To Call or Not to Call

Just be transparent.

Ah, the age-old question. People (65% women, 35% men) have been asking this question for centuries. The earliest reports date back to the agrarian societies of Mesopotamia (“To carrier pigeon or not to carrier pigeon?”), and they continue to this very day.

These days, the question applies to a number of technologies beyond the phone. To text or not to text. To e-mail or not to e-mail. To Facebook friend or not?

Here is my no-drama, no-nonsense answer: Taking social cues into account, if you want to call, do it! Stop guessing what the other person wants you to do…within reason. They might be trying to tell you something through the way they communicate with you.

Some easy social cues that are often ignored:

  • Duration between contact (calls/e-mails/texts)
  • Length of e-mails/texts
  • Number of questions

For example, if you’re really excited about someone, but they just took 9 hours to e-mail you, wait a while before e-mailing them. If their next e-mail comes quicker, you can speed things up a bit too. Same goes if you see a pattern of increased time ranges.

The actual content of e-mails are great social cues as well, but don’t read too into them. But just think about the way you think. If you’re really excited about someone, you’re probably going to write a longer e-mail with lots of questions. If the person responds with a much shorter e-mail and no questions, either they’re not that excited about you or that not that good at conversation (or e-mail). I’d say the only positive connotation that shorter e-mails could have is that you’ve reached the point where the person would rather talk to you face-to-face than over e-mail.

The bottom line is, everybody’s better off if you act on your own desires but out of consideration for the other person. So if you want to call, do it!

Daily Quickie: What technologies would you have in your dream condo? Flat-panel televisions? Surround sound? What about the bedroom or the bathrooms?

4 thoughts on “To Call or Not to Call”

  1. Is the follow up post about the important differences between different mediums of messages, and how that should/does impact the communication? One of the cornerstones of media research is that “The Medium is the Message,” suggesting that the choice of medium (method of transmitting content) is as important as the content that is intended to be communicated. An example of this is that being dumped via text feels terrible because text message is impersonal, text is short, non-interactive, where the content of the message often has strong emotiona attached to it.


Leave a Reply

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading