Why Texting During Quarantine Is Not Enough
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Why Texting During Quarantine Is Not Enough

FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom may indeed be more beneficial.

Why Texting During Quarantine Is Not Enough
Photo by Jae Park on Unsplash

While everyone remains within their own home discovering creative ways to communicate with peers, texting simply cannot replace traditional face-to-face conversation. Here are 4 reasons why texting during quarantine is not enough.

1. Texts lack audible cues.

Changes in tone can be indicative of varying emotions: anger, sorrow, delight. Have you ever received the "I loved that movie" text? While someone may have genuinely enjoyed the film, another person may use the same phrase sarcastically. However, it is difficult—sometimes even impossible—to determine their true sentiments through an emotionless text because a sentence's meaning and interpretation often differ from each other. However, a face-to-face conversation includes vocal cues which can be associated with different feelings. A change in pitch or tempo (which a simple text message cannot signal) is just one of these cues that express character. Using only text messages to communicate takes away an important part of what makes us human: emotion.

2. You cannot observe body language through text messages.

Yet another way to express emotion is through body language. Turning your face away from someone may indicate guilt. Furrowing your brow may signify confusion. Smiling may express different levels of happiness. Seeing these visual cues in person can help someone understand these emotions. While a text message can contain emojis, they fail to express the entirety of one's feelings. During self-isolation, people should not settle for text messages that lack such body language. Using FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom may be more beneficial since these missing cues can be seen and interpreted through a camera.

3. It takes much longer to respond via text than in person.

A typical conversation consists of several pieces: introductions, questions, responses, and conclusions. Questions and responses are essential parts of the conversation as they allow for information to be shared. In person, responses are typically given just seconds after a question is asked. However, through text messages, people can choose when to respond (possibly hours or days later). By avoiding a response, important information—or even a simple check in that could brighten a day—cannot be shared timely. Face-to-face conversation, however, relieves this issue.

4. Distractions may arise more frequently over the phone than in person.

There are fewer possible distractions when talking to a peer in person than over the phone. In person, everyone has the same environment and surrounding conditions. If someone becomes distracted, others can be aware of the cause because it is visible to everyone. However, while sitting at home, it is much easier to be distracted by a change in scenery. A family member, pet, or notification can easily steer someone off track, causing them to lose their attention on the subject. This lack of attention can result in ineffective communication, especially since others are unaware of what caused the distraction.

During quarantine, simply settling for texting is not enough to maintain effective communication with peers. Using other means such as FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom may be more effective and should not be taken for granted.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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