Can We Talk? The Somewhat Forgotten Art of Verbal Communication

iStock_000025057013LargeWhen your friends or parents call you, do you hesitate to pick up the phone? Do you simply let it go to voicemail and then hurry up and send them a text that says, “What’s up?” I’m totally guilty of this, as I’m sure you are as well. This is a habit that us Gen Y’ers are notorious for!

One mom was so sick and tired of this that she created an Android app called Ignore No More to get her children to return calls. With this app, there are only two options – call or text your parents back or call an emergency responder. No calls to friends, no texts until you call your parents back!

For most of us Gen Y’ers, the phone function is the least important part of a phone. It has been replaced by texting, Facebook messages, or Snapchat.

Just remember, it is also important to TALK on a cellphone. This may be a strange concept. Verbal correspondence is great way to communicate and has many advantages that texting doesn’t have. Here are just a few advantages of picking up the phone instead of communicating through other methods:

  • Less time-consuming – Talking on a cellphone takes less time than texting. If the person you call is available, you can take care of business right away. With texting, you send a message and hope you will receive a quick response. This doesn’t always happen!
  • Multi-tasking – While you talk on the phone, you can do many other things. You can load your dishwasher, fold your laundry, or paint your nails! When you are having a texting conversation, every couple of minutes you have to grab your phone to see if you received a reply.
  • Clarity – It can be very hard to distinguish the tone of a text message. This often leads to text messages being misinterpreted. I always think it is tough to interpret words like “OK” or “fine” when used in a text. Did they mean “OK” that isn’t a big deal or did they mean “OK” in a snobby manner? With phone calls, you are able to hear the tone of the other person, which reduces most, if not all, of this confusion.
  • Personable – When you have really bad news, or really good news, to deliver it is important to pick up the phone rather than send a text or e-mail. Receiving bad news by a text or e-mail is just adding salt to a wound. It’s more comforting to hear a voice than to read cold words.

What’s your preference? Talking on the phone or texting? What situation causes you to pick up the phone instead of texting?

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