We’re in the middle of a communication crisis, and no one’s speaking about it – we’re texting instead. According to a 2012 Time study, a whopping 51 per cent of teens would rather communicate digitally than in person, and in 2016, it’s expected to be even higher.
Communicating digitally means Whatsapping, texting, iMessaging and Facebook messaging are all fair game. But if anyone who’s not your mum or your bestie would ever dare pick up the phone for a chat, we’d be so shocked we’d probably throw our phone out of the window.
So what does this mean for the people you’re attempting to date? By choosing to always communicate via text or messaging apps, we’re losing out on so many social cues that are essential when we’re trying to get to know someone new. We end up obsessively waiting for them to reply, overanalysing every little emoji and “lol” in an attempt to figure them out.
Do they like me? Are they on a date with someone new? Am I annoying them? These are all questions that could be instantly answered with a single call, and yet we’re all too scared to pick up the phone.
If you’ve only just started speaking to this new person after meeting them on a dating app, chances are you haven’t even met up with them in person yet. How, then, can you know if you like the sound of their voice?
I once made this mistake after going on a Tinder date with a boy whose voice was several octaves higher than mine (I, for reference, am a female without an Adam’s apple). If I’d spoken to him on the phone before the date, I could have made my excuses and ghosted him harder than Caspar at a Halloween party.
2. Nothing can be misconstrued
I once got into an argument with a boy after I sent him a sad face that looked something like this:
The over-the-top face was supposed to construe that I was joking, but the person I was texting thought the extra frowns meant I was angry with him and completely freaked out. Afterwards, I couldn’t shake the realisation that if I’d been speaking to him on the phone, it never would have happened.
3. It stops the endless waiting between messages
Can you imagine if we spoke to each other in the same way we text? Can you imagine walking up to someone, saying one sentence or a brief lol, and then scurrying off to wait for a reply that might take hours to come? Texting has made such prolonged, stunted conversations the norm, and it’s completely unnatural. Calling means you can have a detailed, complex conversation that would take days to type out over text.
4. You can’t screenshot the conversation
Unless the person on the other end of the line is crazy enough to record your phone conversation, there’s no way that what you’ve said can be shared around to other people. It’s a private exchange that won’t be screenshotted and sent to hordes of faceless besties who will endlessly analyse your every word to death.
5. Hearing your voice can trigger their emotions
Speaking to someone we love and trust has been proven to reduce the stress hormone cortisol, and increase the love hormone oxytocin. These effects simply don’t take place when we’re texting. Putting the science aside, I’m sure you’d agree that genuinely laughing out loud is infinitely more satisfying than typing the three cold, humourless little letters that are supposed to indicate the same thing.
6. You’ll show you’re ready to make time for them
These days, it often seems that everyone’s so busy that they don’t even have time to text you back, let alone stop for a lengthy chat. In reality, though, most people are simply spending their time watching back-to-back Narcos, eating cheese, and forgetting to text people back. By calling, you’ll show that you’re prepared to take time out of your (not very) busy schedule and focus solely on them.
7. You’ll stand out from the crowd
Even if the object of your affection is dating you along with a whole host of other Tinder losers, you can guarantee that if you call, you’re going to stand out from the crowd. I (and Carly Rae Jepsen) can tell you from personal experience that this works.
So there you have it. If you follow these rules, you’re guaranteed to have a boy meets girl, boy calls girl, girl finally deletes her Tinder account love story on your hands. Ahh, what a magical 21st century world we live in.