There’s a Facebook meme that I sometimes see, and it goes something like this: “Call me old fashioned, but I prefer a phone call to a text message. I want to hear your voice, to have a personal connection, not just read what you have to say.”
I don’t think I have the words exactly right, but the gist of the thing is there, and it’s the general message and attitude of it that I want to address to begin with. The attitude conveyed by the meme seems to be one of self-righteousness and self-congratulation—though probably most of the people who share it don’t feel that way. To many of us that’s the way it comes across, though, and I have little doubt that the originator of the meme felt smug and snooty as he or she created it.
It’s to that person that I’m really addressing the first part of this post, but I also want to speak to those who thoughtlessly share the meme, causing real pain for some people, one of whom is me.
First, and perhaps foremost, I want to address the absurd notion that a phone call could ever be “old-fashioned.” Humans have had telephones—in any form—for barely over a century, and for the first half of that time, the phone was a rarely used, and a rarely owned, item. Phones as a ubiquitous means of communication only came into common existence in the latter half of the twentieth century, and became something each person carried on their person only within the last decade or so. Writing, on the other hand—text messages, if you will—has existed in one form or another for millennia. Continue reading “Phone calls aren’t old-fashioned, and a call from me isn’t worth the effort, anyway.”