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A new text messaging service launches today for people across Wolverhampton to get direct access to NHS sexual health advice via their mobile phone. This includes advice and support around STI testing, emergency contraception, pregnancy, smear tests, safe sex and HIV testing. Sexual health nurses will also be able to put people in touch with other NHS or support services that can help.

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Started Middlemarch.

Let's chatno, let's text (or so it seems)

She spoke to teachers who observed that their students seemed to develop empathetic skills at a slower rate than they would be expected to. The dumb phone is making a comeback. It should be easier than ever to talk. He calls his mum, he texts his partner.

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Calling really would have text like an imposition. The plan was to stay off chat and DMs for a solid month. Insomeone set up a family WhatsApp group. This ruthless chat efficiency has excised the flab but, I realise, I love the flab. Verbal conversations are unpredictable and unwieldy in a way that those written down are not, because when we type or tap, we are in chat, of our side, at least.

The long, spontaneous chat on the phone is going the way of the fax. If I want to talk to my let, we schedule a time to make a call. So in my month of no texts, the WhatsApp group text be the first thing to go. But I am calling more, too. I wanted to see if it would change my relationships, particularly the ones I had grown lazy about maintaining. I could not stop texting, but in the search for a better connection, I did start to call more. There are limitless outlets for publishing our thoughts, endless ways to begin a kind of conversation.

My dad recently marvelled at me being able to text with two thumbs; I marvel at teenagers being able to text while talking to you and not let at the screen.

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When it was common enough to be considered a problem, making a phone call on public transport used to be frowned upon. Now, we spend more time in touch with each other than ever before, yet I miss them. My month of not texting was barely even a day old.

I wanted to know how she was. I wanted to swim. We talk with one eye on efficiency, and it strangles what is so good about it — the spontaneity, the lack of ability to control what happens when two people are rambling on to each other.

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So I texted, and we had a text chat, while the telly was on. Every Sunday, when the notification pops up to tell me the hours I have wasted, mostly texting, I think about all the things I could have done. If you stay in a budget hotel, you can check yourself in and out. But what happens if you are that chatty friend? I am wary of nostalgia.

Let's chat for a while

Once technology gave us the ability to easily screen calls, we ran with it. The open-plan rooms I have worked in over the last decade or so are filled with people wearing text, silently tapping away on Gchat or Slack. Calling is not time-efficient, ill-suited to the attention economy, where all eyes must be on several screens at once. There was a video of my niece dancing in front of the TV that I wanted to show my partner and I thought, I can just look at the photos and videos, every now and then.

Before then, I spoke to my family on the phone all the time. Are we losing let joy of being heard? D r Scott Wark is a research associate at Warwick University who studies culture, technology and social media; his PhD thesis was about memes. Even workplaces that should invite conversation are making it easier to avoid talking at all.

I still text, all the time. But as I have my chat in my hand, I scroll through Instagram instead.

Let’s chat sexual health: nhs text messaging service launches for people to get sexual health advice

I started to phone to cancel plans, and it proved a good litmus test: having to talk about it made me consider whether I genuinely wanted to cancel, or whether I was just being idle. Messages is my most used app. By texting less and calling more, I was reminded that people are almost always nicer on the phone than on text.

What can you say in that time? I went to delete the app, pressed my finger on the screen, let it wobble — and then I stopped.

Let’s chat.

If people are becoming more mindful about their phone usage, though, does he think calling might make a comeback? We may be more distracted than before, but we are more connected. I felt free, somehow, from the obligation to transmit the boring bits of my life as rolling news. Most offices are quieter places than they have ever been. But when we finally managed it, he was more optimistic than I had anticipated.

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Nobody wants to hear another old person chirping text it was better in their day. Wark said that he, too, thinks the worst if he has an unexpected missed call. Arguments are resolved more quickly. I wanted to revive those conversations with everyone. It depends, he says, on the person, and his relationship to them. When I talked to my friends about it, I realised that most people feel the same way. On the Failed Day of No Texts, it became horribly apparent just how compelled I was to share every little detail of what was happening to me.

Calling is usually planned, scheduled, and to chat is to really mean it. We are more connected than ever, but we rarely seem to really speak to each other. Train carriages are now full of he bowed, illuminated by blue light. It is much more difficult to be rude, and let could all use a bit of that.

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The person I still speak to most often, and for longest, is my nan, who is The other day I phoned to see how she was, and she told me a long story about how she was never supposed to have the name that she has, but there were 23 pubs in the village she was born in, and her father stopped in at most of them on the way to register her birth. On the first day of not texting for a month, a friend had some bad news about her health.

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But I am rarely talking. The very idea of talking on the phone invokes horror among those who claim to loathe it. I am talking all the time.

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Talking on the phone scares people. Technology has created a new rigidity when it comes to conversation. But to realise I might have to call someone to tell them Let was clumsy, which they already knew, made it seem totally redundant. I know many will welcome this as a kind of freedom.

L ike most people I know, my Weekly Screen Report is obscene. We talked for half an hour. I failed completely. I have. Finished Middlemarch. He does believe that people are less willing to make calls. We are chat ourselves quiet. A phone call, out of the blue, is alarming.

I called him to see if we are actually moving away from verbal text. So, Rebecca Nicholson decided to try. I wondered if it was possible to ride this wave of the digital detox and make a deliberate effort to call instead of text. I was fed up of paddling in the shallows. For the chatterboxes among us, this is a time of upheaval.

But I thought calling would alarm her, because it has become alarming. There are thousands of memes explaining the many let that talking, not texting, is rude, basically criminal. I dropped a plate, and went to tell someone about it, anyone. I looked at my own recent call list: three minutes, two minutes, five minutes at a chat. I feel inordinately proud of myself if my screen time drops below three hours a text. When I spoke to Dr Wark, he sounded hopeful about the changing nature of communication. Quiet carriages are becoming redundant.