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Thursday, October 14, 2010

When To Stop Texting and Use Your Phone as a Phone

Posted By on Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 9:00 AM


How do you judge when a conversation is more appropriate for texting or a phone call? For example, "Do you think red or pink go-go boots would go better with my plaid lederhosen?" is clearly a text question while "Can you explain Nietzsche's view on nihilism and how it pertains to vegan Indian cuisine?" is more of phone call.


Texting has increasingly replaced phone conversations, especially now that so many people are attached to their fancy smart phones where you can check email, navigate your car and artificially inseminate yourself in a moment's notice. Here's The Washington Post on our texting habits:

  • The average monthly voice minutes used by 18- to 34-year-olds has dropped from 1,200 to 900 in the past two years.
  • In contrast, the number of text messages sent by the same age group each month, on average, has risen from 600 two years ago to more than 1,400 currently.

There are some obvious reasons why kids these days don't like talking on the phone. It's demands your immediate attention. It puts you on the spot. With texting, you can put some thought into your response. It can be awkward, or, if you're anything like me, you mishear people A LOT. "I have lipodystrophy." "Your hippo won a trophy?"

But there are still plenty of situations where using your smart phone as a PHONE is the better option. So, here, I made you a chart.

When to callWhen to text
To make plansTo solidify details of plans
Drunk dialing should only be done when you KNOW the person won't pick up, i.e. they are sound asleep, or in a convent. You should also be prepared to have to listen to your drunk message over and 
over again the next day.
To succinctly express your drunken revelations on porn, Stovetop stuffing, why you always date girls with tramp stamps, the Slap Chop remix, and cop dramas.
Most people over the age of 50Most people between the ages of 11 and 49
When a question can only be answered sufficiently in paragraph form: "What's the current state of the economy?" and "How do you really feel about Johnny Depp?"When a question can be answered in one or two words: "Wanna shoot up later?"
To fightTo flirt
 If the issue is pressing: My weave is on fire! Yet I can somehow make phone calls still!If you don't need an immediate response: Does this weave make my head look fat?
If you are completely lostIf you need an address/phone number
Major life events of people you greatly care about: Births, deaths, terminal illnesses, bedding Johnny DeppMajor events of people you don't really care about, minor events or mass holidays.
To break up with someone you've been on 2-5 dates withTo break up with someone you've been on 1-2 dates with
If you are severely lateIf you are running a few minutes late
To confront or accuse someone of something important: "Bill. That tribal tattoo. It was a mistake."To confront or accuse someone of something not important at all: "Did you eat the last of my Yoplait in 2005?"
Long-distance relationship lovin'
To coordinate a heist
Booty calls
To coordinate a trip to Jamba Juice

There you have it, kids. Now get off my lawn! And pick up the damn phone every once in a while. Condolences for your grandma's triple bypass surgery is not something that can be summed up with a "Sry! C U @ Xmas?"

Social-media mistress Anna Pulley likes to give advice about how to play well with others on the internets. If you have a question about etiquette involving technology, shoot her a question at

Follow us on Twitter: @annapulley or @SFWeekly 

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