This article was co-authored by Lynda Jean. Lynda Jean is an Image Consultant and the Owner of Lynda Jean Image Consulting. With over 15 years of experience, Lynda specializes in color and body/style analysis, wardrobe audits, personal shopping, social and professional etiquette, and personal and business branding. She works with clients to enhance their image, self-esteem, behavior, and communication to facilitate their social and career goals. Lynda holds Bachelor degrees in Sociology and Social Work, a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work, and a Certified Image Consultant (CIC) certification. She studied Image Consulting at the International Image Institute and the International Academy of Fashion and Technology in Toronto, Canada. Lynda has taught Image Consulting courses at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada. She is the co-author of the book, “Business Success With Ease,” where she shares her knowledge about, ‘The Power of Professional Etiquette.’
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These days, it seems the text message has become the most popular form of communication. However, that doesn’t mean that the old-fashioned phone conversation is gone. With new advances in communication, you might have trouble deciding whether to call or text. It’s not just a matter of personal preference between you and the person you want to contact. In most cases, specific circumstances, such as the time of day or how much you want to discuss, call for one form or the other. When you know what to consider, the decision becomes easier.
Method 1 of 2:Deciding to Call
1Call for in-depth conversations. It takes less time to speak words than to type them. If you want to tell your mom about your day or discuss weekend plans with your best friend, a call is the better choice. Calls to loved ones aren’t scripted and sound more authentic than text messages.
2Call if you have an urgent matter. Some people feel compelled to answer calls more quickly than text messages. Person-to-person calls more efficiently convey exactly what you need to resolve the matter. If you’re the type of person who makes it a point not to disturb people with petty issues, your call will alert your contact that you need a response now. X Research source
- If no one answers the phone, leave a quick voicemail message like, "Hey, Susie! It’s Claire. Call me back ASAP. I need to talk to you."
3Call to convey clear vocal cues. You’re already at a disadvantage that your contact can’t see your body language. To make matters worse, text messages also lack the intonations that can make it clear what you want to say. If words alone don’t accurately communicate your intended message, opt for a phone call. X Trustworthy Source Harvard Business Review Online and print journal covering topics related to business management practices Go to source
- This is especially important if you’re in a serious romantic relationship. Brief texts are still okay, but your voice is much better at conveying how you feel about your special someone. X Research source
4Call to communicate matters of business. While texting is becoming more accepted in some places of business, traditional phone calls remain the preferred means of communication in most companies. In fact, not picking up the phone in the workplace can harm your company’s revenue. X Research source Conversations held on a more professional level should be calls, especially if it’s within your employer’s culture to do so.
5Call if you’re unsure of your contact’s service plan. Never assume that everyone’s phone can receive a text message. As people of diverse age groups and economic backgrounds buy cell phones, service plans are becoming more adaptable to their needs. Maybe your contact cannot afford or doesn’t want a text plan. However, all phones can receive voice messages. When in doubt, call.
6Call if your contact physically can’t text. Not everyone’s hands are in peak condition. Arthritis causes the joints to swell, making it painful or impossible to perform specific movements. X Trustworthy Source Arthritis Foundation Main organization devoted to arthritis support and education Go to source Carpal tunnel causes pain and numbness in the hand and wrist, especially during long periods of repetitive movements. X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source If Grandma’s fingers look gnarled or if Uncle Joe rubs his wrist after typing, it’s probably best to call them.
Method 2 of 2:Deciding to Text
1Text if your message is short. A call that only lasts for a couple of minutes can leave you and your contact feeling awkward. Texts, on the other hand, get right to the point. If you just want to shoot the breeze with a friend in short bursts or ask a short question, a text is a safe choice. X Research source
2Text if your message isn’t that urgent. Messages that don’t require an immediate reply can be texted. This way, your contact can take time to relax from a long day, eat a meal, etc. without feeling forced to get back to you immediately. Examples of non-urgent messages include:
- Asking the person you’re dating to get together Friday night.
- Telling someone you’ll be somewhere in a few minutes.
- Asking your significant other to pick up some bread on the way home.
- Relaying any kind of message that doesn’t need a reply for at least two hours.
3Text if you think your contact might be indisposed. Calls take your attention away from what you’re doing. A text message, on the other hand, can wait until you finish your work. If you think your contact might be in a meeting, teaching a class, or typing up a report, send a text. X Research source Give them a few hours to reply before retexting.
4Text to avoid disturbing those around you. Maybe you share an office with several other people. Maybe you live with a third-shift worker who sleeps during your waking hours. Situations like these call for courtesy. If your voice will distract others from their work or wake someone who is sleeping, opt to send a text message—and set your phone to vibrate for the reply. X Research source
5Text a new romantic interest if both of you agree on it. Texting is increasingly common among new couples who haven’t formed emotional bonds yet. However, advice columns vary from promoting texting X Research source to warning against it altogether. X Research source What should you do? Ask! It’s the best way to get a clear answer.
- Something simple like, "So, should I text you, or do you prefer phone calls?" should do the trick.
QuestionHow do I call someone who I haven't talked to in a long time? What do I say?Lynda JeanLynda Jean is an Image Consultant and the Owner of Lynda Jean Image Consulting. With over 15 years of experience, Lynda specializes in color and body/style analysis, wardrobe audits, personal shopping, social and professional etiquette, and personal and business branding. She works with clients to enhance their image, self-esteem, behavior, and communication to facilitate their social and career goals. Lynda holds Bachelor degrees in Sociology and Social Work, a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work, and a Certified Image Consultant (CIC) certification. She studied Image Consulting at the International Image Institute and the International Academy of Fashion and Technology in Toronto, Canada. Lynda has taught Image Consulting courses at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada. She is the co-author of the book, “Business Success With Ease,” where she shares her knowledge about, ‘The Power of Professional Etiquette.’
Certified Image ConsultantCertified Image ConsultantExpert AnswerIt really depends on why you stopped communicating, but I would just try to sound as natural and down to earth as possible. Just let them know that it's been a while, you've been thinking about them, and you wanted to call and see how they're doing. If you leave a message, let them know that you'd love to chat and ask them to call you back. The main thing is to sound authentic and not guilty.
QuestionShould I call or text to thank someone for a gift?Community AnswerIt depends on whether you want to just convey a quick "thanks" or whether you want to link it to a longer conversation. If it's just the quick thanks, send a text. For a longer conversation, call.
Don't abbreviate all the time. Not everyone understands text shorthand.
Use short easy-to-read responses.
Be courteous to the other person. Calling or texting early in the morning or late at night can wake your contact out of a restful sleep. If you need to get in touch with someone at an odd hour, shoot them an email.
- Don’t repeatedly text your contact if s/he doesn’t reply immediately. Be patient. Wait a few hours before retexting.
- NEVER use a phone—to call or text—while you’re driving! Talking and driving is as dangerous as drunk driving. Texting and driving is more dangerous, increasing your chance of crashing by 23 percent. X Research source
- ↑ http://www.businessinsider.com/when-to-email-text-or-call-2014-2
- ↑ https://hbr.org/2011/11/dont-send-that-email-pick-up-t.html
- ↑ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hannah-barbakoff/texting-the-relationship-killer_b_5185115.html
- ↑ http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323407104579036714155366866
- ↑ http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/
- ↑ http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/carpal-tunnel-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20030332
- ↑ http://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/communication-in-2015-text-voice-video-or-in-person.html
- ↑ http://www.businessinsider.com/when-to-email-text-or-call-2014-2
- ↑ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alexis-kleinman/the-commandments-of-group-texting_b_7706962.html