We live in a world that provides instant contact with others. The internet and cell phones have literally changed the way we access each other. Who would have thought years ago that this would have been possible? If you missed a call, oh well, the person just had to try again. If you needed something in writing, the mail was the only way to receive it. While it is certainly faster and more convenient to send an email or make a call on a cell phone, I find it interesting that people expect me to be readily available to respond.
I have a cell phone. I send emails. I still have a landline. I check them often. I will answer a call or an email promptly, but people still seem to get annoyed at times. Often I have received a call from someone who will say the just sent me an email. Sometimes they call to say they called before, but there was no answer. They guessed I wasn’t home. It really is quite humorous if you think about it. I mean none of these calls or emails are ever urgent.
I like having the cell phone on me when I go out. The schools like to be able to get in contact with you should something arise with your child. I drive an old car, so I like the idea that if I break down somewhere I can call AAA. If my kids are home, and I am home, the cell phone is off. I shut my computer down at night. I don’t need to be on the phone or the computer all day. I do not need to have people access me 24/7.
I remember talking on the phone more when I was a teenager. I had a job in my twenties where the phone rang nonstop. I think that cured me of having to be on the phone. Everyone has the right to use these items as they see fit, except when driving of course. That is another story.
When out in public it seems people will talk to anyone, at anytime, about anything. People will walk with the phone held out checking for messages. They become lost in their own little world, oblivious to anything around them. It seems to have become an appendage for many. I have sat in offices waiting for an appointment, when the person next to me will whip out the phone and make a call. I have been a store where people are clogging the aisles because they are talking. How many times have I turned around because I thought someone was talking to me? The call always ends with them saying they will call again later. I guess I must be boring because I just don’t have that much to say.
Being able to make contact is nice but it will never replace meeting or seeing people in person. The satisfaction is so much greater. The experience is richer. I will still return calls and emails but unless there is a fire, don’t expect me to be available at your convenience. I might be running errands, at an appointment, or volunteering. I might be out enjoying the weather or walking my dog. I might be busy with my kids. I just might be meeting a friend, talking face to face. Have a nice day.