This week, we’ve got a special investigation into an age-old debate: to text or to call? I was recently reading an article about a recent study which found that, when participants were asked either to email or call a friend, those who spoke on the phone reported higher feelings of closeness and satisfaction – even when they had rated themselves as more unwilling to call. And this is something very close to my heart. During lockdown, I have found that someone’s voice – whether on the phone or on a video call, has made such a big difference to my mood. Texts can be a delight to receive, but there is simply nothing like ‘hearing’ somebody’s physical presence, the intonation in their voice, the undulations, their love, their warmth, sometimes their sadness or joy. The connection and intimacy simply cannot be captured in an equivalent way in a quick message.
Flic too has written a few brief words about the call/text conundrum for the younger generation. Interestingly, I tend to see my younger colleagues and friends much less keen to pick up a phone… this is what she has to say about it.
‘In the last year, I’ve used Zoom and phone calls to stay in contact with friends more than ever. I’m very much a member of the texting generation, and can attest that texting and calling are definitely not the same. Calling is certainly more personal, but texting does have its advantages. Group chats in particular make it easy to keep relationships up with several people at once, and I can thank the power of WhatsApp and Facebook messenger for keeping me connected to friends that I almost certainly would have lost contact with otherwise. Still, it’s important to supplement texting with regular phone conversations; a 15 minute call speaks a month’s worth of messages! (If that’s not a phrase, it is now.) We have all sorts of options at our fingertips, and should try to make the most out of all of them – to bring the best out in our relationships.’