Texting vs Calling

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Method Discussion Adults ages 30 years or younger prefer texting over talking on the phone Rachel Day Elsie Pride Elizabeth Cuellar Jessica Ruiz Azusa Pacific University References Results Participants were selected by convenience at Azusa Pacific University (graduate and undergraduate students), as well as other surrounding communities including friends and family. There were a total of 16 participants (11 females, 5 males, M_age=24, age range: 19-30 years). Our participants were 56.3% Hispanic, 25% White, and 18.7% Other ethnicity. The results revealed that most participants agree that texting is more convenient than talking on the phone (M=3.38, SD=1.26) and that they would much rather text than call someone (M=2.38, SD=0.96). Several of the articles posed the idea that age was determinant of the preference between texting and calling. Tulane and Becker (2013) stated that texting has become part of the adolescent culture and is slowly permeating young adult’s communication culture as well. As technology has become increasingly advanced and widespread, texting has become a popular form of communication. Now, not only do adults have cell phones, but also adolescents. According to a study, “most adolescents consider cell phone texting as their primary source of communication” (Tulane & Beckert, 2013, p. 395). The study compared text usage between female adolescents with female college student. Researchers found that adolescents had higher rates of texts per day they sent and received than college adults. Literature Review Preference in Calling Rather than Texting Texting is More Convenient than Taking on the Phone Donna J. Reid and Fraser J.M. Reid. CyberPsychology & Behavior. June 2007, 10(3): 424-435.doi:10.1089/cpb.2006.9936.

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Literature Review As technology has become increasingly advanced and widespread, texting has become a popular form of communication. Now, not only do adults have cell phones, but also adolescents. According to a study, “most adolescents consider cell phone texting as their primary source of communication” (Tulane & Beckert, 2013, p. 395). The study compared text usage between female adolescents with female college student. Researchers found that adolescents had higher rates of texts per day they sent and received than college adults. They also found that adolescents are more tech savvy than adults. Texting seems to “be an important part of the adolescent cell phone culture” (Tulane & Beckert, 2013, p. 396). When comparing the amount of text, college students sent from 2 to 25,543 texts a month and adolescent sent from 3 to 30,000. According to the result, age impacts your preference of texting versus calling. Texting has been the new American lifestyle. Since texting has increased, calling has decreased, especially in the adolescent and young adult culture. Not only has texting increased in the United Sates, but also in other countries such as England. “In a study, England concluded that teens (16 to 19 years old) cell phone and SMS use functions as a ‘gift-giving rituals’ in that the act of exchanging texts is imbued with meaning…”(Kell, Keaton, Becker, Cole, Littleford, & Rothe, 2012, p. 2).

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In the study, the studies talked about the synchronous nature of texting. Although it was limiting, it was more advantageous because it allowed the participants more time to think about how they were going to reply as oppposed to a phone call where they have to immediately respond to the other person. Although most people prefer texting over calling, researchers have found that calling raises level of oxytocin and decrease levels of cortisol. According this study, Leslie says, “we’re not sure why [texting increases levels of oxytocin], but maybe hearing the voice is special. Hearing someone’s voice is not only able to convey tone and sincerity, but also identity” (Salamon, 2013, p. 1). This theory begs to question whether that is the reason older people prefer calling versus texting. In this era, parents are allowing their teenagers to have a cell phone at a very young age. According to the Pew Research Center (2012), “77% of those ages 12-17 have a cell phone.” The study says that since 2009 to 2011, the cell phone ownership of adolescent has decreased by 11%. The studies are out as to how much adolescent cell phone ownership has increased since the last study in 2011.

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Not only does age make a difference for preference of texting versus calling but personality does as well. According to the article, Text or Talk? Social Anxiety, Loneliness, and Divergent Preferences for Cell Phone use (2007), “lonely participants preferred making voice calls and related texting as a less intimate method of contact to be used only as a last resort, whilst anxious participants estimated making fewer voice calls and preferred text, achieving expressive and intimate contact using this medium.” Participants ranged from the ages 16-55, allowing the study to offer a fairly comprehensive view into several generations. The theory may reflect that the older an individual gets and the less social contact they may have, their preferences on the type of communication they have change to support their new lifestyle (Reid and Reid, 2007). Today people of all ages own a cell phone and use both texting and calling but the usage of both depends on the age. “Statistics from the Pew Internet and American Life Project show that, these days, many people with cell phones prefer texting over a phone call. It’s not always young people though, the data indicates that the younger you are, the more likely you are prefer to texting” (Irvine, 2014, p.1). In the study they interviewed a 13-year-old female who said that there are some people who you call, like parents because they do not know how to text, and some people you text, friends.

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Texting had been a form a communication in some school settings which increases adolescent text usage. For example, a principal allowed her student to have her cell phone number to make her more accessible. The principal does it to build connections with her students. She says that at the end of the school day, most students grab their phones and begin to text; it makes them feel less isolated. Adolescent prefer to text more often than adults because they feel lonely or isolated so they want to connect and build connections with their peers. Cell phones can potentially cause conflict for adolescents. According to a result of a study “the use of cell phones was a source of conflict and rule making” (Duran, Kelly, & Rotaru, 2011, p.32). The rule is that each partner expects each other to text them often regardless if they are busy or not. They also are supposed to tell the other person what they are doing at all times. This could possibly be one of the reasons why adolescents text more than adults or prefer to text over calling. Adolescent are no longer connecting with their partners, instead their freedoms are being restricted.

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In another study, researchers “examined college students’ cell-phone use and its associations with interpersonal motives for using cell phones, FTF communication, and loneliness” ( Jin & Park, 2010, p.616). Since college students are more likely to network for job opportunities, they use their cell phones more often than older adults. The study mentions “the extent to which people want to communicate with other people is more strongly linked to their usage of cell phones than their in-person contact or loneliness” ( Jin & Park, 2010, p. 616). Researchers also measured how personality is correlated with actual phone usage. The study presented that there was a significant correlation with personality and phone usage, however “age did not correlate with any of the personality dimension,” (Montag, Blaszkiewicz , Lachmann , Anfone , Sariyaska , Trendfilov , Reuter, & Markowerz , 2014, p. 161). According to the study, age is not a factor when measuring a person’s cell phone usage, whether it is calling or texting.

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Adolescents have set an invisible expectation that friends must reply to their text as opposed to older adults who do not have that expectation. As an adult, people understand that they live a busy life and cannot answer a text; instead, they call as their preference choice. According to a study, adolescents have a mobile maintenance expectation, which “are expectations of relational maintenance made possible by mobile phone technology, including communication through text messages and voice” (Hall & Baym , 2011, p. 30). Adults do not have that obligation and find calling to be a lot quicker and simpler. As technology increases in popularity, texting increases. “In 2011, cell phone owners between ages 18 and 24 years reported an average of 109.5 text messages on a normal day, and among all adults of 18 years and older, the percentage of cell phone owners who used their phone for texting rose from 50% in 2007 to 80% in 2012” (Murdock, 2013, p.207). Adolescents prefer texting versus calling because it is more accessible and more convenient in a variety of settings such as work and school. Adults on the other hand have more flexibility and so prefer to call since it is quicker and convenient.

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Method Participants: Participants were selected by convenience at Azusa Pacific University (graduate and undergraduate students), as well as other surrounding communities including friends and family. There were a total of 16 participants (11 females, 5 males, M_age=24, age range: 19-30 years). Our participants were 56.3% Hispanic, 25% White, and 18.7% Other ethnicity. Materials: Materials that were used to complete this research were; Survey Monkey, and Sakai’s Course Webpage (“The Gals” group section in Forums). SurveyMonkey is an online website that allows for individuals to create surveys or polls for areas they are interested in doing research in. The “Sakai Course Webpage,” is a website that allows for academic institutions to create an online learning environment that allows for students to have access to the professors as well as other students in the same community. For the purpose of this research, Azusa Pacific University’s Sakai’s webpage was used for the “PPSY 572--Research Methodology’s” online course, where “The Gals” group section is found in Forums.

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Procedure: Using “The Gals” group section in Forums for discussion, our group developed a 10 item survey. The survey consisted of 8 quantitative items (1. It is more personal to call rather than text, 2. I only call when absolutely necessary, 3.Talking on the phone is too time consuming…) in which a Likert-type scale was used to measure responses (1. Strongly disagree, 2. Disagree, 3. Neutral, 4. Agree, and 5. Strongly Agree), and 2 qualitative items (9. What are some reasons you prefer texting or calling? 10. What are some reasons that help you decide whether to text or call?). The survey was then sent to the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA), for approval. Once it was approved, the survey was sent out via email with the OIRA “approval header” and link to the survey, to individuals over the age of 18 and under 30 years of age. All participants were given a verbal informed consent. Upon completion of the survey, participants were debriefed, thus, were told what the purpose of the survey was.

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Results

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The results revealed that most participants agree that texting is more convenient than talking on the phone (M=3.38, SD=1.26) and that they would much rather text than call someone (M=2.38, SD=0.96). When participants were asked what helps them decide whether they would call or text someone, most participants stated that they would call instead of sending a text depending on their urgency of the recipients response (43.75% Urgency, 37.5% Issue At Hand [depending on what needed to be said-- content], and 18.75% Length of Text [if what they needed to say was rather long and ‘”lengthy” then they would prefer to call]). Participant survey qualitative questions also revealed that texting was preferred over calling because of its flexibility (qualitative questions were put in the flexibility category if participants used words such as “fast” and “easy”) and the convenience of not having to make “small talk,” (69.23% Flexibility vs. 30.77% Small Talk, based on 81.25% of participant response, N=16). Because of the data, we fail to reject our hypothesis, which states that, “[w]hen communicating with others, adults ages 30 years or younger prefer texting over talking.”

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Even though the data shows that many participants feel more comfortable with texting (M=3.5, SD=0.97), believe that talking on the phone is “time consuming” (M=3.36, SD=1.15), and that texting is more convenient than talking on the phone, most participants agree that calling someone instead of texting them (“calling vs. texting”), makes for a more personal connection (M=4.69, SD=0.48). In the qualitative responses, some participants mentioned calling being better because you get to “hear the voice of the person ” However, according to the survey results, people under 30 years of age or younger prefer to text, and they will not spend more time talking than texting.

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Discussion Several of the articles posed the idea that age was determinant of the preference between texting and calling. Tulane and Becker (2013) stated that texting has become part of the adolescent culture and is slowly permeating young adult’s communication culture as well. Our research study showed that texting over talking was the preferred choice of communication amongst young adults under the age of 30. Our study also showed that although texting is usually preferred, many participants chose to use the method of calling when the discussion topic was of extreme importance or was too long to type through text message. This finding is supported by Irvine (2012) who suggested that although texting is more convenient, calling helps to develop a closer bond and allows the caller to feel heard and understood. Salaman (2013) has presented the research of increased oxytocin levels and decreased cortisol levels during a phone call which supports the idea that individuals call when the topic they wish to discuss carries significance or extreme importance for them.

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When we first started developing ideas for what we wanted to research, we were all discussing these ideas through text. We found that without even realizing it, we all used text messaging as our main source of communication with friends, family and classmates. We all agreed that a study to determine whether texting or talking was preferred as well as hopefully finding reasons why each method was preferred over the other would be interesting in understanding the new communication culture many young people are experiencing today. In our initial discussions, we all assumed that the results of the study would show that in fact, most people prefer texting over talking. As we would later see, the study results reflected those predictions but what we didn’t realize was many people would feel that texting was used for convenience while more intimate and important details were preferred to be shared over the phone rather than through text.

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We did find that we had limitations when creating the survey because we only had the option of using 10 questions. We understood that there were endless possibilities when thinking about topics or reasons why individuals would need to communicate through mobile phones with people in their lives and each one of those reasons could result in a different method of communication. We also felt that we may have limited ourselves to working solely with participants between the ages of 18 and 30 but felt that it was necessary during this project because of the limited amount of time and resources to expand the project further. We were also finding it difficult to work with the data without demographic information from our participants. Although we knew basic information, we felt it would have been much more helpful if we knew more information about the participants and were able to determine what answers were from those specific participants. That information would have allowed us to have clearer and more precise results. Unfortunately we don’t believe that the transferability of our data would be possible with other generations. As we found in the readings, it was recognized that older adults had a penchant for calling possibly because they were unfamiliar with the latest technology, didn’t feel comfortable with texting since they were unfamiliar with the feature and longed for the social connection that calling provided (Reid and Reid, 2007).

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We felt like the data was as relevant as could be for such a small research project. Each member tried to pull from as diverse of a group as possible when selecting participants for the study. Although, as stated above, we felt that more demographic information as well as specificity regarding answers and participants would have been helpful, we all were certain that the general pool of participants was well within our study guidelines and the research offered a small look into the topic of texting versus calling. Ideally, further researcher in this area would be suggested and helpful. A study that would allow researchers to know what participants answered what questions as well as the topics of conversation when participants decided to either call or text would help narrow down why individual decide to call or text and what type of person makes those choices. We felt that this study was limited in what it could share with us but were excited to find that although young adults preferred talking over texting, there was still importance and comfort related to calling. It seemed that all participants agreed with the idea that calling helped develop a strong and more intimate bond. We would have preferred to receive more specific information to develop more concrete findings but think that this was a start in the right direction in understanding the importance of texting and calling in a world quickly moving forward with technological advances.

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References Donna J. Reid and Fraser J.M. Reid. CyberPsychology & Behavior. June 2007, 10(3): 424-435. doi:10.1089/cpb.2006.9936. Duran, R. L., Kelly, L., & Rotaru , T. (2011). Mobile Phones in Romantic Relationships and the Dialectic of Autonomy Versus Connection. Communication Quarterly, 59(1), 19-36-doi:10.1080 /01463373.2011.541336 Hall, J. A., & Baym , N. K. (2012). Calling and texting (too much): Mobile maintenance expectations, (over) dependence, entrapment, and friendship satisfaction. New Media & Society, 14(2), 316-331. doi:10.1177/1461444811415047 Irvine, M. (2012, June 3). Text Messaging: Is Texting Ruining The Art Of Conversation?. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/03/text-messaging-texting- conversation_n_1566408.html Jin , B., & Park, N. (2010). In-Person Contact Begets Calling and Texting: Interpersonal Motives for Cell Phone Use, Face-to-Face Interaction, and Loneliness. Cyberpsychology , Behavior & Social Networking, 13(6), 611-618. doi:10.1089/cyber.2009.0314 Kelly, L., Keaten , J. A., Becker, B., Cole, J., Littleford , L., & Rothe , B. (2012). “It's the American Lifestyle!”: An Investigation of Text Messaging by College Students. Qualitative Research Reports In Communication, 13(1), 1-9. doi:10.1080/17459435.2012.719203 Kessler, S. S. (2009). The Texting Principal. Principal Leadership, 10(1), 30-32 Montag, C., Błaszkiewicz , K., Lachmann , B., Andone , I., Sariyska , R., Trendafilov , B., & ..., A. (2014). Correlating personality and actual phone usage: Evidence from psychoinformatics . Journal Of Individual Differences, 35(3), 158-165. doi:10.1027/16140001/a000139 Murdock, K. K. (2013). Texting while stressed: Implications for students’ burnout, sleep, and well-being. Psychology Of Popular Media Culture, 2(4), 207-221. doi:10.1037/ppm0000012

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Pew Research Center. (2012). Teens, Smartphones and Texting. Retrieved from http:// away.gr/wp- content/uploads/2012/03/PIP_Teens_Smartphones_and_Texting.pdf Salamon , M. (2013). Texting Doesn’t Replace the Feel Good Effects of Talking, Study Says . Retrieved from http://consumer.healthday.com/mental-health-information-25/child psychology- news-125/texting- doesn -t-replace-the-feel-good-effects-of-talking-study says- 672965.html Tulane, S., & Beckert , T. E. (2013). Perceptions of Texting: A Comparison of Female High School and College Students. North American Journal Of Psychology, 15(2), 395-404

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