CALL TO CONNECT
Do you know when to talk instead of text?
When was the last time you used your phone to call someone? For many, the answer is probably, “I don’t remember!” Why don’t we use our phones as phones anymore? Why do we text instead of talk?
If you choose to text because you think a phone call will be too awkward or time consuming, you aren’t alone. In a recent experiment, researchers randomly assigned strangers to connect either by texting or talking by phone. Participants expected to feel more comfortable connecting with the stranger by text.
Were they right? Did they feel less awkward, save time, and connect just as well by texting instead of talking by phone?
The researchers discovered that phone calls create stronger bonds than text-based communications. They found that the voice itself— without any visual cues—seemed to be integral to bonding. According to Amit Kumar, a McCombs School of Business assistant professor, “people feel significantly more connected through voice-based media, but they have these fears about awkwardness that are pushing them towards text-based media.” The most fascinating part of the study was that the participants did not feel more awkward talking as opposed to texting strangers, and the calls took about the same amount of time as the text-based conversations.
Should you call or text? It depends on your goal. Texting is a great way to touch base or send concise bits of information. But if your goal is to really connect, you might want to get more familiar with your phone’s call feature. The feeling of connectedness that you crave lies just on the other side of your dial button.