Texting has been an integral part of our personal lives, and for many, it's the go-to method of communication. It's definitely faster to type out a quick message than it is to play telephone tag and then spend hours chatting on the phone, but sometimes an old-fashioned phone call is just better. Here are some rules I try to follow:
- You're meeting a friend somewhere. Want to let them know that you're running late or that you've grabbed a table on the back patio of the restaurant? A quick text is probably the quickest way to get your message across.
- You're responding to a text. If someone has texted you, it's appropriate to text back (unless they've sent you some big news that warrants a follow up phone call).
- You're just thinking of a friend and you want to say "hi". Send a quick snapshot to of your fruity beach-side drink to you favorite coworker to let them know that you're thinking of them, or send a supportive message to a friend who's about to interview for a new job. "I'm thinking of you today- you're going to ROCK that interview!" is a supportive, quick note that probably doesn't require a long phone convo.
- Your friends call you! You have to be a friend to keep your friends, and one of the ways to be a friend is to keep in touch. If someone calls you to catch up, don't try to accomplish your update via text. Your friend wants to hear your voice, so find a time when you can call back.
- You're in an argument. Text messages can be misread and misinterpreted. If you've had a dispute with someone, don't let it fester with short texts. Pick up the phone and work it out.
- Someone is experiencing a big life event. If a loved one has recently died, your friend is going through a tough breakup, etc., it's appropriate to call. Your friend may not pick up, but they'll appreciate the thought. Similarly, if your friend has a new baby or is recently engaged, call to let them dish about it! They'll likely be eager to share the news...
- You're under a tight deadline. If you have something due or need information fast, pick up the phone and get it! Sometimes people don't see their text messages until later in the day, or they don't respond immediately. A phone call will be less exhausting than describing what you need via text and waiting around for it.
These aren't hard-and-fast rules, but think about whether or not a phone call will be a more effective (or appreciated) mode of communications before you fire off your next text!