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Why is someone calling me?

Not wanting to talk on the phone is not age-related. Many believe texting is an activity preferred by younger generations; however, I have quite a few people in the over 50 range who prefer texting over phone calls. I feel this has caused problems in communications. Many assumptions happen with texting. You cannot hear the inflection of voice through texting. An utterly innocent statement can be misunderstood because the reader emphasizes the wrong word in the sentence. Add in any kidding around or sarcasm, and a conversation can go horribly wrong in a matter of seconds. That is if the person has even responded, which is another problem with texting. Wondering if the recipient has read the message you have sent.

Somehow talking on the phone has become lackluster for many. Answering machines took off in the mid-1980s, likely that was the beginning of the end of a phone conversation. I often remember hearing the words, "Let the machine get it." That way, the person calling would leave a message; the receiver could listen to it and decide if they wanted to return the call or wait to do that at another time.

Caller ID put a whole new dynamic to phone calls. This service began in the early 1990s. Once the caller ID took off, people would look at the ID to decide if they wanted to answer or let the machine (or voicemail) take care of the call. Then came affordable phones that people could carry with them. With the number of phones worldwide, you would suspect there would be more phone conversations going on; however, instead, people have their faces buried in their phones posting on social media or texting.

With the high usage of cell phones, the home phone is becoming more and more obsolete. Which means people do not call one another in their homes. When people call, the receiver could be anywhere. Anywhere within their home, in their car, at the mall, at work, or in a restaurant. Phone etiquette seems to be a thing of the past. (Note: The exhausting amount of phones in the world has caused considerable noise pollution as everyone seems to have a cell phone. Each of those phones has settings for alerts, and most people's phones make some noise when those alerts happen. All this noise and proper etiquette seems to be lost but that's another blog.)

It has become woefully easier to ignore people, even people we love. We have more ways of communicating than ever, and yet, it seems we aren't communicating at all. Social media has allowed people to hide behind keyboards to yell their opinions. It looks more and more apparent that people do not want to hear what others have to say. No one person's opinion matters as much as one's own. So now ask yourself how we learn anything now that everything is at our fingertips in a phone we don't use to call people?

We cannot have full engaging conversations through text. (She wrote in her blog. Yes, the irony isn't lost on me here.) Even adding a variety of relevant emojis is not going to make things better. Often they cause even more confusion because people interpret their meanings differently. Face to face conversations will always yield more information than texting. A close second would be phone conversations. In a face to face conversation, the participants get to see all the body language. A phone call would be the next best thing because at least you can hear the tone and inflection of each other's voice.

Whether it is a face to face, a phone conversation, or even a text, the number one issue is not listening or in texting -- not reading it thoroughly. Another issue is not asking for clarification on points that are unclear to you and making assumptions. Let's take a step back and try communicating again rather than just yelling our opinions until we have exhausted all our friends. Attempting to understand another's point of view does not make either of you wrong. You are not obligated to agree with them. You never know, you might learn something and change your opinion on the matter. (Changing your opinion is not wrong either, in case you were wondering.)

Love Lots; Smile Often


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