I’m reading the Aziz Ansari’s book “Modern Romance: An Investigation“, in which he accused men of being bozos for asking a girl out by texting instead of calling her. According to Ansari, calling a girl is a sign of courage and seriousness, while “texting facilitates flakiness and rudeness.” His observation is consistent with the advice I often see in dating columns (yeah I’m that kind of girl who reads dating columns), and I think it might as well be the most outdated advice ever, at least where I live.
At Stanford, calling is pretty much dead. A couple of weeks ago, I asked my friends at Stanford when was the last time they got a call from anyone. For my friend Tessera, the only calls she gets is from her sister and her Mom, and the last call was a few days ago. For Tucker, his last call was from one of his closest friends (probably me) a week ago. For me, it was a call from somebody who tried to sell me car insurance (I don’t even have a car). In general, everyone agrees that they get only a couple of calls a week, mostly from people very close to them or from people they do not want to ever hear from.
It’s not that my friends and I aren’t popular. Maybe we are, but let’s not rub it in. We not only don’t receive many calls but also don’t feel comfortable calling someone. I don’t want to call people out of respect for their time. If I text someone, they can respond to me in their own time. But if I call, I demand their immediate attention. They might be in the middle of something–everyone in Silicon Valley is busy–and my call might distract them. Even if they don’t pick up, they might still lose a few seconds to hang up the phone, which can interrupt a meeting or a lecture.
If I need to talk to someone, I often send a text asking if it is a good time to talk first. Most of my friends do the same thing, that’s why whenever my phone vibrates (I silenced my SMS notification), I immediately think that it must be something really urgent.
I agree with Ansari that texting can be annoying. I know a lot of people text out of boredom, which is time-consuming. I’ve also texted back and forth with someone for a long time without solving anything. I’ve also had people ignore my texts, which is kind of upsetting. But texting is as annoying as you let it be. If you don’t entertain aimless texts then people will stop sending you aimless texts. My friends know that I hate small talks so they don’t text me unless they have something to say. I get out of a conversation before it drags on and on. I also stop texting people who ignore my texts so they can’t upset me anymore.
The bottom line is if you want to ask me out, text me. K bye.