Technology is a beautiful thing! The guys who created emails? Text messages? IMs? Those guys will forever have my gratitude. They have made my life so much easier and significantly reduced my anxiety. I absolutely hate phone calls – besides my mother (only because I can’t seem to get away), I hate having to talk on the phone. It sucks! So I am overjoyed that the rise of text-based communication has allowed people like me to almost completely eradicate the horrifying prospect of talking on the phone.
Talking on the phone is awkward and could potentially be disastrous. It gives you no time to think about responses, it forces you to provide immediate answers – answers that you sometimes just don’t have. Lets say your best friend’s little cousin calls and says “Hey [insert your name here], do you think [insert hot hipster guy’s name here] likes me?” – this puts you in the most awkward situation because you know hot hipster guy doesn’t like your best friend’s cousin but is instead sleeping with your brother. How do you break this to her? You have no time to think, so you tell her, you tell her and you sit there waiting for her reply but she doesn’t reply. Why? Because she can’t reply when her heart is being broken into a million pieces. On the other hand, if this exact conversation happened via email, you’d have all the time you need to sit and think about your reply. Maybe you’ll tell her to consider other options, maybe you’ll bring up that way cuter guy she met one time at that party, but whatever you say will save your best friend’s cousin a broken heart and that’s always a good thing. You are kind of a hero!
When someone sends an email, there is no guarantee you’ll see it immediately. Life is fast-paced and we are busy people – we do things! The awesome part is that even if you do see it immediately, there is no proof! If you’re just having an off day and don’t want to talk to anyone, YOU DON’T HAVE TO! This also applies to instant messages. You could have easily left your computer signed in and there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to prove you were sitting at your computer watching YouTube videos of adorable singing cats. The best part is, no one is gonna ask if you saw their messages because they don’t want to seem annoying or lonely. Plus, it’s a little presumptuous to act like you have a right to receive and immediate internet reply.
The immediacy of the telephone has become increasingly scary. You don’t want to be put on the spot by receiving a phone call, so you conduct all business via emails and sending incoming calls to voicemail, which will be avoided until there is that annoying notification on your screen telling you that you have no more space for incoming messages. Your heart pounds in your chest and you get chills when you come to the realization that you absolutely have to pick up the phone because it might be employment related. This may force you to answer every unknown number that comes up on your screen.
So, you say ‘Hello’ – and it isn’t work related, but that high school friend you promised to stay in touch with but had successfully avoided until now. You’re trapped; there is no way out so you attempt to make small talk. “How are the kids? What have you been up to?”
After a few horrible minutes of playing ‘catch up’, you are plagued by awkward silence… what do you do now?
You just can’t relax because you’re looking for a way out. Oh! I know, you pretend to be busy or distracted so you can get off the phone, but just as you’re about to explain that you have another call coming in, they ask another question throwing you off your escape route. Then as soon as you finish explaining, the call drops. Now what do you do? You don’t want them to think you hung up, but what if the call didn’t drop and they hung up? Do you call back? Do you wait for them to call you back? OMG! Maybe someone should write a book about phone call etiquette, because I just don’t know.
So you sit there staring anxiously at the phone afraid to do anything else like go to the bathroom, which you REALLY need to do, just in case they call back. Suddenly you’re haunted by disturbing images of being on the toilet as your phone begins to blast that song you now hate with the person calling right back and what if you don’t answer, they might leave a voicemail and then what the fudge are you supposed to do?? It just never ends.
Image via 9gag.com