We live in a world with a ton of communication methods. We no longer have to wait months for a telegram to arrive by horse. When it comes to communication methods however, they all have unique features and not too many of them have become obsolete over the years. So lets get to it. Let’s go ahead and break down all the methods of communication and see which is king!
Pros: Making a phone call and talking to someone over the phone is as clear as a message can get. You can hear the person’s tone of voice and it’s in real time. Just think about the last time your friend sent you a text message about something very juicy or important. It’s usually interrupted with “can you talk on the phone?” People generally love sharing important information over the phone. It’s taken a lot more seriously than a text message or an email.
Information is a lot easier to absorb over a phone call. Somehow, talking to someone about something over the phone or even in person just makes it a lot more of a serious engagement. Phone calls are also bigger commitments than other sources of communication so people make them more often when it’s something very important.
Cons: The biggest cons are background noise and eavesdropping. When you’re talking on the phone, the communication can be easily interrupted by construction, emergency vehicle sirens, and reception problems. Eavesdropping is also an issue because if you’re talking to your doctor about sensitive test results or planning a surprise party for someone, you may need to run somewhere to take the phone call.
When you miss a phone call, you can never really tell what the person wanted unless they leave a voicemail. Imagine someone giving you an address over the phone versus through text message? Exactly, it’s a lot clearer and easier.
Phone calls are also a lot more disruptive than other forms of communication because you can’t really watch TV and talk on the phone like you can with texting or writing an email. Phone calls usually call for your undivided attention, which is why they are a bigger commitment.
Pros: Emails are a fantastic way to send long form communication. Resumes, forms, document drafts, etc. You won’t be talking through email with your girlfriend, but if you’re planning an event and want to get all your friends in on it, emailing all of them the invitation is the most effective way. Email works almost the same way snail mail works except it’s easier to automate and more efficient. You can subscribe to newsletters, contact corporations and even submit for auditions.
The bottom line is that emails are the most effective long form professional method of communication. It’s also a lot more private than phone calls and text messages. Most people feel safer giving people their email address instead of their phone number.
Cons: Emails aren’t instant. It’s really not effective to have a casual conversation over email. It’s very tedious and drawn out. You’re constantly refreshing and in anticipation for a response. Email has long been dominated in short message application by instant messengers and text messaging. The biggest problem with emails is that they often get abandoned and changed because of spam. Spamming through email is the easiest way to get someone. Most people who fall for scams do so through email.
Text Messaging/Instant Messaging
Pros: Text messaging is the king of casual conversation. It’s instant, easy to send and easy to read privately. Have something to say to your friend and you don’t want the people around you to hear? Send them a text. Forgot to give your significant other the shopping list before they left? Send them it over text. You get the picture. Text messaging is the best way to send friends and relatives simple casual messages. Unlike phone calls, they’re stress free and always available. If you don’t see a text message when it’s sent, you can always read it later and know what the person wanted.
Prep time is also very beneficial. Over the phone, you can get stuck or tongue tied since you’re operating in real time. Over a text message, you can think about what your response will be so you don’t blow it with your love interest or get in trouble by your parents. Text messaging also requires a lot less motivation. It’s really effortless to respond and reply to friends.
Cons: Intentions can easily be misinterpreted. It’s really hard to use sarcasm through text,. Even with emoji’s, sarcasm is still a lot more inferior to a real voice. Most instant texting programs have a limit to how much you can send in a single message. This makes text messaging inefficient for long form communication.
Another big problem with text messaging is that you never really know who’s looking at the messages. Someone can sneak a peak at the phone while their buddy or significant other is in the shower.
As you’ve already noticed, each method of communication has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Whichever method you decide to use is completely situational. Some methods of communication completely dominate others for a certain scenario, while others are just out right easier to use.
For casual conversation, text messaging is easily the most effect. For long form and professional communication, email is king. For very important and emergency situations, phone calls grab your undivided attention and give the best illustration of emotions through out the conversation.