I am starting to realize why I do not like calling people on the phone. Anymore. I mean used to LOVE calling and answering, talking for hours. The days before cell phones and caller IDs made “the phone call” so much more simple. Looking back it seemed so much more important. The phone call.
To call someone: (definition of call: to cry out, to attempt connection)
The amazing technology that would connect households across the map. Open to talk to just about anyone. Connecting. On Purpose.
The phone would ring! *ring ring*
IF you were home, you could answer.
IF you were not home, you couldn’t.
It was simple.
IF you were home, you did answer.
IF you were not home, you didn’t.
It was so simple.
Even during the days of answering machines, if they didn’t leave a message you never knew you missed something. You didn’t feel cheated, cuz you didn’t know better.
The ring annouced an active attempt of connection and 90% of the time it was someone that knew you, needed you and/or was worth creating an exchange with, and if an unknown person they had something to offer you vs. asking favors of you.
The phone’s ring was a sound that made everyone respond with action. Adults and kids alike would get up and go running. Responding with urgency because we knew there was a timeline before the answering machine would pickup, or before the person on the other end would give up and hang up.
It’s just not that simple anymore.
Cell phones have offered mobility – now we may or may not be home, we may or may not be out, we may or may not answer. Did they answer because they have time to talk or are they running errands with scremaing kids? Did they ignore your call on purpose??
Caller ID has offered transparancy. Gone are the days when we answered because we weren’t sure who was on the other end. Gone are the days when we answered to blindly say “Hello”. Calls can be screened with such prescision including: VIP lists, time of day filters, and location/activity filters.
I miss those days. THOSE simple phone days.
The progression of change has been happening for decades, from a personal connection that you were craving to the gross feeling inside looking down to see Possible Spam. Or a “local” number calling without a name saved. “Oh no!” You think is this another extended car warranty for my 15 year old car? the IRS calling again demanding gift cards as payment? or have a won yet another free vaction being offered?
Now I face a TWO part problem: calling and answering. Both sides of the phone that I dread whestleing with that dread, I shouldn’t feel this way about such a great option of communication. Should I? Do you?
Calling: when 90% of phone calls are unsolicited, I’ve realized it’s not a fun way for me to reach out to people anymore either. I hate the idea of being part of the unsolicited inturptions to someones day, for someone to be in a perfectly good mood and look down to see my number calling to think…. oh no, not now. This is a terrible excuse but it is my excuse for not calling friends/family/clients to reconnect when we haven’t talked in a while. Text I can do, calling SO scary!
Answering: every time I think of challenging myself to answer 100% of my calls (which I do when I have active listings on the market, let me tell you – that’s exhausting!) but doing it all, all, ALL? of the time…. ugh! I just can’t bring myself to the action to do it daily.
While writting this, I’ve recieved 3 calls in less than 30 minutes. And no, I didn’t answer any of them — all junk calls.
Is there an end? Is there a new way to communicate with eachother that isn’t tainted by robocalls, fraud, favors asked by a stranger? Can we take back the phone call? Do we want to abandon it all together? Do you call first or text?
I know why I love texting, because it feels like I can communicate without demanding a response of you, no jump to action required- just a reasonably prompt reply requested. Also no interruption for you, reply after you get your kids in the car, after your baby wakes up, after/when it is good for you.
Do you text before you call? Do you call anyone at all?