Should I First Text, Or Can I Call Straight Away?

Flashback to three decades and earlier: the doorbell rings, and someone goes to answer the buzz. At times, excitement fills the air. It is a dear friend or a relative who has come to pay us a visit. We are extremely thrilled.

It never crossed our minds why a guest had come unannounced!

It’s an impressive statistic that India’s telecommunication network with regard to the number of telephone users is the second largest in the world. However, it was a totally different landscape during our childhood and adolescent days. Very few homes had telephones, so people had no choice but to drop by at someone’s place without informing them. Sometimes, the prospective hosts were not at home, and it was just a wild goose chase. That was however the natural way of life that everyone accepted.

More telephones began to ring, and people started thinking differently

The only thing that is constant is change, and that was gradually noticed when it came to social interactions. With the number of phone users increasing, people realized that it was better to call beforehand if the family that they were visiting owned a phone. It worked to the advantage of both parties.

While the hosts would not be surprised to see someone at their doorstep, the ones visiting could make sure that whoever they wanted to meet was home. Also, one could save himself or herself the embarrassment of getting the feeling of an unwanted guest. These days, it has become a norm that a guest rarely comes without notice.

What about nice, long, interesting conversations over the phone? Yes, that is such an easy way to keep in touch with friends and acquaintances. Even after being in the same city, you may be too busy to go and meet someone physically. So the best way to keep in contact is to just call that person once in a while.

Miles apart, you feel closer talking to loved ones and getting to know about what is happening in each other’s lives. Video calls these days have bridged the gap even more.

So can you just lift the phone and call? Hang on!

It is 2023, and we have moved far ahead from the time when we were excited to just dial or punch in the number and call someone. Unwritten rules governing phone call etiquette have emerged these days. There are the do’s and don’ts, and here are some of these pointers:

  • Text before you call someone. Ask if it is okay to call, and ask for a convenient time.
  • Everything depends on the power of communication. A text message, if not written the right way, may cause misunderstandings. For important matters to be discussed, it is better to call than text.
  • After sending a message, give the recipient some time to respond.
  • A video call is always fun, but do not initiate it without the consent of the other person.
  • As a recipient, you always have the choice to sometimes not pick up a call if it is not convenient to do so. You can always text back explaining the reason.
  • Unless it is some emergency, don’t call a person again if they don’t pick up. If it is really urgent, text and request the person to call you back.

Have these rules of phone etiquette intrigued or irritated you?

Well, it is not at all unusual to wonder if the warmth of human relationships is waning away slowly. Why is everything becoming so formal? And why do we need to think so deeply to even make a call?

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Relax, and be at ease. The rule of thumb is that a lot matters on your closeness to the people you need to call. Not everyone can be your 2 AM friend!  But there are those individuals that you can call at the oddest hour or on whose door you can knock at any time. So it is advisable that you weigh the factors and make your own wise judgment.

Socializing can be very dicey; you definitely need to know to make the smart move. And keep in mind that you have to accommodate, accept, learn, and go with the flow!


About the Author

Rashmi Bora Das

Rashmi Bora Das is a freelance writer settled in the suburbs of Atlanta. She has a master’s degree in English from India, and a second master’s in Public Administration from the University of read more...

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