I remember when we used to let the phone ring because we thought that it “might” be someone we didn’t want to talk to. Okay, I know I’m dating myself but I’ve been there for a few blank stares at my grandmother’s old rotary phone as it rang up a party seeking to communicate.
I also remember a short few years later waiting until a device called “an answer machine” kicked on so we could listen to hear who’s voice it was. Then we would decide to pick it up or not.
As time went by, we got to see a person’s phone number on a little LED screen to help us in our ‘should we pick up’ decision making process. That led into seeing their names with something called “caller ID”, then the digital phone age really started kicking into full speed and a variety of ‘avoid your call’ options came to light.
Fast forward to today, it seems like all of the older behaviors of people like me and my generation helped groom this current generation to completely despise talking to someone on the phone.
Seriously! Nobody picks up a call anymore.
And I’m not just talking about personal calls. Even at businesses. Everything goes to people’s voicemails and call backs are rare, yet e-mails are almost immediately returned. I call businesses all the time from business phones and personal phones. Aside from a mainline phone number, most staff peeps let the calls go to voicemail as a practice.
Hey–I’m a text-a-holic so I’m no one to judge anyone’s preference for data, but I do believe there’s a huge downslide in basic communication skills today. It has become widely excepted and accepted to handle customers by using just data in business and in the personal side of our lives as well.
I’m confident that someday we will be able to just ‘think a thought’ and that brain dialogue will be sent to the receiver of our imagination. When technology brings us there, I think that I’ll be okay with that because my thoughts to a specific individual is pretty personal. I’m sharing real time emotion and feelings. Until then however, I guess we will all have to continue to ignore each other and stay close friends with our keyboards.