posting this sniveling B.S on Facebook about someone you didn't know 5 minutes ago. You sound insane.

(And as someone who had a guy threaten to kill her by driving her off a cliff after 3 dates because if he could not have me... No else could... It is insane)
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When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??


Last edited by Fifi.G; 04-24-2015 at 03:12 PM.
@Fifi I know what things were like before mobiles and texting too. I don't think it's had as much of a negative impact as it has positive. I think the pros and good cases far outweigh the cons and bad cases. You always going to find good and bad points in everything, but I think for texting as a form of communicating the good far trumps the bad.

I've never known anyone to say that they didn't like face to face conversations because texting gives them more room to think about what they are going to say. Texting is just another way of communicating and one of the pros is people tend to think more before they speak and are also not pressured to respond right away if they're busy or whatever the reason. That's not the same as saying someone can't think on their feet. And I find that insinuation just ridiculous. Just because people may prefer or even just like other methods of communication, it doesn't mean they cut themselves off from or our incapable of face to face. There are pros and cons of all forms of communicating, including in person.
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I'll text someone next to me if I don't want anyone else around to hear what I want to say. But it bugs me when people text me "hi" and are right there. That's a rare occasion though, thank goodness.

I remember the 8 foot long cords, and the clear phone in my room that I could see the wires - I thought I was really cool! When voicemail first came out, that was like winning the lottery! In some ways I miss those days. I'll admit I am way too dependent on my phone and tend to have anxiety when I don't have it. I hated when caller ID first came out, there went our prank phone calls and ordering strangers pizza.

One note about texting - While I prefer it (I'm shy and am scared of talking to people I don't know on the phone), I can't stand when new people text me! Like if I started to date a guy. I could never tell tone of voice. It led to quite a few fights in my life. lol
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Last edited by sixelamy; 04-24-2015 at 11:50 PM.
I like texting for simple things but hate text conversations that go on forever. I'll just call.

I'm old enough to remember when people began to carry cell phones (16) and when cell phones became the norm (19). I'm in the generation of people who don't remember life before the internet and smartphones, but I'm five years older than them.

I have had employers comment on how younger people and now it seems to be not so young people don't know how to pick up the phone and call or how to carry on a face to face conversation. I worked in public relations and journalism so you need to be able to talk to people to do your job well. This was about 10 years ago.

I do like my cell phone and I try to not get addicted to it. I'm an extrovert who loves talking people but even I love being able to not be stuck on the phone in a dreadful conversation with someone who doesn't understand what quick means. Lol

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Oh I have no doubt that technology will be the death of humans at some point. No doubt at all. And it will be no great loss to planet earth (unless we kill everything off first).
And there are plenty of negative things about communicating only via texting or emailing or facebook or messaging instead of interacting with real live people. But even a Luddite like me will sometimes text across the room. Usually to tell my sister something funny at a noisy bar. Or to try to find my boyfriend in the grocery store.
I have always hated talking on the phone so texting and email are right up my alley.
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It makes sense to text someone in the same room if you want to have a private moment but can't get away in a crowded room or if you're trying to track someone down in a grocery store. :-)

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I don't want to talk or text all the time. I don't have that much to say to most people (although that sounds rude; what I mean is that I'm usually in my own world). I misplace my phone somewhere in the house at least once a week. Constant contact strikes me as a real drag.

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Wow! I love it! Great responses, ladies. I too feel like I have become conditioned to texting quickly rather than calling and I am totally good with that because yes, some people just like to hear themselves talk but I still have a little old school in me because I draw the line somewhere. I'm totally good with texting over calling if it's a quick thing but if I have to explain something that will take too long to text then I'd just as soon call. However, if I'm in the same room or two feet away I'm not doing the text thing like I see from the young generation. I get that society is changing but I feel like we shouldn't just let the face-to-face thing go away totally. Translation = I view texting as a good alternative to calling but not a replacement for it.
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Awesome thread! very interesting and valid points everyone has made! two thumbs!
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