Saturday, November 5, 2011


Related to my last post, it dawned on me today that I don't talk to people the way I used to. I don't mean face-to-face. I still converse and interact with physical people the same way I always have.  I mean long-distance people.

With FB and email and texting, I don't pick up the phone and talk to people the way I used to.

Geeze, in high school I was on the phone all the time.  And we only had one cordless phone! If I was on the kitchen phone, which had a very long cord, I used to drive my mom crazy by walking back and forth past the table in the breakfast room and then into the kitchen and towards the hall to the diningroom, back towards the sink and then back into the breakfast room.  On the cordless phone I used to walk in circles around the living room couches and then around the dining room table in a figure 8.  Or I'd be on the phone while doing homework.  And not always strictly conversing.  Sometimes we were independently doing homework, or sometimes we were working on something together.  Or sometimes we were gossiping or talking about the most recent high school drama. Thank goodness for call waiting!

College was a little different.  We emailed a bit but it was still somewhat new so we also talked on the (still-not-wireless) telephones.

In grad school I walked a lot around town so I talked to people on my cell phone (once I finally got one in 2003) as I was going from home to class or between classes, etc.

When I got engaged I telephoned everyone to let them know.

When I got pregnant the first time, I phoned some people and emailed the rest.

When I had a miscarriage, I emailed everyone (but received phone calls in return).

When I got pregnant the second time I emailed everyone.

When Nate was born I posted it on myspace and facebook and emailed (and called my mom and brother).

Now I kind of assume people are reading it on Facebook or Google+.

And also there's texting.

Today I wanted to talk to one of my high school friends.  Like with my voice on the phone. We've arranged a time to chat on Monday.  Remember when we used to just call people at random?  I think it's combination of becoming "adults" and parents and a combination of the new forms of communication that have developed.  I wonder if people felt like this when telegraph and telephone started to become more widely used when before it had been a letter or nothing.

1 comment:

  1. I think the idea of what's polite has changed. I definitely see the asynchronous ways of communication (sending an email or text) as being A LOT less intrusive than making a phone call. I will only call very good friends out of the blue. With anyone else I feel really presumptuous if I demand their attention *right now*. It didn't used to feel that way when the gentler (but still potentially instantaneous) ways of communication didn't exist.