Hey, Mr. Telephone Man


I am undoubtedly one of the world’s worst texters. Facts. On the regular, I can manage to turn one of the most simplified forms of communication into an exasperating rigamarole. I'll get a notification alert and scan the message. Sometimes, I’m right on the reply, but occasionally if I'm unable to attend the conversation in the moment, I plum forget to revisit the message altogether. And when I do, its hours or a day or two later, and many times by then the subject matter is irrelevant. Yes, I’m aware there’s talk to text, and I can ask Siri to read a message aloud. What can I say, it’s a gift. 

Truthfully, its not the medium that’s the issue. Texts are an effective way to communicate, and within certain limitations, are a more appropriate means to collect information. And they certainly aren’t going anywhere in the foreseeable future (so I better clean up my act). I’m just a fan of more personal forms of communication. Not to say I’d neglect a message because I’m not fond of the delivery by any means. A friendly message is still a thought from the sender and welcomed gesture on my end. Though, I can’t help but feel a void from the shift of two way calls, to two second texts. Call me nostalgic, but I miss good phone conversations. 

The beauty of human interaction is the ability to connect, to provoke thought, express vulnerability, and exchange emotion. 

I’m a gabber that hails from a long line of conversationalists. Talking and connecting with people is one of the things we do best, and making time for people is something that has been ingrained in me. I’d much rather have a face to face or telephone conversation any day, no matter how detailed or nondescript, or brief. So it is difficult to watch our society, and the likes of many of my personal acquaintanceships, settle for pseudo intimacy through technology. 

Remember what it felt like to swap stories with your girlfriend about…well anything in real time? When you could actually detect excitement through the pitch of ones voice and not suggested through emojis. Or, can you recall having a rough day and either made or incidentally received a call, opened yourself up and allowed the aches and pangs be conveyed through breath or tone, thus, felt and sympathized by the listener? Just pure, unfiltered, spare no details, open dialogue.

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The problem is, we’d much rather package our lives carefully, and thoughtfully, into little bubbles of black and white text - its easier to sensor our emotions, and ration our feelings that way. Often text are nothing more than mindless distractions; you’re not fully engaged in the task at hand, or the conversation. But isn’t that the point of communication? The beauty of human interaction is the ability to connect, to provoke thought, express vulnerability, and exchange emotion. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-technology. Texts are a perfectly acceptable way of keeping in touch. That being said, more often than not, a “Hey, I was just thinking about you” feels more sincere when heard versus read. Sometimes just giving someone 5 minutes of your time, is all it takes. Arguably, it often takes longer to type a message than it would have to talk it out. So if you find yourself engaging in a text conversation that carries on after a multitude of independent responses, next time consider giving your fingertips a rest and lead with your lips. You never know who needs to hear from you. Stay connected.


Janel LilesComment