PsychNology Journal, Volume 5, Number 1, 33 – 57

Texters not Talkers: Phone Call Aversion among Mobile Phone Users

Ruth Rettie
Business School, Kingston University, UK



This paper argues that there are two types of mobile phone user. The study focused on the interactional experience of mobile phone calls and text messages. The research involved 32 UK mobile phone users and included extended interviews, 24-hour communication diaries, mobile phone bills and an analysis of text messages. The sample was evenly divided between men and women, and between two age bands, 21 - 34 years and over 35 years. In line with earlier work by Reid and Reid (2005a), two different groups emerged from the research: Talkers, who prefer talking on the phone, but use text messages as a convenient complementary medium, and Texters, who are uncomfortable on the phone and prefer to send text messages. The paper explains the distinction between the two groups in terms of phone aversion, and relates this to difficulties in the presentation of self. For those who are phone averse, SMS is a ground-breaking technology, providing the remote social connection that they cannot enjoy in phone calls.



mobile phone, cell phone, text messages, SMS, phone aversion.


Rettie R. (2007). Texters not Talkers: Phone Call Aversion among Mobile Phone Users. PsychNology Journal, 5(1), 33 – 57. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from

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