I grew up in the 90’s. My formative years were spent hours at a time, glued to a phone, with a friend on the other line. I could keep up with people for hours, as long as their time permitted, I was the long haul conversational friend. It got so bad, that my parents added a second phone line in my bedroom. I had my own number in the phone book. It was quite a big deal for someone my age.
But with the advent of the internet, that phone line was quickly designated to the dial up modem. Which is, in fact, almost exactly what happened to the rest of the phones in my life. I realize this more now that I have a cell phone. I used to think nothing of picking up the phone, even in the car, before the days of blue tooth, before you could really get ticketed for it. I have a short list of people I could just call and chat with. But that list is growing shorter.
That’s not to say my friends don’t want to talk to me. This isn’t a boo-hoo moment. It’s just the reality of the way people communicate these days. The phone call is not the priority, when you stack it up against the ultimate convenience of text messaging. Easily more popular than phone calls, some people don’t really make or take outgoing phone calls at all.
For me, though, I still think the art of conversation holds some appeal, and there are a few of my pals who put up with that. However, I think I need to determine a better executing. For example, while running weekend errands, I had a few childless hours while my son and husband were napping. I ran through my address book and called a few friends on the blu tooth. No one answered, but because I didn’t have anything urgent, just calling to say hi, I didn’t leave a voicemail.
I didn’t leave a voicemail for reason. It is my understanding that only slightly more loathed than the phone call is the irretrievable and indeterminately long voicemail message. If I’m handless due to some emergency, I will leave a voicemail. However, since the call is of little import (not to say that the person is unimportant, just the opposite), but nothing that can’t wait conversationally until they are free to chat, whenever it might be. Finally, if I had something that time sensitive, I’d probably text the person before calling.
I had intended this to be a low maintenance, chill-friend way of interaction. But all three responses were the same. “Saw you called, are you okay?” Which has a tone of concern not at all what I intended. So, I think I need to better understand what people are actually doing. I’d like to open this up to comments if you all can help me out:
If you want to call your friend on their cell, without this “are you okay?” stuff, is it better to follow up with a text. I know seeing a missed call and a text message from someone seems excessive for just a “hey how’s it going?” thing would get my heart rate up. What do you guys think?