Why so much texting?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2009
Why so much texting?
Fri, 07-17-2009 - 11:42am

Hi everyone,

I love technology and all the nifty things we can do on computers and cell phones, but I don’t understand the (imo) overuse of text messages.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2003
Fri, 07-17-2009 - 1:15pm

Yes, yes, and yes!

My ex will occasionally send me a text in response to a quick question that I emailed to him.

I don't have Texting and hope to avoid it forever!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2008
Sat, 07-18-2009 - 3:19pm

Here are a few thoughts, coming from the perspective of someone who never texts at all. Okay, "never at all" is an exaggeration: I believe I have sent 3 text messages in the last year.

First thought: Texting isn't quite so dramatically different from e-mailing as people seem to believe. They're both an immediately-delivered written message. The only difference is that e-mail is typically sent from and to a computer instead of a phone, though many of us (myself included) have been sending and receiving e-mail messages on phones for quite a few years.

I've been around long enough to remember before there were e-mails, and later, when they were new-fangled and unusual. My first use of e-mail was back when it was solely internal within an office. I remember, like most of my co-workers, that we scarcely even used it, as it seemed very odd to send an electronic message to someone whose office you could walk to.

The advantages of e-mailing vs. actual phone conversation for a lot of business communication are pretty significant. You don't both ever have to be available simultaneously. You can write down detailed information and know it's received, instead of repeating it to someone who jots it down illegibly on a piece of paper and immediately loses it. You can take the time to edit and tighten your explanation of whatever it is you're explaining. It creates a complete record. You can attach files (ideally, in a business setting, contracts and memos, rather than videos of cats doing purportedly amusing things, but yeah: those too).

There are, of course, still situations in which actual phone conversations are better, or necessary, just as there are plenty of situations in which face-to-face meetings are.

As for e-mailing vs. voice mail ... please! Voice mail is horrible. Its only purpose should be to leave a "please call back" message for someone in a situation where it's important that you actually speak on the phone. Please spare me from the classic five-minute voice mail message, in which the person spits out numbers, dates and important dollar figures like an auctioneer, then rambles on semi-coherently and repetitiously about something vague, then says goodbye four or five times like a teenager talking to her BFF.

I suppose people who work in typical office settings have become so used to e-mail as the standard form of communication, that it has carried over to personal life as well.

As for real, full-on texting, it seems mostly an "age thing." This might have its roots in necessity. For a kid in school, unlike an adult in an office, e-mailing from a computer or talking on the phone aren't always options. Plus, at least until recently, kids generally didn't have smartphones with e-mail capability.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2009
Sat, 07-18-2009 - 4:51pm

Actually, the point I was making was not email vs. voice mail – it was text vs. voice mail.