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Ugochi V. Ukah: I Like to Call… You Prefer to Text! What Gives?



dreamstime_xl_25013691Whether it is friendship or a boy-girl relationship, every type of relationship requires communication and when you are not able to meet face-to-face, we resort to other means such as the use of mobile phones. When it comes to phone usage, some people prefer to text or chat via WhatsApp, BBM etc. all day long while some prefer to call. I fall under the latter category but I have some friends who looove to text!

So I have this particular friend whose texting habit frustrates me sometimes. For instance, she would send a text asking me about specific details for an event that we might be planning and because the details might be too long to text, I would try to call her to explain. Instead of picking up, she would cut the call and type “please text.” So I would respond with “Why? Are you too busy to speak now?” and her reply would be “No but just text.” At that point, I would start calling her again and she would continue to cut the calls whilst sending me more messages. And then I would not respond to her messages until she either calls back or somehow we figure out what our plans are.
“How can you prefer phone calls to texting?!” She always asks me whenever we meet up.
“Because calling is easier!”
“How please? Text message is more straightforward”
“With phone calls, one can speak quicker…” and this is how our silly arguments would begin again.
Obviously, she thinks that I am weird but apparently, I think just the same about her.

There are many reasons why I think phone calls are great and these include:

• It makes getting to know someone new easier
My cousin says that whenever she meets a guy, she prefers to chat with him for a long time before moving to phone calls. Her standpoint was that she would be less shy and be able to type out whatever she felt like saying. In that way, she could say more about herself and also ask him more direct questions. Therefore, one can know more about her via texting and chatting. For me, this is the exact opposite as I do not think that anyone can know me via texting partly because if you do not know someone, one can easily misconstrue the meaning of a sentence.
The tone or emotion used to relay a sentence is very important as it is difficult to decipher whether certain messages are jokes or serious.

Although emoticons were invented to help out, I personally think it becomes redundant when one keeps adding a smiley to every line. I also do not think that writing ‘LOL’ or ‘LMAO’ makes things any better because half of the time I use those, I am not even smiling or close to laughing.

To be honest, I use these acronyms mostly when I have barely read the chat or text as I have come to realise that they are almost always safe responses to anything. I’ve been caught a few times though where the guy would ask why I laughed and then I would be forced to read the entire chat and make up a story explaining why I thought his message was funny or how it reminded me of something funny.

Also, it is highly unlikely for me to pour out personal information about myself via SMS/chat to anyone, when I know that it can easily be saved. This is not to say that I have anything to hide or that I am ignorant of phone call recording. However, I think that whether or not the other party plans to use your information, any messages sent via text or chat would remain on the phone unless the other person deletes it, unlike phone calls, whereby it would only be saved if the other person really wanted to record it. Besides, personal information is called so for a reason; even if they are not shameful, you don’t really want them in public. Thus, I disagree that chatting will be a good way to know more about a person like me.

• Less time
Unlike messages, phone calls require less greetings and less wait time for responses. For example, if I wanted to ask for a favour or a quick question via SMS, I would have to start with greetings like “Hello, it’s me. How are you?” and wait for the other party to reply before I continue with “I was wondering if…blah blah!” However, with a phone call, I can just say “how far?” and without asking too many health questions, delve into my question of interest.I also feel like SMS/chats don’t seem as urgent as a phone call and so the receiver might not reply immediately.

• Less money
While it might seem ironical that a call would cost less than SMS, it actually does, unless it is just a single text message. This is because each text would cost you money whereas phone calls are charged per minute. So if you talk just as fast as I do, you can deliver messages within two minutes that may have required 10 text messages back and forth. Even if you are using BBM or WhatsApp, mobile data can go really quickly with chatting depending on your type of phone and network subscription.

• Less screen stare
Chatting requires starring at your phone to read and reply. I do not know about you but my eye doctor does not recommend too much staring at bright light and so I try to avoid it. Thus, whenever I find myself in a long chatting conversation, I just click the call button to round things up.

• Finger discomfort
Similar to the screen stare, my fingers tend to feel numb or uncomfortable after chatting for a long time. And yes, I use a touch screen phone but still I get really tired. I’d rather save up my typing strength for my office work than use it all up on chats or SMS.

• Multi-tasking
I find that it is easier to do other things while speaking on the phone than when chatting. For instance, I could be reading something at the same time, putting on my make-up, dressing up or I could even put my mouth piece on and do the dishes instead of using my two hands to reply to every message.

Having listed all of these above, it is not a surprise that I barely chat or reply via SMS unless I am in a place where I really cannot speak at that moment. Therefore, I have no plans to change my preference for phone calls anytime in the nearest future. And no, it is not because I like to hear myself speak as I have been wrongly accused of a few times, rather it is because I believe in expressing myself effectively to build a strong relationship.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Ugochi V Ukah is a student and loves writing in her spare time; using sarcasm, humour and wit to relay her thoughts. Visit her blog for more stories at: and follow her on twitter @vivio_gogo and IG: @ugochiukah