When was the last time you had a conversation — on the phone?
As the New York Times notes in its article “Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You” that phone calls are now considered too intrusive. The only phone calls you may make will be to family members or for business purposes. All other communication will be through email, texting, or Facebook (And the last two are rapidly succeeding email). The articles states:
For the most part, assiduous commenting on a friend’s Facebook updates and periodically e-mailing promises to “catch up by phone soon” substitute for actual conversation. With friends who merit face time, arrangements are carried out via electronic transmission. “We do everything by text and e-mail,” said Laurie David, a Hollywood producer and author. “It would be strange at this point to try figuring all that out by phone.”
But sometimes the telephone is better for arranging appointments. One of my professors will only arrange office appointments by telephone as a string of emails hopelessly bouncing schedules back and forth is tedious and time consuming. The telephone allows you to process information and respond more quickly than you could probably type or text.
At least for me, making appointments is the extent of my (cell or tele)phone usage. The last time I had a sustained conversation over the telephone was for an interview. Otherwise telephone communication has been limited to less than a minute and is always a brief message about my whereabouts and details on where to meet up. (A final category of phone calls, which can last longer than either of the above, is telemarketing, but you can manage to cut these short or avoid them altogether.)
Thus, as the article suggests, the telephone has reverted to its original use as a business tool and for communication between separated family members.
What does the demise of telephone calls signify about the culture? Are you becoming less personal, so unsure of yourself that everything you say must be done in electronic text?
Texts, chats, and emails are all efficient means of communication, but when you miss someone or are lost in a world of voiceless people, nothing is better than hearing a human voice respond.