In a world of email, texts, Tweets, IMs, status updates, and posts, who really needs to use the telephone anymore? With all the different electronic Pony Expresses we have at our fingertips, the telephone is on its way out, slowly fading off into the sunset…
Some people are natural born phone conversationalists. I am not one of these people. When I was growing up, I was very content with a 2-minute phone call to determine my weekend plans and outings. I didn’t tie up the phone line for hours on end to discuss why Bobby So-And-So shouldn’t date Unnaturally Blonde Barbara…or which member of N*SYNC was the hottest…or who I was takin’ to the box social an’ what I was bringin’ in my hamper an’ why Mistuh Jud Fry was a mean ol’ cantankerous sort of man. Besides, most of my closest friends back then were guys…creatures who are predisposed to loathe any conversation over 3 minutes long (note: I have many male friends nowadays that can handle extended conversation, as long as I wear something shiny to satisfy their A.D.D.).
I’ve never been a phone person, so the Internet was a great saving grace for me. I can see what I’m going to say before I hit that little “SEND” button, and prevent myself from saying “Hi Tit on the head” when what I meant to say was “Hit it on the head.” I don’t have that error modification on the telephone.
And texting? Don’t get me starting on texting…I LOVE texting. But, it has subsequently taken the place an infinite amount of telephone calls. The result? Instead of dialing up a friend to see how they are, I shoot them a 160-character e-note which supposedly can show that I care. And I do care…life just gets so hectic that a text can simply suffice. That’s just the way communication works these days.
So, today, I decided to purposefully phone one of my oldest and best friends from home to catch up. Nothing prompted me to dial this number except the desire to make contact.
Now, here’s the weird part: I planned this yesterday, and to my surprise, this same friend texted me just this morning to ask if I wanted to accompany him to a Christmas concert towards the end of November. Funny how coincidences happen, huh? So now, before I even picked up my phone to dial his number, I already had an outing planned to see the a cappella group “Straight, No Chaser”, complete with wine and dinner beforehand. Some may call this karma…coincidence…I just call it great luck that I now have an evening planned with one of my dearest friends…not to mention, a holiday outing with one of my dearest friends. Already feeling more Christmas-y than last year, and it’s not even December yet!
So, I dialed up my friend tonight in, literally, the only hour I had to myself today. I was very nearly tempted to just sit and veg in front of my computer, but that’s a choice too easily and too often made. I knew I had to go beyond what I wanted and do something for someone else. So, for nearly 20 minutes tonight, I sat and caught up with a friend I haven’t spoken to since this summer. Granted, he’s also a teacher, too, so his schedule also hasn’t been his own since the first bell rang in September. I caught him at just the right time: he was about to leave for Bible study…another coincidence perhaps? Or just great timing?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about true, dedicated friends, it’s that no matter how much time passes by since you’ve last spoken to/seen them, you can always pick up right from where you left off. My friend and I have a very humorous rapport with one another, and within one minute from the start of our conversation, we were already giggling like idiots and making inappropriate jokes.
I got to hear about his year so far, and he got a taste of mine. However, I purposefully did not tell him too much; nay, rather…I decided to save the best details of my year so far when we can sit across from each other, face to face, and have a real conversation, removed from any telephone, computer, or any electronic device. Because, after all is said and done, it’s personal human interaction that intertwines itself into the deepest recesses of our memory…not texts, voicemails, posts, or emails.
RAC #12: Calling up a friend you haven’t made contact with in a while
Result: Going to see a Christmas concert with him, will be able to enjoy live human interaction, strengthened a friendship that has been going on for 20 years