Talking vs Typing
In this day in age, human interaction is harder to come by because of the opportunities technology provides us. This dates back as early as 1973, where the first mobile phone call was made from a man in Manhattan to a company in New Jersey (Seward). Since then, phone calls became more and more easy to make, as well as more accessible to many. However, in 1992, the first text message was sent; five years later, the first full keyboard mobile phone was created (Erickson). As the years continued, texting gradually became more popular, as calling became less popular.
“By contrast, only 38% of teens say they use their mobile phones daily for at least one voice call. In fact, text messaging is the group’s channel of choice for communicating with almost everyone, preferred over e-mail, voice calls, instant messaging and face-to-face conversations,” said a survey from Pew Internet & American life project in 2010 (Quinton). Now, that was eight years ago. Since then, many new phones with easier accessible texting have been released, including the development of the iPhone (the first iPhone came out in 2007, the iPhone 4 came out in 2010), no doubt increasing the amount of teens who prefer texting over calling.
So why do teens think like this? “I think that teens definitely prefer texting over calling, just because it’s so convenient,” says junior Jazzy Zeleke. “There are just so many situations in which things are just more easily texted.” Junior Kiernan Matlock has his own personal take on why he likes texting over calling. “I don’t know about teens in general, but I definitely prefer texting,” he states. “I have a lot of anxiety with talking to people over the phone or in person, and texting helps to relieve that a bit…I get flustered easily in person, and being able to draft and edit my thoughts so I am able to properly convey my meaning is very important to me.”
However, both Zeleke and Matlock agree that there are certain situations where calling needs to take place rather than texting. “I think there are some situations and conversations that are better suited to phone calls if you can’t have them in person,” claims Matlock. “I also think when something really bigs goes down, usually it results in a FaceTime call or something,” says Zeleke. FaceTime is also a method many teens prefer over calling. “I generally prefer FaceTime over calling if there is an option,” notes Matlock, “because is helps a lot to be able to read facial expressions and body language.”
However, texting still seems to be the most preferred method of communication. “I enjoy texting because I think it’s a good way to stay connected to people even when you do not have the time to sit down and have a full conversation,” states Zeleke. “I also enjoy it because you can talk to more than one person at a time over it.”
“My raw thoughts are often difficult for me to convey while having a vocal conversation, and sometimes I’ll have trouble finding a word or concept that I need to be able to properly express my thoughts,” says Matlock. “I think texting is really useful in today’s climate because teens especially have come up with such specific ways of typing their messages to communicate even the slightest subtleties in their tone,” he continues. “You see this in social media and in the smallest interactions with peers, and I find it very interesting how our language has evolved in such a way as to allow this sort of thing to occur.”