Is all of this texting hurting your relationships? Probably.

Is all of this texting hurting your relationships? Probably.

5 reasons you should call, not text.

According to a poll by Gallup, “Texting is the dominant way of communicating for Americans under 50.”

But why?

Experts point to insecurity, social anxiety, and a hunger for convenience as root causes for this shift from voice calls to text messages. Ironically, when we avoid phone conversations, we fail to develop and practice necessary social skills, and that stops us from wanting to have phone conversations. It’s a vicious cycle.

Now, experts are speaking out about why it’s important to pick up the cell phone for a voice call rather than rely on texting for communication.

Read on to find out why taking—and making—more voice calls might help you avoid breakups, decrease your anxiety, and build your confidence. Then, call your mom.

1.All that texting is making you lonely.

More communication, more connection—right? Unfortunately, no.

According to an article on Vice, “there’s a growing body of evidence pointing to the theory that we in Western society are experiencing loneliness at ever-increasing levels.” Experts see this as directly linked to the amount of voiceless tech we employ in our relationships.

There’s more to voice calls than tonal cues. The voice actually plays a huge part in improving our mood and making us feel less alone. According to Diana Sidtis, a professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, the voice is hard-wired into our sense of survival and community.

A study done by University of Wisconsin in 2010 looked at the hormones released in the body when we hear human voices. The hypothesis, and found result, was that “hearing the human voice can trigger the body to release the hormone oxytocin and reduce the production of cortisol.” That means that talking out your problems on the phone or simply calling your parent or friend could lead to a reduction in stress, anxiety, and loneliness, on a chemical level.

Voice calls can also help you build necessary social skills. Some developmental psychologists “worry [young people] aren’t developing interpersonal skills.” That’s right, phone conferences can actually help you “think, reason, and reflect.” Text messages simply don’t do the trick.

2.Sorry: It’s not faster to text.

Phone conversations can seem long and drawn out. In reality, they shorten the distance between a question and a response and they shrink the possibility for misinterpretation.

As an article from Town & Country points out, calling is actually effective because “you can get everything you want out in a single correspondence.” When a conversation happens mostly over text, you’re tempted to multi-task: often putting your phone down, and even forgetting a conversation is happening. In addition to signaling, even unintentionally, that you are unavailable or disinterested, this slows down the process of solving problems and communicating ideas.

3.93% of communication is non-verbal.

A conversation is more than words. According to a study done by UCLA, “Up to 93 percent of communication is non-verbal. Our tone of voice makes up to 38 percent and body language makes up the remaining 55 percent.” The best way to understand someone’s true intent is to see and hear them so you can pick up on their body language as well as their tone. The best alternative to a face to face, or face to screen, conversation is a voice call.

In a voice call, unlike an sms, you can hear vocal inflections. This can help you better understand what your companion is trying to communicate. But that’s not all. Imagine for a moment that your friend has just received terrible news. You’re unaware and send a petty complaint about your partner or a silly joke. This is innocent, poor timing on your part. Using the phone for a voice call could protect you from this: your friend could either decline your call, or they would answer and give you the opportunity to sense something is off. When you pick up the cell phone and make a voice call, you can discern mood of your companion and better understand how they receive your words.

This is especially important for long-distance couples who rely on cell phones to build and grow their relationships. Which brings us to our next point…
4.Relationships are built with voice conversations.

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Is texting hurting my relationship?,” your instincts might be right.

All relationships, romantic or not, require conversations to grow. The process of growing to know someone through conversation is called “self-disclosure.” According to an article on Psychology Today, “self-disclosure” is “a practice of communication where one person shares information, such as thoughts, feelings, likes/dislikes, goals, failures, about herself or himself to another.”

The process of self-disclosure continues over time like the peeling of an onion, deepening your relationships.

According to Tyler Turk, CEO of Crafted with Love, “In new relationships, it is essential that you maximize the opportunities to build [sic] intimacy, but also to avoid any situations that might probit it.” Turk, fairly, presents texting as a hindrance to relationship growth. When you’re texting, you only see words. As Turk puts it, “you are left knowing what they are saying and missing how they feel. […]” As a result, you often misunderstand your partner…but you also fail to learn about who they are: things like how they sound when they’re sad and what truly makes them laugh. When we avoid phone conversations, we fail to learn thee intimate details about our partners and friends. Ultimately, it weakens our relationships as well as our social skills at large.

Weak links in our friendships and romantic partnerships can lead to anxiety and insecurity, as well as the disintegration of the relationship. In fact, experts say “consistent amounts of text-messaging behavior can drive you apart from those you’re closest with.”

Here’s how you can fix this

If you have anxiety about making a phone call, you’re in the majority. But this anxiety not insurmountable.

Start by simply asking a friend if they’d like to give you a call. Many of us are conditioned only to text. It can feel awkward to call someone up out of the blue. When you take a moment to, yes, text them to ask if they’d be up for a call, you alleviate some of this discomfort.

Once you’ve determined you’re both up for a call, you can set yourself up for success in a few ways: prepare yourself by practicing your opening and smiling before you speak, make sure you’re on time, and be succinct and ready to listen.

Ready to practice? Download Hapi and make a call today. Our Listeners are available 24/7 to help you boost your mood and sharpen your voice call skills today.

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