PUBLIC OPINION > Texting Is Almost as Good as Talking

Living 2012/06/06 13:00:00
You don't have to look hard to see that texting has become a primary form of communication, but it might surprise you to learn that an increasing number of people prefer it over talking on their cellphone -- even older people, though not as much. Is it really an ideal form of communication, or is it just a matter of convenience? We asked the public which form is preferable.

We want to point out one thing before we jump to conclusions: Based on comments, many people who voted "talking" seemed to imply that they prefer talking in person, as opposed to talking on the phone. However, even with that caveat, we were impressed by how many people voted for "texting." Just under half of the respondents prefer texting to talking, and assuming at least some of the voters who meant "in person" talking would have changed their vote if we'd been more specific, it's probably more.

Teens Love Texting

Do you really need us to point this out to you? Of course not. But we do want to bring up just how significant this difference is. Nearly two-thirds of teens prefer texting, while less than 10% of the oldest voters prefer it. However, the drop was pretty steep. Almost half of the 35-44 group prefer texting by now, possibly as a result of having kids...

Parents Still Prefer to Talk

Or maybe not. Parents were less partial to texting than the 35-44 group, but evenly matched with the 45-54 group. It almost seems like having kids makes people less likely to prefer texting -- don't parents want to hear their kids' voices on ocassion? -- though it's very hard to separate it from the age demographic in this instance.

Men Don't Text as Much

This was a minor difference, but everything else just seemed to be tied too closely to age. Female voters were about 6% more likely to prefer texting. It's debatable as to whether or not women actually talk more than men (there are conflicting studies) but if we had to single out one gender as the authority on cellphone use, well...

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about texting and talking. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • GLaDOS 2012/06/06 16:41:30 (edited)
    It's like typing. You have the possibility of editing, you can hold several conversations at once, relatively competently, and don't have to deal with the nastiness of actual confrontation, for good or ill. No real "yelling" you have to listen to, or anything like that. It's impersonal, it's convenient, and you can go about your life while relegating the person you're "texting" to an occasional thought, instead of focusing your attention on them.

    If for no other reason than the fact that I respect the people I associate with more than that; I still prefer talking.

    I also loathe txt tlk, and find it absolutely ridiculous in any instance. It's going to retard future generations' linguistic skills.

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  • pam.ruigh 2012/09/04 14:07:27
    Also as a former teacher, I imagine texting is an incentive for literacy. Teens are motivated to learn to read and write well even if they had a slow start in childhood.
  • pam.ruigh 2012/09/04 14:01:40
    Texting is a bit of a bother and you must have a cell phone to do it. My iPhone is in the drawer as I disliked the monthly gouging by AT&T; for a cellphone that did not even work in my neighborhood. I like to write emails because I can use the Querty method of typing on my computer as opposed to the thumb method of texting. Less stress on the fingers and eyes.
  • pam.ruigh 2012/09/04 13:57:48
    Texting for an older adult is challenging even it they are tech saavy. Small phones and arthritic fingers do not mix. However that may change as the young folks with phone buds glued into their ears find that they are going deaf by the time they reach 30.
  • beach bum 2012/06/08 12:45:55
    beach bum
  • renee.m.lewis 2012/06/08 02:08:27
    I love texting, but sometimes you just need to hear there voice.
  • Reuben Rennick 2012/06/07 21:09:46
    Reuben Rennick
    I try not to send text messages, my fat fingers would hurt after typing on a tiny screen.send messages fat fingers hurt typing tiny screen send messages fat fingers hurt typing tiny screen
  • Jermaine Pollard 2012/06/07 16:11:55
    Jermaine Pollard
    Texting is better than talking. Especially for snooping people in public areas.
  • HAITHEM 2012/06/07 15:32:21
    for me I do both of them ( texting and talking), depending on the situation and subject, during talking I could focus on the tone of the other party, and this gives me a certain impression,I text only for specific purposes on my mind and to avoid the complexity of speech.
  • wpsark 2012/06/07 14:33:19
    it keeps the radiation away from my head too.
  • Flash,aka,Mr.Lightning 2012/06/07 11:45:06
    Don't text and will not text. If I have something to say I will call you. It's an addiction and diversion to living life.
  • Calvin Harris ✌ 2012/06/07 08:40:28
    Calvin Harris ✌
    I don't even text anymore. I call my friends to meet up so we can chat instead of text.
  • Lady Katze 2012/06/07 08:09:40
    Lady Katze
    I also like texting a hell of a lot better than talking, especially if you are one of those people that has trouble talking to people. You can edit what you say and do not need to respond instantly if you are texting.
  • zero 2012/06/07 07:18:25
    Text messages are much better than telephone calls... as evidence to convict you of a crime. Watch what you text, it lasts forever.
  • ashim 2012/06/07 07:03:03
    TALKING obviously where you can modulate your voice to lay stress on specific words ... compare the difference between saying 'I love you' and texting the same!!!
  • S* 2012/06/07 05:47:23
    It does not take the place of voice conversations, but for many things it is as good if not superior. For updates on status to loved ones, it is quite nice. You can select one or many to be informed, it is passive, not requiring someone to pick up the "phone", and it also gives the recipient a record of the communication, and for group notifications, it is truly grand. The back and forth how are you kind of thing is better served on a voice communication, but you can schedule those calls with texting and ascertain if a time is satisfactory.
  • Stardust 2012/06/07 04:04:07
  • Blueskys 2012/06/07 03:37:39
    It's no different than chatting by emails.

    It's impossibly slow when I'm working compared to voice communications, except for the simplest messages requiring no interaction.
  • Bob P. ... Blueskys 2012/06/07 22:07:26
    Bob P. Clarkson
    I don't really like it when a friend (supposedly) is perfectly happy to let me know something, but doesn't want to do it personally. It's insulting.

    As you can surmise - I don't care for an email chat and I much prefer Skype.

    Jokes or business related shotgun material - I'll live with it.
  • Gahnzo 2012/06/07 02:20:05
    No, not as good. It's easy to get a quick idea to someone, or ask a question, but I can talk much faster than text....
  • Stardust Gahnzo 2012/06/07 04:05:06
  • dusty 2012/06/07 01:43:34
    texting is too risky too loose it is easier to mess up i text if i cant talk to them but i rather talk
  • Nezkeys79 2012/06/07 01:38:26
    It's better
  • AngelaDuke 2012/06/07 01:28:50
  • dlsofsetx 2012/06/06 23:29:29
    I only text if necessary,I'd rather talk.
  • psiEnergos 2012/06/06 23:21:19
    Both have advantages and disadvantages so I would not be quick to say one is better than the other. Texting allows one to take their time (if the so choose) and not be under pressure to respond just to show one is listening or interested (possibly even formulate an intelligent response). However verbal has the benefit of intonations and feedback that allow one to determine if what you are trying to communicate is, in fact being understood. I prefer texting to people who tend to talk too much as it's a natural inhibitor. In a pinch though, I want to talk to a live body.
  • anna.stinson.39 2012/06/06 23:01:37
    Let's see every month for the heck of it I look to see how many minutes I have used, usually around 300. I also look to see how many text messages I have sent/received, usually around 3000. I would say yes, I do text a lot! It is just easier depending on where I am. It seems to be a bit more discreet and no one can "listen" in on my conversation!
  • Melizmatic 2012/06/06 22:00:49
    I still prefer verbal conversation.
  • sarah 2012/06/06 21:57:37
    Texting when I'm talking to friends and don't know what to talk to on the phone but for my mum taking or sisters and a boy I prefer to be face to face lol I'm 19 :)
  • teigan 2012/06/06 21:22:23
    I hate to waste time chatting on the phone so I prefer texting.
  • Velma~BN-0 2012/06/06 20:58:50
    I never call anyone. To me It's awkward.. Especially when you really have nothing to say. Texting is better than talking to me. Plus, you can keep records of what you say for later usage. It can also help improve grammar and vocabulary in teens depending on who you're talking to. I was teased by my friends when I used short-hand, so I don't see who talking is any more difficult than Texting.
  • Coasterdude02149 2012/06/06 19:05:03
    I hate texting...talk for me
  • Margaret Jacobson 2012/06/06 18:43:07
    Margaret Jacobson
    to me texting is something to be used when someone cannot get hold of me !!
  • Walter Harris 2012/06/06 18:25:49
    Walter Harris
    not no but hell no. I wont to here a voice
  • rockyjr5 2012/06/06 17:40:03
    Most teens are too lazy to pick up the phone to talk to someone, so they just text because they're hooked on texting. Other teens only text in case of an emergency, or needs to ask someone something very quick.
  • Velma~BN-0 rockyjr5 2012/06/06 20:53:43
    It obviously takes more work to text than to talk on the phone..
  • rockyjr5 Velma~BN-0 2012/06/06 22:41:16
    I agree.
  • psiEnergos Velma~BN-0 2012/06/06 23:39:39 (edited)
    It depends on your point of view. If by 'work' you mean exertion, then yes, I guess typing requires more exertion. However, when one has to 'work' to carry on a conversation, it can be just as hard because you are pressured to keep talking (obviously depending on who your speaking will vary the stress level, none with some, more with others), without the benefit of several minutes to ponder a response (as you can with texting if needed).

    You yourself just said earlier that you don't like to talk especially if you don't have anything to say (paraphrasing). If this were true, you would have nothing to text either. The point is, it's always easier to carry a conversation (via text) when there is no pressure of protocol that verbal conversations bring (the real work). Time is always on your side.

    So I would disagree, the mental acuity and effort it takes to carry on civil verbal conversations takes much more effort than merely typing (even when given credit for the grammar, though so few effectively use it :-D) Not trying to be argumentative, just providing an alternate viewpoint.
  • handimom 2012/06/06 17:35:36
    Texting; I prefer the limited communication, I have never liked talking on the phone.
  • Sharon1992 2012/06/06 17:23:22
    I prefer talking over texting. Texting takes me more time because of those ridiculously small buttons. Besides, text messages can be interpreted differently than how you intended and accidentally offend someone or something.
  • Jimbo 2012/06/06 17:17:05
    Texting is awesome. I can tell my wife not to call me but she can text me if she wants...and she is happy with that.

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2016/02/10 22:09:41

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