In a world where phones were mostly used for calling, texting was not a common habit.
When mobile phones started to become mainstream in the late 90s, we mostly used our cell phones and flip phones (which were huge!) for calling purposes.
Once in a while we were sending a text message called SMS (short message service), or we were playing this challenging game called Snake.
Snake was great fun, but just for a little while. Snake was not a game you play for 2 hours straight.
In those early days when you receive multiple text messages, you would ask yourself: why is this person not calling me? Why sending me all these text messages?
Fast forward to the year 2020…and it is obvious that the opposite has happened.
Now when someone calls you, you ask yourself: why is this person not texting? Why making the situation so complicated by calling me?
We become anxious when a call comes in.
You are now being put on the spot, you have to sound excited now, you have to listen, respond, show interest, ask questions etc.
There is no room anymore to think about what to say or how to say it! It’s all live!
We are so comfortable in our space where we engage in mediated communication, that we don’t really feel secure about speaking to a person live.
Nowadays we constantly multitask. We are on our phone, we listen to music, we are watching a movie, we’re going through this non-stop cycle of apps, we do the dishes, we eat etc.
So when someone calls, you suddenly have to pay attention to that person.
Often times you don’t want to look like you’re busy so you feel forced to stop any activity you’re doing and pay 100% attention to that person.
This is not something we are used to lately. Also, we don’t know when the conversation will end.
We don’t know what the person wants to discuss, or for how long.
We can’t continue to do our own thing and don’t know when we can.
We feel interrupted. This is the reason why you probably don’t call a person quickly either.
You think you will invade the person’s privacy. You think the person will become anxious, or doesn’t want to talk at all.
There are people who don’t answer when someone calls. We have all been there. Me too.
You just think: not now sorry. We can text sure, but no 15-30 minutes conversation please.
Now I do tend to appreciate phone calls a lot more.
It is much better to convey your message with your voice. Duh right.
But to actually call someone or to pick up the phone and saying you appreciate the person calling you, that should happen more often.
So engage with the person when someone is reaching out. When you are exchanging messages for more than 10 minutes, just call the person.
When you do speak with someone over the phone, make sure you’re not still multitasking.
I occasionally caught myself opening and using apps while listening to someone, I then noticed that the quality of my listening drastically diminishes.
The person can even hear I’m just not 100% there. That’s not the message you want to bring across.
Be there for the person, listen to the person, engage with the person, talk about yourself and just let the conversation flow.
Another bonus: you probably saved yourself some time as well. You wouldn’t need to exchange messages for the next 3 hours anymore.
Your conversation was concluded (at least for now).