technology

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Call Me

Published June 20, 2012 by Maryanne

Me, using an effective tool for friendship  (Photo by Darlene Foster)

I have a friend I’ve known since high school who, for the past few years, does all her communicating online. It wasn’t always like this. I used to call her whenever I needed someone to talk to, and she was there for me. But once Face Book came along, she started this new rule that it was best to communicate to her via email, which irked me to no end and evidently after quite a few miscommunications — via email of course — the friendship ended.

To me, a phone call will always be vastly superior to an email. You can hear the tone of a person’s voice and know immediately if they are happy or sad, if you called at a bad time or if they have exciting news to share. You can hear laughter. You can hear a joke or sarcasm that may not be translated via email. And you can play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on the touch tone buttons.

People seem to think it’s some sort of status symbol to say they have no time for phone calls, or that they don’t get many phone calls. In the 21st century, a phone call uncool and not something to be used by those who love to keep up with the Joneses.

I don’t know what Joneses these hipsters are keeping up with, but I prefer the Joneses of yesteryear — the Tom Joneses, the Shirley Joneses and the Davy Joneses — the Joneses that were around when it was cool to be on the phone. If a person’s line was busy, that meant he/she was popular.

I was the last person on earth to get an answering machine and in the early 90s I still didn’t have one. People either caught me when I was home, or didn’t get me at all. This was great when I was still single. I actually got letters in the mail from friends and potential boyfriends because they had no other way of getting in touch with me if I wasn’t home to answer the phone.

To this day, I find that so amusing.

The whole concept of emails and texting being a major source of communication just escapes me. I couldn’t imagine being a younger person and using these methods for dating. It takes away the whole mystique of being unavailable.

I remember being a young person and coming home from a night out and my grandmother telling me a certain someone had called while I was out. How exciting!

I feel so sorry for young people who don’t have that grand element of surprise anymore during their dating years. They are missing out, big time. Everything is too easy, which takes away the fun. It’s just human nature that people like a bit of a challenge.

Last year during a slow period with my business I took on a part-time job at a music store for a couple months. The store owner’s son would spend entire nights hanging out at the music store texting a girl he was interested in. It was so pathetic to watch. She obviously wasn’t interested in him and just used the texting tool as a way to kill her boredom because from what he told me she had no life. (And clearly he didn’t either).

I felt bad for the kid, but he made his own bed. He was obviously addicted to this little device that was preventing him from getting out in the world and enjoying life. I wondered if the same girl would spend as much time with this guy had he called her or set up a date to see her in person. Probably not.

I remember being young and telling my grandmother, “Say I’m not home!” when an undesirable person would call. How do you do that with a text? With texts and emails — the punchline is, you’re ALWAYS home. But I guess the younger generation has new concepts of what a loser is and isn’t.

And, think about it, how sexy was it back in the day when you first met someone and he/she wrote their phone number on your hand? In this technology day and age, people are like, “call my cell, then I’ll have your number in there.”

Eww … how dull! And people are missing out on the thrill of touching someone’s arm for the first time as they write their phone number on it. Talked about a missed opportunity!

Call me old fashioned, but I simply love the idea of going through a phone book and calling random friends from a land line. (Note: I don’t call people who only use cells — I do not want to compete with traffic and background noise, and people certainly shouldn’t be talking on their phones while driving!)

It’s so exciting when someone you left a message for calls you back. It’s just so cool that there are still people out there that have courtesy skills — and even cooler that I can call these people friends!

Sometimes while I’m waiting for my husband to come home, I’ll pour myself a glass of wine and talk for a half hour or so to my friend Gina or my friend Darlene (who took the photo above) who also lives close-by. Even though I see Gina and Darlene often, it’s still so nice to keep in touch on a regular basis. When we see each other we still have plenty to talk about and laugh about.

What a blessing it is to live during a time when the good things in life are just a phone call away.