What, have you lost my phone number or something?

I am slowly appraching the arrival of this message...

I am slowly appraching the arrival of this message...

I’ve recently be questioning myself about something: Why do I bother having a phone anymore? I never get any important phone calls, and even fewer unexpected ones. I don’t know if it’s that I’m not worth talking to or that people would rather just not talk to me by other electronic communication means, but for my cellphone plan? A frakkin’ joke.

If you were to look at my cellphone bill (which I’d be more than happy to thrust in your lap if you decided you’d like to contribute to its payment), you’d see that the bulk of what is used for my phone is SMS and e-Mail with some net browsing thrown into the mix. And the minutes, not only would have more rollover minutes that I actually used that month, but there is no plan LOW enough for me to switch to on AT&T!

My call log basically tracks the majority of the very few calls to 3 numbers (it used to be 4, but she’s fallen off the face of the earth…long story): My wife, My parents, and my friend Vlad. And the only reason I receive any calls from Vlad is because one of the evil voices in his head cries out “ANATHEMA!” whenever he considers a text message plan then soothes him with visions of boobs when he rejects it (Too Much?).

Is it just me that’s undesirable to talk to, or has verbal communication over long distances become so passe that it no longer is considered a formal means of communication?

As an actor the lack of verbal communication is abhorrent to me for 2 reasons: First and foremost, as a purveyor of conveying the written word, I find that being loquacious is a great part of social interaction, and I’m meaning more than a lengthy blog post about why no one talks to one another anymore. It is enjoyable to have wordplay that must be sufficed on the spot impromptu style, rather than going through numerous revisions and edits to get the wording right be cause you can’t seem to convey the perfect level of sarcasm in your quickie text. That’s like looking up the word redundant and it says “SEE REDUNDANT”. If you can talk to some one, why not do so, rather than spending gross amounts of time trying to write what in 2 seconds you could say? Are you that afraid of contact? Have confrontation issues? Are more gutsy in the written letter than you are in person? It’s a trend that I’m not liking the proliferation of in the human interaction scene.

And my second reason is simple: I have a big ego. I want people to call me, enabling me to feel wanted and that they had to get their ‘me-fix’ by calling and engaging me in conversation. It raises one’s self esteem greatly if someone calls with no ulterior motive; just to talk. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve NEVER received that call…except for my mother, and of course she doesn’t count. Everybody always is wanting something, and usually the phone call is a last resort beyond texting or e-mailing; it’s only used to really get your point across.

Some people may respond that having a phone is integral to one’s life, and that a person would be lost without it. Not me, I’d reply. Here’s why: I have a phone at my desk at work that the company pays for, complete with general answering machine. When I get home I have my computer up on Twitter and can send SMS for free via internet to anyone in my Mac’s Address Book. And they can respond to my SMS because anyone who has SMS has e-mail capabilities and it’s just as easy to compose an e-mail as it is to type a quickie SMS. And any other time I most likely don’t want to be disturbed anyhow (kinda flaws my second argument above pertaining to my ego, I know), so lack of contact isn’t an issue there.I could totally get by without having to pay the however many of hundreds of dollars a month for my phone plan, save for the fact that I do have a really kick ass iPhone.

Talking on the phone, whereas annoying in small quiet restaurants, is a dying art form it seems. People are more concerned with their 140 character sound-bites on twitter and then turn around an complain about the fact that they only have 140 characters yo use when they could have used a service not encumbered by arbitrary rules of brevity. I imagine that we will eventually phase out the phone for something akin to twitter, but I’m not quite sure what yet. But it’s coming, and it will judge us luddite phone users harshly like the right hand of whatever god you believe in (or mock).

I guess the real point of this post is this: It’d be nice if you called me every once in awhile. I know you’re busy, but it’s nice to talk to you and it makes me feel wanted. So if you can find the time, drop me a line.

I’ll make sure it hits voicemail and I’ll text you back later.

~JYH

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~ by jyhash on February 6, 2009.

6 Responses to “What, have you lost my phone number or something?”

  1. It’s possible you don’t receive many calls due to the fact that when one calls your phone, they want to speak to you right away, not wait for 30 seconds to listen to some song, then get your voicemail because your phone is charging or you forgot it was on mute. ( all of this has happened to me many times). If I think about it, you interduced texting to me!
    I, like you, love to hear that phone ring(..or laugh in my case)& chat with people.I hope the phone sticks around, what would it be like to call my favorite radio sports show without a phone?
    see ya soon…or call me later
    Brad

  2. I have to agree with Uncle Brad on this one. I blame you. I seriously never texted anybody until I met you and Jersey. Truth be told, the only reason I changed my calling plan to unlimited texts was because our texts were costing me so much extra every month. Like Brad, I want to directly speak to someone when I call and not play phone tag. Some times, even if I did leave a voice message, you’d still text me an answer. To this day, you and Jersey rarely pick up. I’m certain you have good reasons, but eventually I just gave up and got used to texting as our primary form of communication. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not complaining. I just realized it was more reliable with you guys.

  3. ALso, just to let you guys know This was more of a comment on the state of “Taking on the phone” as a whole. I only used myself as a springboard to comment on the eventual diminishing returns of the cellphone. Not really meant as a chastisement that people don’t call me. I agree that I don’t answer the phone sometimes, and the preferred methods of text is best to actually get ahold of me. I guess I should’ve been a bit more broad. But in my defense I was writing at 3AM, so there..

    ~JYH

  4. I think texting is a much more efficient means of communication. With a call, you have to dial a number, wait for it to ring, exchange greetings, exchange small talk, THEN get to the meat of what you wanted. In a text, you can cut through all that and get right to business. Efficient. Timely. Evolved.

    Although when an exchange is to be made with relational intent, a phone call is the best way to go. I guess that’s what you’re missing – relationships. Wanna hang out sometime?

  5. I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about this. We live one block away and had not talked for almost 2 months. As you get older, time gets away and you just don’t keep in touch as much. For better or worse, it seems that way for most people I know.

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