Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I see I'm not the only one

who hates and fears the phone.

It seems that "older people," by which the article seems to mean "Boomers" are frustrated with the next generation's obsession with texting and emailing. They complain that the young people don't talk on the phone.


I was always frightened by the phone. How could you possibly know if it was someone calling you who wanted to yell at you and tell you what a bad person you are. Or that you owe them money you can't afford to pay. Or that your mother had died. Or worse, your cat had been hit by a car. The phone was a horrible instrument of anxiety. Back in the days when I still had a landline, I looked upon it as an unpredicably vicious dog. It might be nice to you, but it is more likely to bite you when you reach your hand out toward it. Best to leave it alone.

I love email. I love getting them. I love writing them. If I want to talk to someone on the phone, I email them first and ask when would be convenient. Phoning people is demanding their time, intruding on their day or work or, well, everything. It's what Grandma said never to do: calling attention to yourself and demanding that everyone look.

Communication companies are saying that people are widely dropping phone calling in favour of texting (and they find this inexplicable...while continuing to jack up the cost of calls...).

Well, isn't this a good thing? Don't we lament the fact that no one ever writes letters?



Aaron Traas said...

I *HATE* talking on the phone. It has all of the disadvantages of face-to-face communication, without any of the advantages of email, or heck, instant messenging. I cringe every time the damn phone rings. If I don't have the number in my contact list, and comes up as unidentified, I simply don't answer.

I just finally got a smart phone a month ago. What pisses me off is that I had to get a plan with 550 minutes included. 550 minutes? How could I ever use that. Last month, I used less than 20. Yet text messages (if I didn't use Google Voice) cost $0.15 each! A single second of voice is 100,000x more data transferred over their network than a single text message.

Why won't the carriers let us get data plans without voice plans? Or at least exceptionally small voice plans, like 60 minutes a month?

Aaron Traas said...

Also, Hillary, since you're another phone-call hater, you may want to try Google Voice. They give you a virtual phone number that you can then have route to any phone you like. They do transcription of your voicemail into text (with mixed, but often funny, results).

Best of all, you can set up everyone you know in your Google contact list, and group them. You can have custom options for what happens to incoming phone calls to different groups, and at different times of the day. I, for instance, have most of the people I know go straight to voicemail during working hours -- I never hear the damn thing even ring. Blissful silence.

Fr. T. said...

Some of us have been even further reduced to posting stray comments on traddie blogs.