When I worked at Motorola, my awe never wavered. Even on the most difficult days with the pettiest corporate dramas. I was working for the company that invented the cell phone. The cell phone. Now elevated into a smart phone and the main source of how I work and conduct my business. I soon realized how the actual need to TALK on the phone is disappearing.
I know that most of my friends and family prefer the pre-emptive strike of a text before a phone call. Something that goes along the line of, ‘Can you chat'? Or ‘Do you have time to talk'?
Today’s use of all-things-tech eliminates a bit of the unknown that went behind getting a phone call. First, it was caller ID. We had the ability to DECIDE if we even wanted to talk to the person. To hear their voice. To give them the time of day with using our actual voices to talk on the phone.
Insert text message. Now, we not only have the ability to decide if we want to talk to someone, but we get ANNOYED that the person in question didn’t even send us a text ahead of time. Or a DM. Or a Snap. Or an emoji. Anything except the expectation that talking on the actual phone occurs. Or did that person want a video chat call instead?
I’ll admit it I’ve done it, too. I’ve chosen not to pick up the phone for a variety of reasons - most of which include the setting I was in and the inability to actually talk. If I can, I pick up the phone and whisper, ‘Can’t talk. Will call you back ASAP.’
I’m changing my ways. Why? Because I think we are getting lazy. We assume and expect that people in our networks either has us in a super duper cool private Facebook friend list OR hope that the magic Facebook algorithm will ensure that we see every post from each other OR that the people we have in common will comment or like enough posts that said engagement will trickle over to our feeds and will enable us to do the passive ‘like’ to a life update. Phew. I’m exhausted.
Newsflash! I haven’t liked anything in months. When I mistakenly ‘like’, I unlike.
I prefer comments. I prefer calling people. I prefer hearing a voice now and then. I prefer making a video or watching a video with my friends talking so I get a clear view of their day, how they are doing. In end end, however, I will take a phone call or face-to-face coffee any day. I’ve also been known to walk over to people I see in my community and say ‘Hi, I recognize you from this XYZ group. Just wanted to say hello! In person.’
Look. There is no way on this earth that I can call everyone all of the time. My point is that human connection won’t go out of style. Now, more than ever, our world needs it.
So, if I call you and you’re free….pick up the phone, will ya?