Why texting is hands-down better than calling
People still call their devices phones even though they are barely that. They make calls, of course, but that is but one drop in a bucket of functions. And for most users, it’s not even the most important one.
We care more about the ability to traverse the interwebs, play Candy Crush, and send hilarious and immature text messages through our social circle.
There have been grumblings about texting being tied to “the lost art of conversation,” “shorter attention spans,” and some other stuff I wasn’t listening to, but I chalk that naysaying up to typical the-kids-these-days ageism from older generations. If texting wasn’t awesome then we wouldn’t all be doing it like it’s some kind of glorious, addictive drug.
Convenience aside, it’s just better than calling someone, and I’ll defend that view against anyone who wants to debate it. Preferably over text. Here’s why:
Multitasking is easier
Anyone 40 and under needs to be doing a few things at once unless they’re watching Game of Thrones. Texting fits perfectly into that busy dynamic. Hell, texting pretty much created that dynamic. You can be in real-time communication with multiple people at once, and still handle a slew of additional activities a the same time.
On the other hand, the in-the-moment nature of a phone call requires much more focus. There’s a time and a place for that kind of attention, of course. But for the most part, ain’t nobody got time for that.
Protip: want to streamline multitasking across all your devices? Check out Pushbullet.
You can send pictures and video
Pictures say a thousand words. With text messaging you may lose the subtleties of voice and tone that you get with a phone call, but you gain the subtleties and tone that come with summing up a feeling or situation with the perfect visual. Memes, baby, memes. Much more effective in making a point than writing it out. Just take Captain Picard here — this man’s facepalm says more than you ever could.
Time to craft the perfect response / Reply whenever you want
Perhaps the handiest benefit to texting is that you can respond to others at your leisure. Did your significant other just hit you with a loaded question that could make or break your night? Relax, take your time, and craft a non-answer worthy of the sleaziest, most despicable politicians.
Can’t do that over the phone — in that brutal arena you’re only as good as how quickly you can think on your feet.
Having a buffer zone allows you to avoid disasters, keep feelings unhurt, and maintain a web of lies. And when someone questions why it took you so long to deliver your perfect response? Four words: “sorry, my phone died.” Done. I’m focusing too much on the ability to lie better, aren’t I?
Who hasn’t had the horrifying experience of leaving a pathetic, stuttering voicemail that trails on forever and leaves out the pertinent information you wanted to get across in the first place? Voicemails only serve to make people lose respect for you as a human being.
On the other hand, who actually enjoys checking their voicemails? Nobody is who. In the time it takes to access it, input your password, and listen to some pathetic stuttering asshole drone on about whatever, you could’ve read a text with the same information twenty times over. I never want to hear another “hey, call me back” voicemail again. And thanks to text, I don’t have to.
While the awkward multi-person conference call where no one knows exactly when to speak is the worst part of having a corporate job, group chats over text are actually fun. Some of the biggest laughs I’ve had are the result of my friends and I running outlandish thought experiments into the ground via WhatsApp and BBM conversations. (Yes, I still use BBM. Troll me in the comments below.)
On the other hand, sometimes group chats can be endless streams of irrelevant information that only serve to induce rage and clog up your phone with notifications. Maybe we should call this one a tie.
“What were the directions to that Icelandic-Pakistani fusion restaurant again?” “What time were we supposed to be at my nephew’s circumcision party?” “Where were supposed to dispose of those bodies?”
Valuable pieces of information can be saved via voicemail, yes, but we’ve already established why that’s a terrible idea. Texting saves every golden nugget of importance for you, accessible in seconds flat. God help you if your phone dies, though.
It’s just more fun
It’s funny — while texting creates a barrier between you and who you’re communicating with, there’s a certain freedom of expression that opens up because of it. There are many hilarious and/or disturbing things I’ve put in a text that I would never say over the phone. It’s concerning to think about how those texts might be stored somewhere forever, actually. If I ever run for office, I’m in trouble.
Texting allows you to be more creative, and in a way, more yourself than you can be over the phone. Writing has always given you that power, of course. Texting just shrinks it down to snack-sized tidbits, and let’s you send it off to someone else instantly.
Think about whether you’d rather be texting or talking next time you’re snapchatting with someone you matched with on tinder.
Did we miss something? Have an opinion of your own?