Idle Thought on A Saturday Afternoon By Musafir

I have noticed that I have begun to avoid making or receiving phone calls. In the beginning it felt odd when my boss and I (next door) started communication through voicemail (VME). Now not talking on phone is a second nature to me. I love to hide behind the sanctuary of my screen. I was not like that before.

I remember weekend chats with my siblings, cousins and elders. Now we communicate through social media instead. I don’t think that I am alone in the adopting this new social norm. No one picks up the phones anymore. Businesses do everything they can to avoid picking up the phone.

We are not to be totally blamed for this new social attribute. We simply have a myriad of communication options today than had before. Text messaging, Twitter, Facebook, Email, Instagram have made the ring obsolete. I personally have started feeling more comfortable with asynchronous communication than appearing vis-à-vis. That doesn’t interrupt with what I may be doing currently and I feel more prepared to answer any questions that the other party may have for me later.

There are also other reasons for avoiding phone calls.  Perhaps 80 or even 90 percent of the calls coming into my landline phone are spam of one kind or another. Now, if I hear my phone buzzing from across the room, at first I’m excited if I think it’s a text, but when it keeps going, and I realize it’s a call, I won’t even bother to walk over. There are unsolicited telemarketing calls. There are straight-up robocalls that merely deliver recorded messages. There are the cyborg telemarketers, who sit in call centers playing prerecorded bits of audio to simulate a conversation. There are the spam phone calls, whose sole purpose seems to be verifying that your phone number is real and working.

Well, I am not alone. According to an article in The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal writes, “This happened 3.4 billion times last month, where someone had to make the decision to pick up or to let it go.” Despite all that, I prefer to talk to my loved ones, especially my five-year old grandson face to face. I dread the day when he will stop communicating with me face-to-face and will use social media instead. I’ll certainly miss the feel and warmth of his personal touch then.oct 18 phone


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