When I was in the 7th grade, I had the most amazing group of friends, both boys and girls and the whole group of us spent as much time together as possible. This was way before the days of cell phones so when we were not together we depended on the use of our home phones to stay in touch and communicate.
Back in those days (early 90’s) we had call waiting and three-way calling so that we were able to talk as a big group fairly often. I can remember my mom and dad getting so mad at me for being on both lines all night that no one else could get through. Often when I was just talking to one person and the phone would beep through with another caller and it was for someone else in my small, yet annoyingly popular family, I would become anxious wondering what gossip I was missing out on. Please remember I was 13 and popular by association, not because I was cool or fancy.
I would literally talk on the phone from the moment I came home from school until forced into slumber for the evening when I was allowed to. It never ever occurred to me that talking on the phone would become so passe. For the past ten years or so, I don’t think I have had one phone conversation that lasted more than an hour at most. I spend almost no time talking on the phone with friends because we all have cell phones and texting is so much more convenient. I can text twenty people at once while watching tv, doing laundry and playing a video game. I would have no chance of doing all that if we were actually speaking to each other. However, I miss those days of talking to a friend for hours on end, sad to hang up because the conversation was so stimulating. I have had almost ZERO stimulating conversations through text messaging, with the LOL’s, OMG’s and FML’s going on, how could I?
I was watching Glee last night and when the main character fainted on stage I actually said OMG. Not “oh my God”, but O. M. G! Who does that!?? Acronyms have become a part of our every day life and I almost feel like I am losing intelligence by all the text messaging I do in a day. One day I am going to try very hard NOT to use text messaging to communicate with people – if I have something to say, I will call them and say hello.
I hope I haven’t forgotten how to have a conversation over the phone. What do I say when silence fills the air?? What happened when I was 13 and silence filled the air? I don’t remember that ever happening! Is verbal communication a lost art? I hope not. I hope my future children learn how to have conversations with their voices and not with their thumbs. I hope to God that they stay up late chatting with friends and I have to
threaten gently coax them to hang up and continue the conversation another day.
If verbal communication is an important part of our past, how do we ensure it stays with us for the future? If you get a phone call from me, you will soon find out!