Social Question

Symbeline's avatar

Do you text?

Asked by Symbeline (30427 points ) February 21st, 2012

I realize that this has probably been asked before, but I’m using the classic excuse; time goes on, fresh answers, didn’t pop up in the ’‘maybe this was already asked before’’ thing.
Do you text a lot? Maybe a little? Perhaps not at all? I have a cellphone, but it’s ancient; although it can text. I’ve never used the feature, and never reply to texts I get. (which are mostly my phone company telling me they want my money) As Machete said, Symbeline don’t text.
Still, so many people text. I’m not bashing texting. Just wanting to know the appeal behind it. Why do you do it? Is it fun? Useful? Does it have some practical use, is it a fad? Maybe it’s a lot more convenient, since when you text someone, you don’t really have to worry about bothering them at work or school or whatever. If the ringer is off, they’ll still get it and see it eventually, too. but still, voice mail At least, it might be more convenient for quick reminders or simple drive by hi-ings. It’s also a lot faster, I think.
I tell to myself, why text when you can phone, but there are good reasons I’ll wager, as the one example I gave above. Probably there are more. Sometimes it seems overdone though. but so can phoning
Do you text? Is it a habit, a passion, an obsession? If you don’t text, why not? What do you not get out of it?

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52 Answers

PhiNotPi's avatar

No, because I never really feel the need to.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

I hate it with a passion.

I’d rather talk on the phone.

Facade's avatar

I text all day. I hate talking on the phone.

the100thmonkey's avatar

It’s very useful (and free) where I live, so I use it to communicate with my wife when it desn’t require a phone call (e.g. “I’ll be home at ten thirty”).

cookieman's avatar

Yeah, I’m with Facade. I despise talking on the phone. I’d much rather text. That being said, I only text a moderate amount, and only to the same 3–4 people.

I also like it because I have a poor short-term memory. You’re better off texting me what you need than telling me.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Never. I despise texting. I would rather email or talk on the telephone.

MilkyWay's avatar

Whenever I need to talk to anyone, be it friends, family, teachers, I always text. I don’t like talking on the phone.

Coloma's avatar

Nope. Never have, never will. Drives me nuts.

filmfann's avatar

I text with my wife, since she can’t use the phone.
My daughter prefers text, so I text her as well.

Coloma's avatar

Well you can tell the old farts in the group. lol

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Yes
Not all the time though. It’s for small things like setting up meeting points and organizing discussions. Or to rustle a technophobe’s jimmies.

beckk's avatar

I do text, definitely more than I talk on the phone. I don’t necessarily dislike talking on the phone, but when people contact me it is usually in the form of a text message. I’m not one of those people that are constantly texting and on their phones, but I do find it to be rather convenient at times.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Yeah. I’d rather text than talk on the phone (and if you leave a voicemail, we start off on a bad note), but for long conversations, I’ll move to email or IM. It’s really best for the shorter conversations, the stuff that will only take 5 minutes or so on the phone. Except, lots of times, it actually only has to take 30 seconds on the phone, but there’s all this pressure on a call to do the time-wasting pleasantries. If all I need is your zip code again, or to know if we’re still meeting at Panera’s tonight or if we want to try something new, it really doesn’t need to be a whole phone conversation, nor do both of us have to be free at the same time.

ddude1116's avatar

I do on occasion; I’ve never made a habit of it, though. I’ll reply to a text if I get it, and send them whenever I have something mildly important to say or ask, or when calling is impractical, such as when I’m someplace noisy or the person I’m calling hasn’t answered their phone. Also, I think talking on the phone when in public or with a group is inconsiderate, so when I am on the phone, it’s always only briefly, and occasionally continue the conversation through text instead.

linguaphile's avatar

Talking on the phone isn’t an option for me, so my phone bill says I send about 10K-12K texts a month, average. During the summer months, it can get up to 20K.

Tarzan yell!

creative1's avatar

I text but only because my neices and nephews don’t answer the phone but they respond well to texts. My sister has also turned into a big texter so I will text her as well. But I prefer the old fashioned talking because I find texting is impersonal and you can misread or understand a text when you don’t have the feeling behind the words. So its not my favorite thing but I do it.

auhsojsa's avatar

Always. It’s a quick and easy way to get a message across.

AshLeigh's avatar

I prefer to talk on the phone. But I do text. Mostly in class.
It’s an easy way to have several conversations at once. And I can’t really make phone calls while I’m in school, so I text people if I need to talk to them. Or if I’m just bored… I mostly only text my boyfriend,my family, or band members.

Brian1946's avatar

I don’t and anyone who does is a sub idiotic worthless shit head and has probably run over many pedestrians while committing this heinous act! ;-)

Actually, after reading some of the above posts of those who do text, I don’t feel justified in passing judgment on text mess’ers.

TexasDude's avatar

I almost never text people, but I try to always reply when someone else texts me, though I often get caught up in other things and forget.

There are a few people I have text conversations with every day, including a few people on fluther. I also always use proper grammar and spelling. I prefer texting over talking on the phone with most people because I’m kind of awkward on the phone. I once had a girlfriend who would scream at me on the phone all the time, and I never really liked talking on them after that, even years later.

Also, I don’t text and drive because that’s fucking stupid. One of the protagonists of my latest novel actually gets killed by texting and driving.

@Brian1946 I think you’re confusing texting in general with texting while driving…?

Response moderated
Brian1946's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard

No, I was just using pretentiously rabid hyperbole as an attempt at humor, hence the strike-through and the terminating wink {;-)}.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I do, when I am infatuated with a woman. And I suspect she does when she is infatuated with me back.

There is a tremendous amount of nervousness early in the relationship on both sides. A text is something to keep you in contact, that you can control, and hopefully not be dorky in before you see each other again.

zenvelo's avatar

My girlfriend started texting me more when she got a phone with a qwerty key board. I had a ten key pad with three letters per key that you had to cycle through. So I rarely initiated texting, but did respond. This was usually when one or the other was in a position where they couldn’t speak.

I got a new phone just yesterday, I suspect my texting might see a small increase.

deni's avatar

Sometimes it can be just casually having a little conversation with someone throughout the day. It’s pleasant. It’s useful. When I’m at work it’s much easier to shoot someone a text than it is to call them to make plans later. Sometimes you don’t NEED to call because it isn’t urgent and it’s a kind of “just letting you know” thing. Picture messages are nice to communicate with family that is far away or friends from another state. There are a lot of useful things about it I think.

DominicX's avatar

Quite often. That and Facebook chat.

xnightflowerx's avatar

I text all the time. I’m not a big fan of talking on the phone unless I need to get ahold of someone right away or for far away friends that I like to keep up with and have more in depth conversations with sometimes, but even those are more occasional things if we both have time and such.

For me, I just have a lot of friends spread out and I don’t really have a core group of people I see all the time, I’m a bit of a social nomad, so texting lets me keep up with all my various people. Some friends I like to text more then others.

Also, it gives me the ability to reply when I have the time, and I don’t have to like stop everything to chat with someone. I work at home and I like having the company of texting someone but I also have things to get done so I’ll text someone, work on stuff, check my phone and reply and go back to working. So that’s very convenient.

I’ve also been an IM person on the internets forever. So textual communication is just kinda my thing.

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard MICHAEL. Spoilers! :p Now I know.. I’ve been all wondering how its gonna happen.

jerv's avatar

No. I have a smartphone, so I can fire off an e-mail for free instead of either paying 19 cents per message sent/received or adding $20/month to my phone bill for a feature I don’t use, want, or need.

Either that, or I just call them. If it’s an inconvenient time, there is a little thing called “voicemail”.

As for those that respond to texts almost instantly but never answer the phone, if they don’t care enough about me to answer the phone when my number pops up on the screen then I reciprocate by stopping caring about them. I don’t care if we’ve been friends since 1983, or we share DNA; you write me off, I write you off.

Bellatrix's avatar

Yes I text. Not a lot by other people’s standards but a fair bit.

People I work with.

‘On my way. Missed turn for campus’.
‘See you in 5’.
‘Can you send a copy of that guide to my email.’
‘Did you receive invite to…’

My husband.
‘I love you!’
‘On way home’
‘Can you buy milk’.

Kids
‘Are you home yet?’
‘I love you’.
‘See you tonight’
‘There is a letter at home for you’.

So my messages are about telling them I love them and functional messages. I don’t have long conversations with people via texts.

TexasDude's avatar

@xnightflowerx oh fucking fuckety fuck, I was not thinking!! I guess you know now….

9doomedtodie's avatar

Yes. I do. I have activated SMS pack on my mobile. I send an average of 100 to 150 texts a day.

Bellatrix's avatar

Far out… I would get RSI @9doomedtodie.

the_overthinker's avatar

I text all the time. I prefer it to talking on the phone. I’ll only call people if I need a quick response.

Usually I’ll text people first to ask them if they are free to talk, if it is a matter that does not suit texting.

Phone calls get annoying, especially if I am busy, and they called to say “hi, what’s up?”...

9doomedtodie's avatar

@Bellatrix : To get over from RSI, I only forward the messages.

Pandora's avatar

I like to text people only if they are at work and I’m hoping to get a reply before they leave work. Plus I will text my husband a short shopping list of things he can pick up before he gets home.
It also comes in handy when I have to send an address to someone who doesn’t speak or spell english words well, or if I’m sending a reminder to someone about an appointment or something they have to do. I do not do it often but it does come in handy. This way I know at some point they will get the message. If its an emergency I call. Not an emergency but I’m concerned I may forget or not call them on time, than I will text. Its also easier to text phone numbers or any information one may need. They don’t have to fish for a pen or pencil and end up with an instant written reminder.

jerv's avatar

I suppose a decent follow-up would be to correlate the amount of texting to age. I notice that many people in their 20s prefer texting over nearly any other form of communication, sometimes to the point where they refuse to speak to people face-to-face, and those young enough to be my kids behave as though texting were crack. I am curious how close my observations are to actual fact.

Haleth's avatar

Texting is a less obtrusive way of getting in touch with someone than calling. There are times in my day when I can’t interrupt what I’m doing and take a call. But if I don’t take the call, I get stuck with voicemail, playing phone tag, or sometimes losing my chance to talk to the person. Texting is more considerate because it gives you the chance to read and respond when you’re ready. I use phone calls for emergencies or longer conversations.

ucme's avatar

When the need arises, yes I do.

downtide's avatar

I hate talking on the phone and I hate voicemail even more, so I use texts wherever possible. All in all though, it’s not many. I think it averages out about a dozen a week.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I have never sent or received a text. Texting is disabled on my cell. The cell phone is for emergency calls when out. Email and mail is for written communication. I talk on the phone a lot—my land line.

zenvelo's avatar

@jerv You make an excellent point. Generational preferences lead to miscommunications. I arranged through craigslist to sell some concert tickets to a couple in their 20s (I am much older.) I agreed to deliver them (I was desperate to sell them), and we exchanged cell phone numbers.

I hit traffic, and left them a voicemail. They never got the voicemail because they were text people, and didn’t check vm. I am more of a phone call guy, and didn’t check texts while driving. They were pissed I hadn’t responded to a half dozen texts, and I said I was expecting you to return my call, and had my hands free device on the whole time.

At least they bought the tickets.

gailcalled's avatar

@zenvelo; That is a cautionary tale. Not only can’t I find my cell phone half the time, but due to the almost no use, it is often without a charge.

Leanne1986's avatar

I text and find it very convenient. There are times when I am unable to have an actual conversation with someone but still need to get a message to them. I quite enjoy little text conversations especially if I am at work and need a bit of light relief. I have to say though, I hate text speak. I try my best to use correct grammar and spelling in my text messages.

linguaphile's avatar

I also wonder if there is a generational difference in how long it takes to respond to a text. People my age and younger seem to know that texts might not be responded to immediately, but that they’ll be responded to as soon as possible. Functional texts like, “Are you there yet?” are more likely to get quicker responses than conversational starters at 10:30 AM when I’m working. Also time-sensitive (i.e. I’m on the way there, I need…) texts are responded to almost immediately.

Less experienced or less nuanced texters expect their texts to be responded to quickly and get annoyed if they don’t get a response immediately, no matter what the topic is. I bet there are cultural norms developing for that right now, just as we are discussing it.

I think heavy text users also know that there is a likelihood that texts might not be getting there and tend to try again, try calling or try regular emails before getting upset. What do you texters think?

AshLeigh's avatar

Typing this on my cell phone.

boxer3's avatar

tooo much.
oh well.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, it’s essential in the business world.

I use it for example when I know my boss is in a meeting and he needs my information quickly and silently.

FutureMemory's avatar

Yeah..it’s the most convenient way for me to stay in touch with my lovelies.

Coloma's avatar

Reading this again, cracks me up! I am a big phone talker and I also am incapable of leaving a voice mail without getting cutoff by the beep. lol
I’m working on toning down my verbosity but it’s hard. I have one other friend who is the same, she always leaves me 2 minute voice mails. haha
I think it’s part of being the in the pre-cell phone/text era where people talked on the phone a lot.

Bellatrix's avatar

I often don’t listen to people’s voice messages. I just call them back. I don’t talk on the phone very much these days (well not for pleasure. I do for work).

linguaphile's avatar

My daughter wants a retro phone because she thinks the whirrr from the dial is the coolest sound ever.

And, she does text—she’s 9. She sent her first text when she was about 5.

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