Text messaging is often knocked as a trivial or insincere means of communication. But it often has its advantages.
When you lack a clear train of thought
Strong opinions and emotions can often mess with your train of thought and compromise your ability to deliver an articulate message or response. In situations like these, texting may be preferred because it allows you to plan out and revise your message in a way you could not do during a phone call, when rash or frenzied thoughts and words may make you difficult to understand or cause the recipient of your communication to take you less seriously. Avoid these phrases that will make any argument worse.
When you travel
When you’re in transit, chatting on the phone can be irritating and insensitive to those around you. This is especially true for commuters in transit after a long day of work. If you’re en route to dinner from the office and are running five minutes behind, shoot a quick text to your dining companion instead of calling. These are other annoying texting habits to avoid.
When you’re in danger
As the nation mourned the tragedy of the Orlando nightclub mass shooting that caused the deaths of 49 people in June, investigators uncovered that many people trapped in the horrifying hostage situation texted family and friends to call 911, as they felt doing so themselves would put them at further risk. Because location services are stronger and more accurate for voice calls placed to 911 than texts, it is better to call if possible; many emergency services plug the tagline, “Call if you can, text if you can’t.” Emergency texting services aren’t available all throughout the United States, so check to see if your town or city has this option.
When discussing sensitive information
If you’re stuck in a public place but need to have a time-sensitive conversation in which private information is being discussed, you’re better off sending an eloquent text than trying to make a secretive, hushed phone call.
Perhaps you need to have a conversation with someone but find your day jam-packed with one time-consuming activity after another. While a phone call is a separate task all on its own, a round of texts makes it easy for you to coordinate with the sitter or figure out what time to pick up your kids without taking you away from your other responsibilities. For an inflexible schedule, texting is the way to go.
When Organizing a Group
iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund
When trying to corral a large group of people to confer over a point or make plans to meet, the most efficient way to do so is creating a group text that allows everyone to communicate openly, instead of reaching out to each person separately. (But if being part of a group text is distracting or frustrating you, here’s how to opt out of it.)
When you want your business to engage
Many businesses have been turning to texting in recent years as a way to communicate more effectively with customers. According to textrequest.com, of the 8 trillion texts sent in 2014, 95 percent were read within three minutes. Additionally, consumers are more likely to engage with text messages than calls or emails, making them a smart way to call attention to your business.
When you’re shy
For introverts or those who find themselves unnerved at the thought of expressing an important feeling or opinion in person or over the phone, texting serves as an easier option that may help you say what you need to say without bumbling over your words. These are hidden strengths of being an introvert.