It’s Time to Have a Mass (Text) for the Death of the Phone Call


Text messaging is reshaping the way we use our cellular phones. (Photo Illustration by Anthony Gong/The Observer)

There’s no use denying it-we’re addicted to our cell phones. And with the capability to text, surf the Web, take pictures and so much more, who can really blame us? But thanks to all these new capabilities, the phone’s most basic feature, the phone call, is becoming obsolete.

“According to Nielsen Media, even on cell phones, voice spending has been trending downward, with text spending expected to surpass it within three years,” writes Pamela Paul in her New York Times article “Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You.”

And that doesn’t come as a surprise to Fordham College at Lincoln Center students who’ve long accepted texting as their preferred method of communication.

Katerina Smotrich, FCLC ’13, said, “I prefer using any form of communication over physically speaking over the phone.”

Though most FCLC students choose texting, their reasons for choosing it vary. Some prefer how quick the method is, because it allows them to get their message across regardless of whether or not they are able to have a full conversation.

Jessica Lella, FCLC ’12, said, “I mostly use my phone for texting [because] it’s a quick way to contact someone.”

Others enjoy the flexibility that comes with texting. Leon Telis, FCLC’12, said, “I prefer texting because if someone is not able to pick up the phone, they can answer whenever they become available.”

Some prefer texting because it allows them to avoid the awkward pauses of a phone conversation and carefully choose their words.

“When you’re typing a text message, you have the ability to check if you’ve said everything you wanted. Your head is clear and you can ask everything you wanted in one shot,” Smotrich adds.

Then there are those who use texting because most of their friends prefer it, too. Their chosen method of communication depends on who they plan to contact.

Nancy Chen, FCLC ’12, said, “Most of my friends prefer receiving texts rather than hearing my voice so, unfortunately, texting has become my main form of communication when I talk to friends.”

At times though, the nature of the conversation or the person on the other end of the phone makes vocal communication necessary, but students try to determine what is the most efficient way to exchange a message.

Lella said, “I definitely prefer to use my phone to text or call, depending on the length and importance of the conversation. Texting is fast and easy, but if I need to have a long conversation or say something important I would call someone.

Leonard adds, “Every once and a while, I will talk to a friend on the phone rather than texting to catch up.”

Chen said, “If it is an adult, I will usually call first. If I’m trying to contact friends from college, high school or elsewhere, I often just go straight to the text message because I will usually get a quicker response than leaving a voicemail.”

But there are some students who still take advantage of the phone’s most basic feature. They offer a few reasons that suggest the phone call might never truly die out.

Chen said, “I prefer calls over texts because texting takes so much more energy than just telling someone what you wish to tell them.”

Jordana Cotilletta, FCLC ’12, added, “Calling is good because if someone picks up right away, you get what you need to say out of the way instead of having to wait for a text back.”

FCLC students do still use phone calls as a method of communication, just like the rest of the country, their much more likely to choose to text. It’s also a lot easier to do under the table in class.