Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You (Have Text And Email Ruined Us?)

In the last five years, full-fledged adults have seemingly given up the telephone — land line, mobile, voice mail and all. According to Nielsen Media, even on cellphones,...


Last Update: February 24, 2015

A New York Times article, Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You, written by Pamela Paul asserts people are relying more on text and email more than ever and dread the phone. Paul writes:

 

In the last five years, full-fledged adults have seemingly given up the telephone — land line, mobile, voice mail and all. According to Nielsen Media, even on cellphones, voice spending has been trending downward, with text spending expected to surpass it within three years.

 

I admit I am guilty of being a text and email person over the phone. It is not I dread or even loathe phone conversations but I like the brevity of a tweet (keeps it under 140 characters), a text (usually a short paragraph), or an email (two or three short paragraphs). My days are so hectic and nonstop that is hard to answer the phone and talk shop but I do.

Even at work, where people once managed to look busy by wearing a headset or constantly parrying calls back and forth via a harried assistant, the offices are silent. The reasons vary. Nobody has assistants anymore to handle telecommunications. And in today’s nearly door-free workplaces, unless everyone is on the phone, calls are disruptive and, in a tight warren of cubicles, distressingly public.

In my own office, it is pretty much quiet except for a hushed and hurried phone conversation from time-to-time. I share space with a marketing company and an architect (I hope I don’t disrupt their day with my bantering). However, I often use the phone multitasking with email, text, phone, and even carrier pigeon. Sometimes my days are heavy with calls and other days it’s extra light with maybe three or four calls.

Most calls are scheduled at least a week of advance. Gone are the days of the impromptu phone call. Paul says “phone call appointments have become common in the workplace. Without them, there’s no guarantee your call will be returned.” Even checking voicemail is becoming an ancient art.

Why do you think we have seemingly given up the telephone–land line, mobile, voicemail, and all? Have you?

 

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