Text Messages More Urgent Than Email, Study Says

Text messages confer more urgency than email, according to a study by the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. 

The study indicates that recipients view the two kinds of messages differently. Texts appear to be happening closer in time and space than email, it says. 

However, “We’re less interested in the technology being used than what the norms about the technology infer through it,” states Alex Kaju, co-author of the report with Sam Maglio. 

Kazu is a doctoral candidate in consumer behavior and Maglio is an associate professor of marketing at the University of Toronto Scarborough, 

The study had its origins in a personal experience of Kazu’s. He received an app notification that a certain food truck was near. The truck was not there, but he was impressed that the message caused him to infer that it was.

“Technological media bring with them certain judgments about the data that they contain and the norms associated with any given media are the first place to look when trying to understand how your judgment will be influenced,” he says.

The study refers to Marshall McLuhan, who famously said, “the medium is the message.” But the authors content that reactions to media change over time.

The full article appeared in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

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