We ditched our home phone months ago. With four cell phones in the house, it had become good only for startling the pets when it rang. Even though we all now carry phones, we use them for that purpose so sparingly, it’s become a remarkable thing (as in, something to remark on) when used for a call.
I’ve been noodling on this lately for a number of random reasons…
Reason #1 – Phones still work.
I needed to know how to pronounce someone’s name. Hooked on Phonics wasn’t going to cut it for me, I needed to know for sure the Mic, Mac, Muc of someone’s surname. So I called them. Admittedly I was hoping for voice mail, to hear them say their name, but a real person answered. And we talked. It was lovely, we laughed, commiserated, I hung up smiling (it’s “Mic”).
Reason #2 – Phone calls can be exciting.
I recently switched jobs. When my new boss called to tell me he was offering me the position, I was elated! Those types of conversations involve a relay of details and information, and I was mostly in receive/process mode for the start of the conversation. At a pause he asked if I had any questions. “Can you hear me smiling?” I said. “Because I’m smiling right now!” He said he couldn’t in fact hear me smiling, but I think my point had been made.
Reason #3 – Phones put voice to text
Look at your text messages. When you read them, you inevitably hear the senders’ voice when you read them, no? People have told me I write like I talk, at times using Julie-speak (words and phrases unique to my happy take on the world). I take that as a compliment – I think its human and authentic and I love when I read messages, tweets, even Instagram posts by people I’ve met and I can hear their voice. That being said, that sense of voice when reading a text is strongest with people I’ve spoken to recently. Note to self: keep calling people.
Final thought: Hearing Voices isn’t a bad thing.
My kids call their grandmothers periodically. Neither granny owns a smart phone so they aren’t on text or email. I think that might be the smartest of moves, as I get to hear one side of their conversations and hear them laughing together, relaying recent events and or breaking down Big Brother.* When I leave voice mails for friends now, I ramble on and leave a code word to see if they’ve listened far into the message, and I love hearing voice mails from friends who are breathless and busy, but have taken the time to call me. I think now, in addition to mailing one piece of snail mail a week, I’m going to try and make one phone call per week, too. To bring back some of the old days, and try to hear more voices.
*disclaimer I detest that show and don’t watch it, but Memere does and so the kids talk it over with her.. much to my dismay