10 Reasons Why People Text Instead of Talk

“whats up? “
“nothing why?”
“idk just wondering”

.Does this look familiar? This is typical of what many kids today call a conversation. However, adults are texting more as well. Sending a quick text that requires a short immediate answer is convenient but there is a lot of value in verbal communication.

I took an unscientific survey and asked people why they text instead of call. Here are 10 reasons I received from adults and kids (in no particular order) and my responses.

  1. “The other person won’t answer their cell phone.” — Yet, they most likely are holding onto it like a baby’s pacifier, every second of every day, and are more than eager to text, take and share photos, play games, and any number of other things besides have the common courtesy to pick up their phone and say, “Hello.”
  2. “The other person isn’t supposed to have their cell phone.” — A perfect example is the school environment. Most schools prohibit kids and/or teachers from having cell phones in class, although few enforce their own rule. Students and teachers are in class for a reason and it’s not to use their cell phones, even for texting so you shouldn’t be texting them anyway.
  3. “If we text instead of talk, we can do it over several hours.” — Most normal phone conversations don’t take several hours. It’s actually faster to pick up the phone and talk something out versus text (even with abbreviations) and then have to wait for the person to text back over and over and over again.
  4. “I’m too shy to actually talk.” — Shyness has been around for generations. Avoiding what feels uncomfortable doesn’t help you overcome anything.
  5. “It’s easier to hide behind texting.” — Without spoken words, many conversations can be misunderstood or taken the wrong way. No matter how many emoticons you use, when you don’t hear the person’s voice, you lose the human element.
  6. “No one can eavesdrop on my conversation.” — While that is true, it’s a lot easier to review a text conversation if a parent or even spouse has a reason to check.
  7. “Everyone else does it.” — Probably the worst reason of all but sadly, if texting is the only way that kids communicate with friends, even the kids who would rather talk are forced to text if they want to be socially accepted.
  8. “You can’t multi-task if you’re talking.” — Translation: The person doesn’t think enough of you to take the time to have a speaking conversation or focus on you. There are other situations where texting is also rude and disrespectful: meal times, texting while someone is trying to talk to you, texting during meetings, among others.
  9. “Texting eliminates awkward silence on a phone call.” — This happens with kids more but as they get better at communicating in general, they will know how to avoid those awkward moments or take them as a sign that the phone call is long enough.
  10. “It’s less personal.” — I agree with this one. Unfortunately, texting means we don’t need to deal with people face to face. We don’t even need to hear their voice. For that matter, with texting, we can’t even be sure we are communicating with the person we think it is.
We can’t stop technology and I don’t see the world going back to the old ways of doing things but when technology interferes with or replaces human contact, we all lose.
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13 Responses to 10 Reasons Why People Text Instead of Talk

  1. Kathy says:

    I disagree with #8.I multi-task while talking on the phone all the time. :)

    • So ya, who doesn’t these days but the question is . . . should we? As I write some of my articles, I examine my own habits. Believe it or not, I often take my own advice. :) Seriously though, if you’re multi-tasking while trying to talk to someone, are you really giving them the attention they deserve? Just sayin’. Something I need to work on too. Thanks for the comment little sis.

    • Larry says:


      Science has proven, yes, proven, that when attempting to ‘Multi-task’, both tasks are performed less efficiently!
      I sincerely hate that term.. Multi-tasking… A cool Buzz-word!
      If someone is ‘Multi-tasking’ me while on the phone, I’ll just hang up on them. I certainly can tell when we do not have someone’s undivided attention. Just like with texting, talking while ‘Multi-tasking’ is extremely rude!

  2. cndesigns says:

    Oh I love this post! They are all so true. But I do wish we’d go back to more old-fashioned phone calls where we can hear the inflection and be able to tell more of what the person is saying/meaning. I don’t text by the way :-) And at a recent event, I actually forbade a teenager to play with her cell phone (texting/games/etc.) during a formal dinner! She was at first aghast, but complied. Hmmm…maybe THAT tells us something :-)

  3. Barb says:

    This post is so true! Thanks Nancy!

  4. Dan B says:

    What good has EVER come of texting?

  5. Steve says:

    Excellent article, and makes every point I’ve tried to make to my friends – if they don’t care enough to talk to me, they just don’t care enough. I stopped answering texts as of January 1 – period.

    • Eileen says:

      I’m going to stop responding to texts also. Are people that afraid to speak to me? Also, texting takes up too much time.

  6. Chris says:

    I agree, I really do not like texting. I am sure the designers who came up with this technology did not think this would happen. Who would text when you could talk? Drives me nuts! Embrace Technology!

  7. Whydo says:

    Here are 3 more reasons not in the article.
    1. The person you are texting cannot receive phone calls while working but can read a text.
    2. A text message can get through when a phone call cannot because of poor reception.
    3. A text message will get through after coming out of a bad reception area. You never know when the person you want to call will come out of a bad reception area. Although you can leave a voice message some people will forget to check them but will look at the text after a text alert.

  8. cellwhat says:

    my phone hangs on the wall. no texting,intnet, pictures just talking. If I don’t answer I have a machine that will take a short message. I do just fine and I don’t have to keep my battery charged.

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  10. tomkasperek1 says:

    I have a different perspective!

    People and businesses will soon be learning more effective ways to use texting effectively and efficiently. Texting was originally designed and standardized digital data transmitted over phone lines in the mid-90’s. Every cell phone, smart phone, cable-Internet device, ATM, and any business with a fax line has a modem. Now, that same digital data in the form of SMS, can be used for much more than pissing someone off. It actually has tremendous value. If used appropriately.

    Now, SMS is enable to transmitted on regular phone lines – to business or personal landline enabling real-time or asynchronous 2-way communication. This new innovation sits on top of powerful enterprise applications which automate business tasks people hate doing, or processes that are redundant, or a waste of human capital, energy, or money.

    Texting has its appropriate applications. It will be learned over time how to appropriately use the power of SMS messaging platform in business and will prove to be even more ubiquitously used than Twitter or Facebook. Why? Because texting enabled Twitter and Facebook! Imagine what else texting will enable!!

    2-way texting is easy, quick, and cheap. Everyone knows how. Most everyone has a mobile device. And it works on ANY device. No more added equipment, no web apps, no more software downloads, updates, or OS upgrades.

    Agnostic technology is already being released that makes the SMS messaging a SMART platform providing customer-configured automation. It will gather and utilize big data, and analytics in the way it was initially designed: to be predictive. Once marketers and businesses realize its true capabilities, the SMS messaging platform will revolutionize commerce.

    You may pleased your audience by pigeon-holing texting into some type of mind game…while others will take advantage of its inherent benefits.

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