Talking or Texting…Which do you prefer?

I borrowed this topic from the #PostAWeek2011 blog, (The Daily Post).  This topic is a relatively interesting one as we move further into the SmartPhone and cell phone era.  Almost everyone has a phone, knows about texting and how to send texts.  The question becomes, what is normal and acceptable when you are making the decision to call, text, IM or BBM (yes, I believe we should add that topic to the mix too).  I guess that it all depends on the nature of the relationship that you share with the person.

Personally, it’s my belief that business relationships are still based on a phone call.  I work in a business that requires me to call my contacts and discuss issues that are impacting our customers.  Talking about these issues on the phone is far easier than trying to squeeze all of the necessary information into an email or text. There is also the opportunity to ensure that there are no misunderstandings when we talk on the phone. Don’t get me wrong, we do use email for business related information.  Paperwork that used to be sent via fax, requiring paper on both ends, is sent electronically.  Routine correspondence to confirm or update customer orders is also sent via email. This helps reduce the environmental impact that we are having in our daily operations, for sure.

I know that with family members, texting and BBM closes the distance when someone lives out-of-town or is on vacation. I do think that BBM poses a different issue than texting or email. All of these types of communications come directly to my phone. The difference is that I view BBM as a “conversation”, something that is interactive on both ends. I approach BBM conversations the same way I approach face-to-face conversations. I give them my attention, the trouble is that it is easy to get distracted.

When it comes to text or email, I look at these communication methods as less interactive and more convenient. The ability for me to respond to them from my phone is great. I don’t give them the same priority level as a BBM. I like the option of being able to leave a text or email for someone and know that they will get it at their convenience. That their response will arrive, “when they have time”. If I text or email someone I am not looking for that “engagement” that I am with a BBM.

When it comes to personal relationships and even dating, another entire level gets added to the mix, in my opinion. I am generally very private and guarded with my PIN and my phone number. Gauging whether to offer a phone number, email or PIN is always tough. Given that I see BBM as a more instant form of communication in my world, I generally like to reserve that for friends that I see routinely and make plans with often. That said, my PIN is on my personal card, so the potential is there for a professional or new contact to add me to BBM.

This question has been of interest to me for some time. I have raised it on Twitter in the past, asking about this BBM commercial, which suggests that people are relatively forthcoming with their PIN to allow BBM communication.  The response I received on Twitter does not necessarily reflect the commercial. Most people say that they are relatively guarded with their PIN and prefer to reserve it for people that they know.  I would think that from a dating perspective, the initial stages of dating are far better suited to the telephone and the two-way conversation. Failing that then IM (Windows Live Messenger, etc) works too. Once that connection is established then moving to texting and BBM is certainly a viable option, in my opinion.

What do you think? What are your thoughts? Do you generally call, text or BBM?  Please leave a comment below, find me on Twitter or email me and let me know what you think.  I look forward to your comments.

6 responses to “Talking or Texting…Which do you prefer?

  1. If both parties have BBM I usually BBM..

    Phone calls for when a question needs to be answered quickly…

  2. I don’t talk on the phone anymore. I only text. Unless like Mack said, if it’s something urgent and I need an answer right away, then I would call someone.

  3. In terms of dating BBM is definitely really good and in my experience it is way easier to get than a phone number if you just met a lady and yet it is way more personal than a Facebook friend add.
    I have my theories as to why it is so easy to get a PIN and why it isn’t as guarded by many as you see it but the main reason would be because unless it is someone who you see on a somewhat regular basis it is never a big deal to delete/block them and then it doesnt really matter if they have your PIN or not. (Also as soon as you switch BlackBerrys that PIN itself becomes useless).

  4. This is a great topic. 2 or 3 years ago, I would have told you that I prefer talking on the phone. But now, I find BBMing and texting way easier and more convenient. Phonecalls still have their place, and if I see that I am BBMing for more than 5 minutes, I’ll pick up the phone if I’m able to.

    Regarding my PIN…I only give that to people I know. I basically treat it like a phone number.

    • Agreed it is easier at first to BBM or Text but once the conversation has started and it begins to get involved I always prefer to talk on the phone. I can still talk way faster than I can text and I can still process & communicate faster vocally and aurally.
      Pet Peeve of mine is when I am BBMing or Texting back and forth & I decide its time to move to a call and the person refuses to answer their phone – I know your phone is in your hand! You’ve been texting for the past 5 minutes!

  5. Well I don’t even know what a PIN is because I don’t have a Blackberry. I think texting is fine if you are in a concert but if you are dating someone or trying to get something done quickly. You need a direct line to the person and to get a clear picture you need to talk on the phone.

    I still like email from the stand point of you have the message and it is the most clear. But really people do need to talk and get out of the texting all the time. Though I have had many meetings formed via email.

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