It really bothers me that I can’t remember phone numbers. It’s a seemingly silly worry because of the multiple-device-world we now live in, because even if one device fails, the phone numbers are saved somewhere else in a backup or cloud. I used to know so many numbers by heart. I would actually call people. There aren’t many people I actually talk to on the phone anymore. And I’ve found that I prefer to email or text strangers. However, I miss actually talking to my friends and family.
I never thought I would say it, but I miss talking on the phone.
Sunday mornings are one of my favorite moments of the week. I wake up, make my coffee and settle in to my sofa with my phone and a TV episode I’m not super invested in. Around 1pm I start checking my phone, sometimes even turning on the ringer. Why? I have a weekly phone date that I’m always excited to have. No matter what I try to make myself available for the call. If I happen to be working, I still try to take the call. If I’m out at brunch or off with friends, I sometimes postpone the call by an hour. Sometimes this call is five minutes other days it’s an hour. No matter the length, I look forward to it and I love it.
I’ve always known I’m a conversationalist. But I didn’t realize how much talking on the phone–having a real, untyped conversation–makes me feel so good. There is something about hearing a voice. It makes me feel like I’m a real person. there are several articles that talk about research that oxytocin, “the love hormone” is released when hearing someone’s voice. Whether you want to believe Cosmopolitan Magazine or The Royal Society Publishing there is evidence that a phone call is better for you than texting. So much of my day to day is about typing or text. I write, I read, I text, I email. It seems like black and white (with blue or green bubbles around the text) has become my norm. I love that we have so many ways to communicate and connect with people, but I also feel like sometimes we hide via this textual conversation.
Now, I know not everyone is a talker. And I know that I’m definitely a person who loves to talk and who loves to keep contact with friends and family. But even if you’re not a huge conversationalist, it really is good for you– Mental Health UK says that “friendship is a crucial element in protecting our mental health” and talking to your friends and family cultivates friendship. So… pick up the phone–its good for you.
Here are some tips and guidelines:
1) If it will take more than 3 texts from each side, just pick up the phone and call. Seriously. It’s so much easier to just discuss it. Also things are lost in translation in text.
2) If you’re looking for an opinion and need a discussion, call. I often don’t like my crude beginnings in solid form. I am an idea person and prefer not to have the beginning ideas down in text until they’re final. Maybe I’ve watched too many cop shows where it was incriminating evidence, but I don’t like the un-finessed out in the world.
3) If you can’t remember the person’s voice, call. One of my best friends has this amazing voice and I just like to hear it. I confess, I’ll call just to hear it. It feels like a guilty pleasure, but it truly makes my day better.
4) If you’re only typing emojis back and forth: call. I promise its better.
5) If you find yourself frustrated: call. Take a deep breath first, then call. Really–it’s ok. I’ve found that continuing to text or email just exacerbates the problem. Unless you’re hearing the other person’s tone, you’re not sure if what they’re really saying. Don’t create realities that aren’t really happening.
Don’t create realities that aren’t really happening.
With all of the different ways to call, there are so many reasons TO call.
1) No time to hang? Have a Skype date! Friend wants to go for drinks but lives across the country? Have Facetime Happy Hour!
2) Plan phone calls on a lunch break or on your way home. Sometimes I’ll get out of the subway a stop or two early, and talk and walk!
3) Want to hear someone’s voice but only have five minutes? Call and tell them you only have five min! Five minutes of hearing someone’s voice is soooooooo much better than texting.
Let’s stop being virtual recluses! Go forth and have conversation. (Also, you might want to read this texting posture alert!)
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