Why Millennials Text More Than They Call

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — When Olivia Johnson feels anxious about talking to someone, she prefers to text.

"When you talk, it's more intimate than texting but it depends really on your relationship with the person," Johnson told MainStreet. "Some people have a hard time with communication even with important news."

The 27-year old banker prefers hearing a person's voice by telephone but admits to texting when she's in a rush.

"If you already have a foundation, then you can text but sometimes texting can be used to avoid," Johnson said.

Like Johnson, when asked what type of communication they use the most, 56% of consumers said a phone call compared to 25% who chose text, according to study from Vonage.

"The tone, emotion and inflection in someone's voice helps to paint a complete picture when having a conversation on the telephone," said Barbara Goodstein, chief marketing officer with Vonage. "The change in a person's tone, stuttering, pausing, hesitation, a sigh, their genuine laughter are all things that mean so much in a conversation that can be easily lost in a text."

The study also found that Millennials text more than they call, but 67% stop texting and start calling when it comes to sharing special moments.

"Millennials clearly understand the impact hearing the news live will have on the other person," Goodstein said.

The study also found that 87% of Millennials have misinterpreted a text.

"To avoid misinterpreting a text, stick to messaging to relay simple, straightforward information," said Goodstein.

Also See: Teen Texting Is Out of Control

In fact, 51% of adults have been disappointed to receive a text or email to learn about a special moment.

"When I'm dating a guy, I expect him to communicate with me by the phone because texting keeps you separate," said Johnson. "A text is isolating romantically."

Some 71% said a phone call is their first choice of communication if they can't meet in person.

"There's nothing quite like hearing someone's voice to make an emotional connection," Goodstein told MainStreet. "Text conversations can be stretched in time if people are slow to respond and the conversation can sometimes lose its significance as a result."

A good rule of thumb is that when a subject matter is complex or requires follow-up questions, pick up the phone.

"Texting is often shorthand, an edited version of a discussion, because the nature of the communication is to keep it short," Goodstein said. "On the other hand, a phone call allows for a person's natural personality to come through and enables them to share all the details of a particular story or situation."

When it comes to family, 35% of men said they call their spouse or significant other the most compared to 25% of women who call their children.

"There is nothing like hearing a loved one's voice when you can't be together and this research shows that the majority of people feel the same way," said Goodstein. "Communication is about connecting and live conversation trumps texting when it comes to that special connection."

--Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet

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