Call me Maybe?
When I was a kid, we had just one phone in the house. The olive green rotary was attached to the wall in our small kitchen--and this made private phone calls a bit of a challenge. Then my mom discovered the extra, extra long telephone cord at Woolco and my life was transformed. I was able to take that phone across the kitchen, all the way down the hall and into my bedroom. I remember feeling so damn liberated. I spent more hours than I'd like to remember... on the phone. So much so that for my 14th birthday, I received an even more incredible upgrade to my communication platform -- my own phone line.
So, yes, I have a well-established phone chatting history that didn't really slow down until I was introduced to the iPhone.
Like everyone else in 2018, I've been conditioned to start conversations via text message rather than actually using my mobile device as a tool for actually speaking to another person. And yes, it's sometimes easier to communicate via text, but I do really miss the days when I didn't think twice about calling a friend up just because I wanted to chat.
Here's the thing about texting that bugs me the most: what you're trying to say is often lost. There's just no substance to it.
Have you ever tried to use sarcasm on a text message? You probably just sound like an asshole. Without the voice inflections, tone and volume changes, your wit simply won't translate. Trust me, even without the help of auto-correct, my text messages rarely make any sense.
And then there's been those heated discussions I've had via text message. And yes, I've had a few. Flipping to ALL CAPS lock, I'm tapping at the phone as fast as I can, getting madder and madder. How stupid is that? All those mean words flying back and forth across cyberspace. But I have SO much more power when I'm typing away on that screen. It's amazing, isn't it? I'm sure you've felt that same freedom. You get to completely control the conversation so you can REALLY tell it like it is. Finally have your say, without having to listen to the other person's perspective.
Hmm...Regrets, yes, I've had a few. And most of them involve this particular scenario: texting when pissed off.
There's no doubt in my mind that the more connected we are through our access to technology, the less connected we are as human beings. We're losing touch with what it means to really communicate. I can't imagine having a heartfelt "conversation" with a friend through text message. But people do it. And it's not just young people anymore.
So, I've decided to make calling my friends a family a priority this year. And I am really and truly going to open up my phone and hit that little green button and call. I'm not going to text to ask permission. I'm going full-on rogue. If it's not a good time to talk, then, I'm guessing, they won't answer the phone. Just like in the old days when the phone on the wall rang and we tripped over each other to get to it --- hoping it was for us. Seems simple enough. I have a phone, my own personal phone... so, I'm calling you. Yes, you.
And I'm inviting you to do the same.
When was the last time you phoned a friend? I bet someone would love to hear your voice. Give it a try. Maybe it will catch on.