writer’s note: I was dying last week – with the flu/some bug and therefore this might be the shortest blogpost ever. But I had to pick this topic because I am really curious what others think.
by Liz B.
Recently, I’ve been noticing that texting does not always provide a quicker response than email. I’ve also probably sent more unanswered texts then unanswered emails (to people I know). This may be indicative of the difference between personal and work relationships and the necessity to respond but I think it also indicates the slow death of the text message and here is why.
You can’t talk to a wall
When you send a text on your phone there is no indication as to whether or not that person is near their phone, has time to respond, or even that their phone is on and working. I live hundreds of miles from my closest friends and usually when I send them a text message, I don’t expect an immediate response. It’s more of a – just thinking about you and here’s this funny thing that I saw on TV. And I know that when they get around to it, they might respond. I also know that they might not respond. I almost feel like texting is turning into the snail mail of our age. Sure, I sent a friendly note but when you send a greeting card to a friend you don’t really expect a letter in response, do you? Text messages for me are more like “just sending this your way for whenever you get a chance to read it and we can have a conversation over a couple of day’s span, responding when we each have time.”
Which brings me to my second point…
There are more instant, responsive ways of communicating.
Last week, when I got sick. I had a 20+ email conversation with one of my colleagues. I was emailing from my phone and she was on her computer. This was more instant and responsive than text messaging because she responded to my email. I knew she was on her email and that if I replied she would be available. For texting – sure if someone responds you know they are available but I can almost guarantee a response from my other millennials if I email during the day and its just a quick question. I can also guarantee that if I gchat a friend who is “available” that they will at least respond with – sorry heading into a meeting if they can’t talk. Texting lacks multiple response outlets and the ability to tell follower texters if you are available. You can email from anywhere but you can only text message from your phone.
Millennials are on their computers 20 times more than on their cellphones.
Think about this - if you left your cell phone at home – how many people would you really need to email or contact to let them know you won’t be responding to their texts that day. Now think about what if your email disappeared for the day and you stopped tweeting and you weren’t on g-chat or Facebook chat or ichat – yes I still use ichat. How many people might notice? This actually happened to me last week because I was out ill and therefore asleep with my phone but not my computer. I finally got a text from my best friend who g chats me occasionally asking if I was alive because she hadn’t seen me on in three days. For millennials whose jobs revolve around their computer, texting is becoming OLD and SLOW and non-adjustable.
final writer’s note – I totally concede that it might simply be that texting isn’t dying and I just don’t have friends that text me. Feel free to let me know that texting is alive and well. Also I am curious to see if something like iMessage might provide a revamp of the text message system.
To learn more from or connect with Liz, follow her on Twitter (where she might respond quicker than a text) – @LizBraden33.
You can also follow the entire Millennial Chat team here.