Call vs Text – How to decide whether you should call or text
Texting and calling are often free and unlimited with different calling apps these days. And since the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been forced inside and isolated, relying on phones for interaction with other people. Many are wondering – a call vs text, which is better? Sometimes, it’s easiest to text instead of call. Yet, so much can be lost in a text. It’s impersonal, lacking in connection and addictive. So, in the call vs text debate, in many cases calling can be better than texting for our relationships and even our mental health.
Before we discuss the pros and cons of calling vs texting, let’s look at what science has to say about the call vs text debate.
Call vs Text – What the science says
According to science, which one is better? Should I call or text?
According to Science Daily, new research indicates that people often choose to text or email, although a call is much more likely to create the feelings of connectedness they’re craving.
In the experiment, researchers asked 200 people to predict what it would feel like to reconnect with an old friend either by email or phone. Next, they randomly assigned participants to actually do it. Even though participants felt that a call would make them feel more connected, they still preferred to type because they feared calling would be too awkward.
But researchers found that the phone call went much better than the email.
The people in the study reported they formed a much stronger bond with their old friend on a call versus email and they didn’t feel awkward, according to Amit Kumar, assistant professor at McCombs School of Business, who co-authored the study with Nicholas Epley from the University of Chicago.
That’s the verdict of science.
Now, I recently did some research and considered the pros and cons of calling vs texting, in detail. Here’s what I came up with.
Texting vs Calling – Pros & Cons
Calling is a much better way to make meaningful, lasting connections or to simply have clearer communication, in general. However, there are many small features of texting that make it extremely useful as well:
Quick and Convenient
Texting is quick and easy. This is its number one benefit for many people. If you have something short you want to say that doesn’t need a conversation, texting is perfect.
In the call vs text debate, this is, again, a case in which texting may be preferred.
Good For Emergencies
In many cases, calling is better in an emergency. However, if you can’t call, sending a text is the best thing you can do, either for yourself or someone else.
For example, if you have no service and someone is worried about you, sending them a quick text is extremely helpful. As long as it sends, whenever your phone finds a strong-enough signal, your message will be delivered.
In this case, texting instead of calling may be better.
Sending a text is, generally, cheaper than calling, which is really convenient in many cases. This is one reason why texting is better than calling.
For example, if you’re abroad and haven’t contacted a friend or family member in a long time, a quick international text is affordable these days and the recipient will be delighted to get a message from you. This is another case in which texting wins the call vs text debate.
With messaging apps these days, most people can send unlimited texts for free. This means you always at least have one basic, free form of communication no matter where you are in the world, as long as you have an internet connection.
This is another reason why texting is better than calling. In this situation, texting wins the call vs text debate.
Sending Images and Videos
Messaging gives us a way to share more than words, which is a benefit of texting that calling can’t offer. In this case, texting gets another point in the call vs text debate.
Much Can Be Lost in a Text
While texting is convenient, much can be lost in a text and a message can be misunderstood. This is one of the biggest and most common problems many people experience with texts. In the call vs text debate, this is one reason texting may lose.
With a call, words and tone help you communicate much better. It’s also just more natural for humans to speak than type.
The second key point in the call vs text debate is about connection. This one is well-known and is always relevant. It’s much more difficult to make a meaningful, long-lasting connection with someone by texting instead of calling.
The emotion and detail we can communicate with words and tone cannot be achieved with a text. My advice to myself would be to try texting less, even if it’s a difficult habit to break.
Texting is so easy and convenient that we often end up texting while we are doing other things. Texting can interfere with social situations, work and more. This can be merely annoying or even dangerous, depending on the situation.
Texting is impersonal. Texting about important or meaningful topics can be difficult. It also prevents us from making the intimate personal connection we need with both friends and family to have meaningful conversations.
Texting is easy, convenient and stimulating. As a result, it can be addicting and interfere with important moments in our life – birthday parties, dinners, conversations with friends and family, work, driving and more.
If I could give myself another piece of advice, it would be to not text when I’m with friends and family, talking with a bank teller, at the supermarket, etc.
It’s not possible to make the same connection with a text that you can with a call. This is the biggest benefit of calling, and one reason why calling may win the call vs text debate. This point is worth more than most of the texting pros, combined.
While it’s hard to break out of the habit of conveniently texting our friends and family, hearing people’s voices and tones creates a meaningful connection that can’t be achieved with a text.
It’s in our Nature
Hearing each other’s voices, tones and words is in our nature. We are naturally used to communicating with each other audibly. When we communicate without this, it can be challenging.
This is another key reason why some believe calling wins the call vs text debate.
Calling takes time. This is one of the few disadvantages of calling. When we find ourselves in a situation tha’ts not convenient for talking, but we have something important we need to say now, not later, there’s nothing more convenient than sending a text.
Can lose signal
When you have a weak signal, it’s difficult to have a phone conversation. In these situations, sending a text is better than nothing, even if it’s just to tell the other person you’ll call them back later.
While debating call vs text, it’s clear to see that in some situations we don’t have a choice – texting is our only option.
Call or Text – When should I text vs call?
Which is better, calling or texting? Texting is best for short, important or unimportant messages that don’t need conversation. Or, when you can’t call and you need to tell someone something important. However, much can be lost in text messages.
Calling allows you to make a meaningful connection. With calls, you can avoid misunderstandings, confusion or impersonal communication.
It seems that while texting and calling both have benefits in different situations, calling is the most healthy option, overall. What do you think?
Now, there are a few specific situations related to the text vs call debate that deserve special attention. For example, what about when you are driving? Or abroad? In these situations, do we even have a choice between a call or text?
Call vs Text – While Driving, Neither
While we’re on the topic of texting vs calling, it’s important to quickly address an issue that sits above the call vs text debate. If we’re talking about calling vs texting while driving, it’s best to never do either.
The ease of texting has become a problem for many of us as we slowly develop the habit of texting while doing something else. In the case of driving, texting is an easy habit to develop but is extremely dangerous.
Call vs Text – When Abroad?
What about when you’re abroad? The call vs text debate gets interesting when we talk about calling vs texting internationally. If you’re abroad, you usually have to use multiple apps to communicate with different friends, family members and colleagues.
“This person uses this app. This person uses that app. This person doesn’t have an iPhone, so I need to use this app to call that person.”
Call and Text Abroad With One App – Yolla
With Yolla, you don’t have to choose one or the other, call vs text, while you’re abroad. You can use one app to call and text everyone, from anywhere.
All of the points that I mentioned earlier in this article, still apply when you are abroad. This is because Yolla lets you text internationally and call any cell phone or landline in the world at rates that don’t break your bank.
Here are some of Yolla’s features incredible features:
- Keep your number: Yolla lets you keep your number, so when you make a call, the recipient sees your number on their screen, instead of a strange foreign number.
- Crazy low rates on calls to cell phones and landlines.
- Cheap international texting
- Reliable, HD quality calls that don’t lag or drop
- Easy-to-use interface that never confuses you
- 24/7 customer support
- Free, unlimited app-to-app calls (any phone with the Yolla app)
Yolla breaks down the financial and technological barriers that exist when we are abroad or we need to call abroad. For international calling, the call vs text debate remains the same.
If you’re thinking about the call vs text debate and you’ve decided to break the habit of texting, Yolla makes it cheap to call from abroad, so you can keep calling, no matter where you are in the world.