When Should You Call Someone vs Text Them?

Call Someone vs Text


We’re all busy, and it can be tempting to send a text rather than pick up the call. But at what point do you know when it’s time to reach out in real time? We have some tips for you!

It’s a family emergency.

If it’s an emergency and you need to reach someone immediately, text them. If you really need to get a message across quickly, or if there is any concern about the person’s safety (or emotional state), then calling might be the better option.

If your mother is sick and you can’t find her number in her phone because she doesn’t give out her number often, call her instead of texting. If your brother is having trouble with his boss at work, call him before sending him several texts asking what’s wrong. To save time when contacting people who are hard to reach or don’t have access to their phones all day long (like my grandmother who lives in China) use the phone!

You think they might be in danger.

You should reach out in person if:

  • You think they’re in danger. Calling someone is always the best way to check on them if you’re worried about their wellbeing. While text messages are great for staying in touch with friends and family, they don’t offer the same level of reassurance as hearing a voice over the phone.
  • They aren’t answering their phone or replying to your texts. Even if someone doesn’t answer your call, sending them an SMS will force them to look at their screen and see what it says—and that gives you an opportunity to get through (or at least know) whether they’re okay!

You need an immediate answer.

You may want to call your friend when you need an immediate answer. If they’re in the middle of something, like a meeting or class, and can’t text back right away, it’s probably better to just call them. You can ask them if it’s okay to call instead of texting and then make sure they understand why you’re calling (i.e., because you need an immediate answer).

If someone asks you whether or not it’s okay for them to call instead of texting, explain that this is what works best for your needs at that moment—if it’s possible for both parties to communicate without texting first then by all means do so!

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It’s a more complicated conversation than you usually have via text.

In these cases, it’s easy to get off track or for the person on the other end of the line to be distracted. That’s why you should never make an important phone call when you’re in a public place with lots of noise or distractions. You need your full attention for these kinds of conversations.

If it’s something that can wait until later or doesn’t need immediate action, then text them instead! It’ll save you both time and energy (and maybe even your sanity).

You’re not great at conveying emotions via text, or know that someone else isn’t either.

Texting is a great way to keep in touch with someone, but it can be hard to convey emotions via text. You might not be great at conveying what you’re feeling, and you may also be sending text messages to someone who isn’t good at doing so themselves. If you know that someone else has trouble with this, avoid using texts as your only method of communication. Texts are also more likely to cause misunderstandings because they lack facial expressions and other non-verbal cues that help us understand the tone of conversations in person. So if you want to avoid hurting someone’s feelings or having an argument over an online misunderstanding, call them instead!

The other person you interact with is much better on the phone than via text, and vice versa.

One of the most important points to remember when considering whether to call or text someone is that the other person you interact with is much better on the phone than via text, and vice versa.

For example: If you know that your mom prefers to use video calls over voice calls, then you can call her while she’s sitting in front of her computer, rather than forcing her to pick up a phone and hold it up to her ear. This can be helpful if she has any health issues that make holding a phone in place difficult—or even impossible—which is something that might not come up during an ordinary conversation without prompting.

If your husband or wife struggles with technology and isn’t comfortable using apps like WhatsApp Messenger or Snapchat (even though these are generally easier ways for people who don’t like talking on phones), then simply sending them texts might be more convenient for both parties involved!

You always talk on the phone when you need to get something off your chest.

  • If you always talk on the phone when you need to get something off your chest, it’s time for a change.
  • It’s more difficult to communicate over text than in person because of all the subtle cues that go missing. You can’t read their body language or hear their tone of voice and they might not respond well if they think you’re angry with them or upset about something.
  • The only way to really get an idea of what someone is thinking or feeling is by having a one-on-one conversation with them.

They sound like they could use a friendly voice on the other end of the line.

It’s important to note that you should never call someone just to check in, even if you think they might need a friendly voice on the other end of the line. This is called “checking in for checking in’s sake” and it can be extremely hurtful and annoying. If you know someone who constantly needs reassurance or validation from others, try finding ways to help them on your own instead of putting out more effort than necessary—if they want you to talk with them, they will ask.


The takeaway is that you should call someone when you need to have a more in-depth conversation. You should text someone when you want to make a quick comment, or if it’s after hours and you don’t want them to worry about whether or not they’ll be disturbed by your call. And if the person is far away from any other human being, call them—it will help with the loneliness!


These are just some of the scenarios where you might want to pick up the phone instead of sending a text. But if none of those seem like they fit for you, then don’t worry—you and your friend are probably fine!

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