For anyone who doubts that the texting revolution is upon us, consider this: The average 13- to 17-year-old sends and receives 3,339 texts a month—more than 100 per day, according to the Nielsen Co., the media research firm.
— Y U Luv Texts, H8 Calls, from the NYT
I probably overstated the title. While this article gives some big numbers about texting habits of teens and adults–numbers that are almost-mindblowing to me–I buy the premise.
I buy why texting works for so many. I don’t buy unlimited texting though (in practice), but I do in principal.
I have five kids, rarely have quiet, don’t have a home phone. If you want to tell me that you will be 10 minutes late to join us for dinner, I would prefer a text (if you are a texter). It’s a great tool for instant reminders, notices, quick questions, instant encouragements that halve or more the time spent on the phone with the same small talk.
Sometimes even emails are too clunky, and voice mail is doubly so.
If I thought that texting were replacing real conversation (and it is in the way that these teens are using it), I would have more caution in my own use, but I buy that phone calls (in my circles) are becoming more and more invasive, especially to people who are slaves to their phones, who insist on answering every call.
There are exceptions, but I think we should stop interrupting our phone conversations, so we can answer another call during the current one.
I think we shouldn’t answer a call when we are busy, just to tell the caller we will call back in a minute. It adds a lot of commotion and takes away a lot of momentum from a face-to-face conversation to answer a ringing phone.
I think that we should be fearless about not answering our phones when we are in the middle of something else that requires attention, care, concern. Because if the caller really needs something, they can text you.