I Believe in Talking on the Phone
It’s interesting to think about the progression of communication technologies over the past 150 years. First came the invention of Morse code, and its employment of simple noise patterns marked the beginning of a communication revolution. The invention of the telegram followed shortly thereafter, which led to the ultimate transmission device: the phone. Finally, after a century and a half of development, we have retreated to creating short messages to send to each other, once again.
Why? Maybe it stems from the current 21st century consumer’s obsession with the past, resulting in a comeback of high-wasted jeans and blinding seas of white converse. Or maybe texting has trumped talking on the phone because of an underlying social ideology that stigmatizes intimacy, which induces feelings of vulnerability, as this piece of technology transmits our voices, exposing raw emotion that is manifested through tone, pauses in speech, and even the way we laugh.
Regardless, I believe in talking on the phone.
I like hearing the sound of other people’s voices. I want to hear the high-pitched, rushed demeanor behind an exciting encounter, and the voice crack that comes along with a sad story, because a frowning emoji couldn’t possibly capture a microcosm of the humanity that lies within a sniffle.
Hiccups. Giggles. Coughs. So human, so multi-faceted and inspirational.
I believe in talking on the phone because it forces me to be real, amidst a conversation-phobic culture where even our definition of ‘real’ is skewed. It takes away the luxury of carefully plotting and planning an auto-corrected message that will elicit an anticipated response, and forces me to be honest, creating a more genuine conversation. Phone calls are like brain exercises that keep me witty and thinking on my feet.
Although talking on the phone doesn’t embrace the entirety of the organic nature of a face-to-face conversation, it allows for a more human method of communication; and albeit the fact that a phone call can mask a bad hair day, it cannot hide the depth of authenticity and breadth of emotion that are demonstrated within the human voice.
There’s a voice that doesn't use words to speak, so we should leave outdated communication methods in the past, and listen.