Why text?

Probably the wrong forum, but -
What is the appeal of texting? Why not just email or call? I’m up on most technology, if marginally, but this one just escapes me. I get, but personally reject, Facebook & Twitter, but I don’t understand texting. This must be basic and I’ll feel a fool when it’s explained, but please point out the obvious advantage. Thanks.

Oddly enough, autocorrect agrees with me and keeps insisting on “testing”.:stuck_out_tongue:

Not everyone likes to talk on the phone. For more practical reasons, sometimes phone service isn’t good, so if you make a call it might drop or you might not be able to hear the person, but texts can still go through. I also text people if it’s just a quick question or something I need to tell them that doesn’t need to be dealt with immediately and isn’t worth making a phone call for. I like it when people text me information like a phone number or an address so I can just pull it up from the text instead of writing it down or trying to remember it.

ETA: It’s better than email in some situations because while most people have their cell on them at all times, not everyone has immediate access to email.

It comes in handy for most of the reasons CatherineZeta already posted. The folk who text constantly may do it instead of calling because that way they can be social with whoever they’re around AND text with someone else as well. Or one or the other is doing something else and can’t actually be on the phone. It seems to be something to do while doing something else as well.

I have a lot of friends with whom I text because we have different schedules and are often not free to talk on the phone at the same time of day. We’re not huge on emailing back and forth, and the spontaneity of the text message means that we can get back to each other at our own leisure. Also, I really don’t like being on the phone talking while at work if I can help it, so texting a quick response frequently works better for me.

“Why text?” is a question that could only be asked by someone that’s never had to talk to my mother on the phone.


I just texted my mother this morning. She needed to leave money for me to pick up some lunch for my stepdad, but I wasn’t sure if she did. However at this hour she’s at work and may or may not be able to talk on a phone or access her email. Plus a text costs about 15c, whereas a call has a flagfall of about 20c plus a per-minute cost. So because it’s not time-sensitive, I texted her “did you leave money for subway?” and a little while later I got the response “Yeah, left $20 in front of the monitor”

Because in some situations it’s a much, much more efficient means of communication.

I am an engineer in a manufacturing environment where it can get loud and the phone reception is lousy. If you need to ask me a quick question or let me know something during the work day, a text is by far the best way to do it.

It can’t possibly be all that difficult to imagine other common scenarios where this is also the case. Like if you’re on a commuter train or in a club or a hospital room visiting someone.

My sister hates calling. Hates. I’m not sure what level of emergency would have to exist for her to actually call someone, but I suspect it just might involve nothing less than a massive house fire. She texts all the time instead, so if I want to talk to her, then I send her a text. She’s also a fantastically busy person who doesn’t have a whole lot of time for voice conversations or e-mail exchanges but can manage to send out a few texts during down moments.

I also have one friend who is partially deaf. We can talk reasonably well in person, but phone conversations are notoriously difficult between her hearing loss and the inevitable terrible sound quality of the phone calls. As we live in different cities now, we communicate almost entirely via text these days.

I guess I could use e-mail, but I almost always have my phone on me, so why not text?

I have limited minutes on my cell, but unlimited texts.

I have no mouth so I must text.

It is more efficient.

I also like having a log of conversations.

I work backstage at a theatre. I have lots of downtime, but I can’t make any phone calls.

If I have to send someone a message say, “Come to my house at 8pm” I’m not going to call them because one, it’s not urgent and two it would be a slower process. I wouldn’t e-mail that person because most likely they aren’t at their home computer checking their e-mail or won’t be for awhile. If that person is busy, they can still get the message without having to make the conscious effort of checking their e-mail. Now, on my phone (A Windows 7 phone) I can send and receive e-mails virtually in the same exact way as a text message, however not all phones have the function but I know all phones have a text message function, so I favor that.

However, if it WAS urgent I would certainly prefer a call, because a quick answer is more assured. With text messaging a person may have received the message, but they may not respond right away.

Texting is asynchronous. It’s great for when I want to tell or ask someone something, but either don’t need an immediate response or they may be in a setting where a ringing phone is intrusive.

It is convenient. I don’t know how thats hard to understand.

If you need to obtain or provide a small amount of information, texting is much faster and more efficient than a phone call.

It isn’t meant for having conversations.

I absolutely detest talking on the phone and I can rarely guarantee that the person I need to talk to is near their email at the same time that I’m near mine. But everyone I know has their phone on them at all times. I’m not as attached to my phone as my friends and family but if I need to tell them something I can be sure they’ll get a text faster than an email and without me having to talk on the phone.

Just today I got back from a long car trip. My mother is somewhat of a nervous person, and was nervous about me driving 12+ hours. I told her I would text her when I got where I was going. Texting works here because it doesn’t matter if she doesn’t get reception at the moment I sent the text, or if one of us was in a loud place, or anything that might get in the way of a phone call. I send the text, she gets it, everything’s OK.

FWIW, I make sure to call people if I want to have a conversation.

It’s also so much more convenient when you have to send the same message to a lot of people. For example, there is a music group that meets at my house on Wednesday nights, but only if we have enough people attending. So every Monday I send out one text message, addressed to all 10 or 12 members, reminding them to let me know if they are coming or not. Their texted answers give me a record I can take stock of later when I’m deciding whether to hold the class or cancel it. On Wednesday morning, I send a single text message, addressed to everyone, either confirming that class is on or canceling it.

E-mails for this purpose would be far more unwieldy. Although a lot of people do check their e-mails on mobile devices, it’s just an extra layer of technology (and not everyone does it - I have steadfastly resisted using this particular aspect of my smart phone).

The Hallkids and I text constantly. I can’t always immediately respond to their texts and likewise, but when we’re ready, the texts are waiting. This is valuable when I’m in a position where I can’t take a call, but may be able to respond to a text (like in a meeting).

Plus, I HATE talking on the phone. Hate it.