Why I Think A Voice Call Is Better Than A Text Message

I was born during the time of the heavy black rotary telephone. Then came the Princess telephone in colors other than black.  Next was the push button telephone and finally the cellular telephone.  Whew.. I’m old!!!!

The cellular telephone has many great benefits and one, well one not so good – the text message.  Yes, I said it - the text message is not all that great, though clearly really popular.  It is reported that the average18-29-year-old American sends and receives an average of 88 text messages per day.  Personally, I seriously question those figures because in June my children received/sent a combined 52,382 text messages (Child 1 18,976, Child 2 22,009, and Child 3 11,397)!

Amazing, right?!?!  I too am wondering how my children find time to study, work or even breathe with those numbers!

Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like text messaging. I don’t walk around holding my telephone waiting for a message and I loath the expectation that I will respond immediately when one is received.  Despite what my children think, I do have a life!

I feel that text messaging has caused our society to be less personal and flat out rude. Not to mention that the art of writing complete, grammatically correct thoughts is gone. Should I also mention that the art of the conversation is on the verge of extinction? 

I can summarize my dislike of the text message into four categories:

1.    Grammar is Gone.  I had an assistant that confirmed an appointment with “She will c u l8r”.  I was mortified!  There is a generation growing up believing text type is acceptable grammar.  As a person who hires and evaluates others, I tell you text type is not acceptable for use at work, to your teachers or any other communications that demand more formality. In my opinion, text type should be banned… we cannot handle it.

2.    Manners are Lost. Recently I saw 4 people dining who were all on cellular telephones. Why dine together? The movies, family dinner, church, even Broadway theatres are places where people inappropriately text. Next time you dine with the kids tell them to leave their telephones in their room… you’d be surprised at what you learn.

3.    Divided Attention. Parents in the park with kids should be enjoying nature, but instead are monitoring their cellular telephone screens.  Ever had a conversation with someone who was texting in your ear, or better yet in your face?!? Need I mention the texting and driving phenomenon?  People are absent from their surroundings due to engaging with others who are not present.

4.    Genuine Connection.  We don’t talk, we text.  Texting leaves room for misunderstanding. Texting doesn’t allow us to hear the tone and texture of a person’s voice.  Through texting you cannot always tell if someone is happy, joking, grumpy or sad. People now break-up via text messaging – coward. Ask for a date via text messaging – lazy. I mean, isn’t it much better to hear a loved one say “I love you” versus receiving a text message?

Like everyone, there are times where it is definitely great to text, but I make it a habit to pick up the telephone and call my friends and loved ones.  I want to hear their voice and hope they enjoy hearing mine.

The voice is good for the soul.