If you want to talk, don't text. Call.

Mara Kumagai Fink
Mara Kumagai Fink is a sophomore at St. Olaf College in Northfield. She is participating in Minnesota Public Radio's Youth Radio Series.
MPR Photo/Sasha Aslanian

Everyone always acts like it's the strangest thing they've ever heard. A 21-year-old college student who hasn't jumped on the texting bandwagon.

There are plenty of other technologies I have embraced. I love Facebook, and I use email constantly, and of course I have a cell phone. But texting just doesn't do it for me.

There was a time I didn't feel that way. A few years back I remember begging my dad to add texting to our plan. He told me I was welcome to pay for it. I measure everything in the cost of burritos. I thought about it and realized I could buy two burritos every month for the amount it would cost to text. That's 24 burritos every year ... not worth it.

And even if it wasn't so expensive, I'm not sure I'd use it. So many arguments and misunderstandings break out over text messaging.

A girl sends a text to her boyfriend. He doesn't reply. She assumes he must be mad at her ... when really he's just stressed out and doesn't have time to write back. If she'd just picked up the phone, she would have known. Crisis averted.

With grades, drunk roommates and nagging parents, college life has plenty of drama, without adding one more layer to the chaos.

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People always say texting is more convenient than talking on the phone, but in many situations, it would take less time to do it the old-fashioned way. Why not just call the person and get the conversation over in five seconds rather than continuing a long string of text messages that takes 10 minutes? It's called efficiency.

Also, texting allows people to not actually tell people things to their faces. They use it to avoid confrontation.

One guy at my school said he'd rather fight with his girlfriend over texting because it's less annoying. Seriously? Man up and go talk to the girl.

Texting also has a way of making people forget their manners. I'll be talking to a friend and all of a sudden she'll start texting someone else. It's like the conversation happening in front of them can never be as interesting as the text message they just received.

But the main reason I haven't joined the texting craze is that I'd rather talk to my friends and hear a real voice talking back to me. In fact, my phone plan blocks texting, so I don't even receive them. I'm not sure how many people I've made angry by unknowingly failing to respond to their text messages, but for now, you can have your texting. I'll just enjoy my burrito.


Mara Kumagai Fink, a former MPR intern, is a student at St. Olaf College.