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Send a text, don’t leave a voicemail: What to know about new phone call etiquette


Do you remember the days when everyone had a landline at home? Those hardwired phones are now becoming relics of the past. The mobile phone reigns supreme in our pockets and palms, always ready to connect us to the world.

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Texting: The new etiquette of communication

However, as technology evolves, so does the etiquette surrounding its use. A ringing phone during a Zoom call or family dinner is seen as a rude interruption, but a text is a gentle nudge — more polite and less intrusive.

That’s why texting is the new way of communicating. It’s not just a trend. It’s a sign of how we respect each other’s time and space in this busy world. We text before we call to make sure the other person is free and willing to chat. That’s how we keep in touch without being rude or annoying.

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woman looking at her phone

Here’s why texting is more often preferred over voicemails. (CyberGuy.com)

Why do people prefer texting over calling?

Texting has become the dominant mode of communication in the modern world, surpassing phone calls in popularity and convenience. But what are the underlying reasons behind this preference? Here are some of the sociological factors that influence people’s choice of texting over calling:

Respecting Boundaries: An unexpected call can feel like an unsolicited intrusion. A gentle text beforehand acts as a polite cue, ensuring the recipient is ready for a voice conversation.

The Element of Convenience: Texting provides leeway for dialogue at ease, allowing you to respond amidst your busy life, thus morphing communication into a less daunting task and more of a seamless exchange.

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Privacy Concerns: In an era when public spaces double as personal cubicles, a ringing phone can morph into a source of distraction. Texting offers a discreet channel, keeping the communication noise to a murmur.

Digital Evolution: The textured digital landscape, enriched with read receipts and typing indicators, has nudged texting into a more engaging and informative mode of interaction.

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Emergencies Aside: Emergencies break the mold where the immediacy of a phone call is both warranted and appreciated.

As we morph into this text-first mode, tackling unwanted calls has climbed up the priority ladder. The emergence of mobile solutions to filter out junk calls or add additional lines mirrors this growing necessity.

How can you combat unwanted calls

While texting may be your preferred way of communicating with your friends and family, you may still receive phone calls from unknown or unwanted numbers. Some of these calls may be legitimate, but many of them are spam calls or robocalls that are trying to sell you something or scam you. Here are some ways you can reduce or eliminate spam calls from your phone.

Registering with do-not-call registries: Shield against telemarketers by registering your number with the National Do Not Call Registry.

Utilizing built-in features: Modern smartphones are fortified with features to identify and block suspected spam calls.

Texting on a smartphone

Follow these rules to keep up your phone etiquette. (CyberGuy.com)

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Installing third-party apps: These third-party apps can be like your knight in shining armor against spam calls.

Adding additional phone lines: Adding a free second phone number like Google Voice can create a buffer between personal and professional communications.

Reaching out to your phone carrier: Phone carriers also step into the fray to shield customers from the barrage of spam calls. Explore the features offered by carriers like Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile to combat unwanted calls.

While unexpected phone calls can be annoying, the most annoying thing about cellphones is when people put their phones on speaker and share their calls with the world. This is a no-no anywhere there are other people within earshot.

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Kurt’s key takeaways

The transition to text-before-call etiquette mirrors our digital evolution, creating a respectful prelude to voice communication. It is also a good idea to add mobile solutions like spam-blocking apps and additional phone line services in your battle against unwanted calls.

Are you embracing the text-before-call etiquette? Or are you old school and still call when you want to talk to someone? Does it annoy you that no one picks up the phone anymore? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

For more of my tech tips & security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.

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Answers to the most asked CyberGuy questions:

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