kafj: headshot of KAFJ looking over right shoulder (Default)
[personal profile] kafj
I immediately feel my body tense up whenever I hear the sound of the telephone.

Who is phoning me? What do they want? Are they going to ask me questions to which I don't know the answer? Are they trying to sell me something? Ask me for a charity donation? Scam me? Is it family? Bad news? Hassling me for a decision that I haven't yet made? Wanting to know my plans for August when I haven't thought beyond May?

Even if it is somebody I want to hear from, the chances are I'm in the middle of cooking my dinner, or eating it. Sometimes, when I'm alone in the house, I let it ring and ring off, and then dial 1471 to find out who it was and whether I want to call them back - in my time, on my terms.

I am glad that I was born into the age of the internet, when communication is moving back towards writing. It's not so much the fact that it's written, as that a delay is built in. On email, even over instant messenger (though I have that turned off most of the time, as well), there's space to breathe between sentences, time to assimilate what I've just been told, and room to come up with an appropriate answer. There's a moral panic that the internet encourages a demand for instant gratification; so far as I'm concerned, it's got nothing on the telephone.

I like to think that, in centuries to come, our descendants will view the telephone as a quaint artefact of the uncivilised twentieth century. One summoned one's friends with a bell, and expected them to drop everything and speak to one? How unutterably rude! Now, if you'll excuse me, I must just answer Xanthe's mind-telegram while I remember. No hurry, though. She knows I'm well; she'll have seen my neutron update.

Date: 2015-04-12 07:32 pm (UTC)
angelofthenorth: Sooffocles with me in background (Default)
From: [personal profile] angelofthenorth
*grins*

I like the idea of phones becoming a thing of the past for actually talking to people...

Heh.

Date: 2015-04-14 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] katmcnally
You make me smile.
It's funny though, isn't it, how quickly we have gotten "unused" to the phone! x

Date: 2015-04-16 05:23 pm (UTC)
frith: Light blue cartoon pegasus with rainbow mane and tail (FIM Rainbow evasive)
From: [personal profile] frith
My latest trick is to let the phone ring three times and then answer while imitating an automated message: "Hello. You have reached (...) ...-.... Please leave your name and number after the beep. Beeeep!" For extra laughs, I make up a phone number.

--> Telemarketers won't leave a name or number, they just hang up.
--> Many telemarketers apparently use voice recognition. By saying "Hello" it connects you to a telemarketer. Thus bonus: I'm wasting precious seconds of some company's time.
--> If it's not important, people won't leave a message.

Yes!

Date: 2015-04-17 11:03 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] wolfandword
I also get tense when I have to make a call!

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kafj: headshot of KAFJ looking over right shoulder (Default)
Kathleen Jowitt

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