19 reasons why I’d rather text than talk

Published: July 3, 2011
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Messaging has now become the most popular method of communication among the youth.

According to a PEW report quoted in the New York Times one in three teenagers sends more than 100 text messages a day, and a whopping 72 per cent are now official ‘text-messagers,’ compared with just 51 per cent in 2006.

Sure enough, messaging has now become the most popular method of communication – beating not just phone calls, e-mails and the much-hyped social networking sites, but face-to-face communication as well..

What is the unvarnished truth?

Many of us prefer exchanging text messages to having an actual conversation. Now ‘prefer’ is a strong word; it shows that given an option, the average teenager would rather ‘text’ than ‘talk’; he would rather flex his fingertips than exert his tongue.

This, however, should not be much of a surprise, considering how texting very conveniently gives you the opportunity to:

1. Ask someone out without meeting them in the eye.

2. Then dump him/her, still not meeting the eye.

3. Phrase your sentence as best as possible, read and re-read it over and over again to make it sound diplomatic, thereby negating any chances of stuttering or babbling endlessly like an idiot.

4. Use smileys – either in the beginning of the sentence or after (or both) depending on the desperation of the situation – to ask for a favour, for example:

“Darling, can u pretty please do the assignment for me :) :)?”

“May I borrow ure DSLR and iPhone for the weekend? Thanks – ur so cool! :D”

5. Use LOLs – either in the beginning of the sentence or after (or both) depending on the desperation of the situation – to tone down an insult, for example:

“U’re so ugly, LOL!”

“LOL, ure room smelled like pee, dude”

“ROFL…u should have seen her eyebrow-jungle! Enough to trap all the fleas in the world!”

The LOL thereby gives you freedom of expression, without actually making you look – and feel – evil. You thus assure others how deep inside your chest lies not a coal-black pit, but a golden, alive and kicking heart.

6. Get your message across to that old lady who fails to hear you past your first word.

7. Get your message across without getting interrupted (meant for the disciples of one-sided conversation; the yap, yap, yap types).

8. Deliver a heartfelt, emotional message to the other, without fearing the prick in one’s nose, the catch in one’s throat or the embarrassingly unexpected, unwanted outpour of his tear-gland.

9. Apologise. No matter how fragile your ego, the text message somehow always ends up cushioning it.

10. Enjoy the benefit of doubt by reserving the right to not respond, and innocently pretend as if you never got that message in the first place or did not have the credit to reply. For example (three days later):

“I am soooo sorry; I ran out credit! Anyway, so what’s up at ure end?” (topic very conveniently changed)

11. End a conversation, without being accused of chickening out due to the fear of losing an argument.

12. Take your time to come up with a clever comeback, then act all smug, even if it took you an embarrassing half-hour just to think of it.

13. Calling someone is expensive. Texting is relatively cheap.

14. Evade the exhaustion of actually meeting someone.

15. Raise the dramatic element of your conversation up a notch, courtesy the use of *hugggggggg*, <3, *sniff*, uncountable exclamation points, the uppercase etcetera, to distract/overwhelm your recipient.

16. Silently communicate. You can send text messages to each other without other people being able to eavesdrop. It also works wonders in movie theatres and during drop-dead boring seminars/ lectures/ speeches.

17. Get your message across efficiently without having to go through any awkward pleasantries or the accusations of being brusque.

18. Talk to more than one person at a time, and make them both think he/she is more important to you than the other.

19. Reach out to anyone, anywhere, anytime – midnight loo hours inclusive.

And yet, readers, SMS is a contagious flu; a tempting desire to jump into a whirlpool of convenience.

But where there exist the unquestionable advantages, lying also in the periphery is its ridiculous misuse. Have the will and the wisdom to shut your whirring phone once in a while, to keep it aside – or on silent – each time your time and attention are required by the others. And remember, in case you have forgotten, that non-stop texting very easily impairs brain function – a function, I am sure, you would not dream of living without.

Even if, secretly, you already are.

Huma Baqir

Huma Baqir

An A-levels student living in Karachi.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Shiraz

    useless articleRecommend

  • dubber

    Texting is officially the worst type of communication one can indulge in. the lack of information the opposing person receives through texts is the primary reason why i have a dislike for the medium albiet being a heavy texter. Recommend

  • uzair khan

    nice expression .. couldnt agree moreRecommend

  • drali

    useless articleRecommend

  • http://wasioabbasi.wordpress.com Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi

    @Shiraz:
    It’s a blog, please notice the difference between blogs and articles.Recommend

  • waqar ghumman

    nice one dear..Recommend

  • Affan

    As i am new to blogging.. i also didn’t know about the difference between blog and Article..:-D
    Thanks for highlighting ! :-)
    But i think we must appreciate people that they are expressing their views..!
    With the passage of time people learns..!
    And regarding this article i also prefer to text as compared to audio call !!Recommend

  • sharjeel

    haha a light and good articleRecommend

  • Taimoor

    its the New York Times and not TinesRecommend

  • Ali Quaid

    Those who disagree with this are not living in 2011.Recommend

  • http://wasioabbasi.wordpress.com Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi

    @Affan:
    Blogs are your creative expressions of thoughts, experiences, opinions and assumptions. It’s yours to say, just say as your wish (though keeping in mind not to be utter fool, especially when writing blogs on another platform rather than your personal blog, like ET Blogs where you can blog but don’t own the space).

    Articles are just that, articles. You need to speak on facts, back your claims with data and give opinion or conclusion based on claims you can prove.

    For some reason people call blogs as useless articles and it gets annoying. Majority blogs ARE useless if you think of them as articles because they are NOT articles.Recommend

  • Zee

    Its quite matter-of-factlyRecommend

  • http://www.6la8.com Confused

    Well done, LOL.Recommend

  • Affan

    @ Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi :-
    Thanks brother for the information ! :-)Recommend

  • http://Lahore Talha

    cool and great message freedom, the idea lies within us and i m loving it.Recommend

  • http://www.twitter.com/yasiiiboy Yasir Khokhar

    LOL, I prefer texting then actually talking. It gives me all kinds of freedom and liberity to respond or not to respond any one, as and when I want to :DRecommend

  • umar

    a well written piece.
    Should be read by my wife who always love to text than to call :D i think even if i am hanging to death on the edge of the hill he would reply to me as text “hey hony are you ok? plz grab some rope na” ;)Recommend

  • Mrs. Umar

    @umar:
    overRecommend

  • Javeria Mahmood

    lengthy and boring blogRecommend

  • Abu Bakr

    @Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi:
    Actually an article is a piece of nonfictional prose that is an independent part of a publication

    It can include blogs. This may be referred to as an articleRecommend

  • http://wasioabbasi.wordpress.com Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi

    @Abu Bakr:
    I agree, however unless the article is written on obscure topic, it always has or require data to back its theories and conclusions or some sort of proof on which the main idea is constructed. Blogs CAN be articles if they are written in that form, however the purpose of blog is not to write articles (mainstream media is the ideal platform for that) but to provide an outlet of one’s opinion or simple expression.
    One can be the other but their individual identities are quite clear despite the overlapping.Recommend

  • Affan

    @ All:
    Can anyone tell me the procedure to submit the blog ?
    After submitting how long it takes to appear on the web ?
    Any idea ? :-O

    Thanks in Advance !Recommend

  • TheLowBlow

    I agree. (That you need to get over that dude…)

    :D Recommend

  • Umar

    @ Mrs. Umar, its not over its true ;)Recommend

  • sehr

    well written article and very relevant to almost everyone nowadays…but I simply (almost) hate texting. Even when i’ve to give a tiny message to my friend..e.g “i forget my stuff at your place”, “or are you coming tomorrow?”, i prefer to call instead of texting. Texting is dry and boring for me..if someone is trying hard to have a text conversation with me..i call them by the third message and if i am short of balance to call and can only text..I simply say “battery just about to die and there’s loadshedding at my place so can’t recharge the phone right now, this is my last message, tc!..” I can’t tolerate texting more than that…Recommend

  • sara

    this blog could only comprise of one line “Calling someone is expensive. Texting is relatively cheap.” :D nevertheless i agree with the rest of the pointsRecommend