30 Mar What I learnt when I stopped texting for a day
Texting our friends and family on a daily basis is something that now comes naturally to us. It seems a lot less inconvenient to type a quick text rather than pick up the phone. On some occasions, texting is quicker and easier than calling. But is being constantly connected via text messaging resulting in us being more disconnected from our family and friends?
I have recently become aware of how much I use my phone, and how much time I spend texting. On an average day, I spent more than twice the amount of time texting than I do on the phone. Could I go a day without sending a text and just call people instead?
Well, I did exactly that. I spent one day away from my messaging apps and made myself readily available by phone call only and here is what I learnt.
#1 Phone calls are inconvenient during the week
What better day to start a new task than a Monday? That was my first thought on a fresh Monday morning. I got to work around 8:30 and made my first phone call before tackling my emails.
A great start, until I got a text around 10:30 from a friend who was also at work. It was then that I realised sending the odd text in the office is a lot less disruptive than making a phone call to let someone know we’re meeting at 7. The rest of the day was a write-off, and I thought it would be best to tackle this task on a weekend.
#2 I send a lot of unnecessary texts
I am guilty of sending a lot of unnecessary texts, something I was made aware of this week. Sometimes I just feel like it is really important to text my boyfriend about the cute puppy I just saw on the train, or that Starbucks had no pain au chocolats when I got there five minutes later than normal. Something I would not bother picking the phone up to tell him.
Not sending these mundane, and quite frankly unnecessary, texts shaved off a lot of time throughout the day.
#3 A phone call is actually quicker than texting
In some cases, picking up the phone will save you a lot of time. Planning a weekend away or even dinner with friends would probably be arranged quicker over the phone. Waiting for someone to respond to your text asking what weekend they are free, and then another text asking where they want to go, another deciding a time, and finally a method of transport. Four separate texts that could have easily been solved in one short phone call.
#4 It’s actually nice to talk on the phone
Sending a text is great for the days you do not have time to phone someone, but when you have a little extra time it’s actually quite nice to talk on the phone. Rather than sending my friend a text so see how she was I called her, which lead to an hour catch up and I felt like I really reconnected with her, more so than I could have via text.
A day without texting had both pros and cons, but I think the most important thing I learnt was to have a good balance in life.
It’s easy to be glued to your phone; texting your mum to see how she is on your way to work, messaging in the latest group chat when you’re actually at dinner with a friend, and even that quick text to a friend before bed. I learnt it’s important to be aware of how much time you spend messaging and think about how reducing this could have a positive impact on your life.