With the advent of new technologies, the phone as a social medium should be obsolete. Apparently, no one told the rest of society because my phone rings about 18 times a day on average, and while half of them are work related, the other half have made the telephone the bane of my existence.
When the phone was invented, it was revolutionary. It was a way to get in touch with people you’d otherwise have to write letters to in order to communicate. Socializing found a new platform. It made the transfer of information faster and thus more accurate. It laid the framework for the technologies that we hold so near and dear today.
Yes, yes… The very utterance of this statement is blasphemy to my entire sex, but possession of a vagina aside, is it really so wrong that I hate talking on the phone? I can think of so many ways in which a phone is a hindrance rather than a tool. For one, it stifles productivity. It requires an allocation of manual resources that I could otherwise be using for typing, turning pages, signing autographs, scrubbing the bathroom, cooking, driving, or any number of other useful tasks that I can’t accomplish while I’m holding a phone. And even if I use my bluetooth, I still have to worry about keeping the phone nearby or having shitty sound quality. Screw that. Tell me what you need to tell me and hang up so I can get back to my quiche.
We are multitasking society and phone conversations do not allow for quality multi-tasking. The duration of my average IM conversation is around an hour, and in that time I can collaborate with my colleague in one window to solve world hunger and dispense sex advice to a colleague in another window while also attending to my homework, folding laundry, catching up on current events, watching last week’s episode of Blue Mountain State, and eating dinner. My average phone conversation is about 15 minutes and I can’t tie my damn shoe and still pay attention to the conversation.Screw that! Make your [brief] point and let me go so I can get back to my dissertation on world peace and my debate on sexual technique in the under 25 demographic.
Phone conversations require a dedicated focus and an attention span that I just can’t provide and a level of interest that I don’t generally have. “I’m just calling to say hello.” Don’t. Send me a text message or an IM. If you call to say hello, then you also feel obligated to spend at least 3 more minutes on the phone filling my head with idle chit chat, or rehashing conversations we’ve had a dozen times already, punctuated by me swearing at you for making my head explode from the inane blather. Then there are all those awkward lulls in the conversations while you try to remember why the hell you called to begin with, or the greetings and goodbyes that take too damn long, and now I can’t remember what the hell I was doing before you called! SCREW THAT! Assuming you have one, get to the point and then get off the goddamn phone so I can get back to my homework and the 20 minutes of peace and quiet I have left before I have to go to class! And if you don’t have a point, don’t even THINK about calling me!
So why do I bother answering the phone then? Because sometimes it’s work and sometimes it’s someone who is calling to give me information that I need or invite me out, or ask me a legitimate question. But more often than not it’s because I know that if I send you straight to voice mail, you’re just going to leave me a pointless, droning, and mind numbing voice mail message at least two minutes in duration. Which brings me to my final point. When I tell you to leave a brief message and yours is longer than 20 seconds, I want to give you a tracheotomy with a plastic spork. If you’re not calling for something specific that needs my attention ASAP, just hang up or text me. And if I don’t reply, I’m either busy or I don’t want to talk to you.
Now make your point below and let me go so I can get back in the kitchen and make me a sammich.