Texting or Calling, Which Do You Prefer?

Ever wondered what your response would be to the above question? It is not uncommon sight today to see people everywhere irrespective of age, sex or social status receiving or making calls or even sending or reading sms on their mobile phone. However, if presented with a choice, which would you prefer: texting or calling?

To Call or Text?

Unsurprisingly, younger people seem to prefer texting to voice calls as a cursory observation will reveal. Older people too are starting to prefer texting, but a study (Pew Internet & American Life Project) shows that the younger you are, the more likely you are to prefer texting. According to professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University in New York, Janet Sternberg, texting “… is an art that’s becoming as valuable as good writing”.

So why do some people prefer texting to voice calls? Pew did not speculate on this, but How Stuff Works suggests some relative advantages of texting. First, privacy: it’s far less likely that an SMS conversation can be overheard. Have you ever felt irritatingly annoyed over-hearing a conversation that ordinarily should’ve been kept private? Perhaps this should be treated as a matter of courtesy but wouldn’t you prefer a situation where more people in public settings use text messaging rather than voice calls, if they must communicate with someone right that minute?

Younger People prefer Texting?

As far as mobile telephony in Nigeria is concerned, text messaging provides greater accessibility, not just for people with hearing impairments but also to compensate for ambient noise, weak or spotty cell network connections, or the poor quality of microphones and speakers that plague many cell phones. Also in this category is the relative cost of texting to voice call: the former is cheaper.

But perhaps the main reasons why many people prefer getting text messages over voice calls are related to time.

However, there is a downside to all this typing. Sternberg has noticed that more students don’t look her in the eye and have trouble having a simple conversation, which is kind of frightening. Even more frightening is the inability of students to write correct English without resort to use of short hand or spelling errors.