People Who Call Vs. Text Are More Easy-Going, Less Socially Awkward

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Sorry, texters...

I don't know when I started to hate talking on the phone. It seemed like one day I was a caller and the next I wasn't. Now, there are a very few people that I will spend chatting on the phone with, usually an older person like my mother, who can no more text than fly.

On the other hand, I don't text that much, either, but if I'm forced to choose, I'd pick using the phone; you get a clearer message, as you can hear the person's voice and there's also a definitive end. You know when a call ends, but with texts they can go unanswered for months or even longer.

In a piece on Elite Daily, writer John Haltiwanger says that people who call over text are more laid-back and less socially awkward.

"This [texting over calling] seems to be tied to a desire for control and it may have broader social implications. Some theorize the reliance on texting is damaging people's interpersonal skills," Haltiwanger said. "In other words, by texting instead of actually conversing, we're becoming increasingly socially awkward."

There are many reasons why we should go back to actually talking to one another, but three of them really stand out.

1. Phone calls happen in the moment. 

When you're talking with someone on the phone, it's happening in real time.

Haltiwanger says, "When I receive a call, I can't help but answer it. I have to know why that person is reaching out — it's exciting and even unnerving at times." When you're on a call, you can't wait an hour to respond. You have much less control regarding how you appear and everything is much more spontaneous.

2. Texting can be robotic and anti-social.

When you're speaking to someone, you get an unfiltered and a more honest read on what they're actually feeling.

"It's hard to read emotions via text messages, even if there are emoji involved," Haltiwanger says. Emojis can make things more confusing. Calling makes it more difficult to misunderstand someone.

3. Texting instead of talking can make you more socially awkward.

Anything worthwhile requires practice, and that includes conversation. Once you get out of the habit of talking, when you're in a position to have a conversation you won't know what to do.

You don't have to give up texting entirely, but maybe try working calling back into the mix.

"Verbal communication is one of the human race's greatest advantages, strengths, and gifts — it's vital to our survival," Haltiwanger says. "We are an inherently social species and depend on the bonds we form to carry us through the trials and tribulations of life. There's nothing wrong with texting, but we were granted the ability to speak for a reason and it shouldn't be wasted."

And there really isn't anything quite so satisfying as good conversation.


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