Social distancing is at an all-time high in 2020, but the reality is, we started “social distancing” years ago. Text messaging is the most prevalent form of communication for Americans under the age of 50, but I just can’t fully embrace it. Yes, I will send a quick text to acquaintances, but I actually call my mom friends on the phone, whether they like it or not (ha). I mean, we are still friends, so they can’t hate it that much! We live in a culture that’s so disconnected, the sheer thought of calling someone rather than texting them has become a viral cringeworthy meme.
Why the heck are phone calls so taboo? I actually like to hear someone’s voice, I like to literally LAUGH OUT LOUD together rather than typing “LOL” and hearing my own cackle. I don’t mind the constant interruptions of our kids in the background while we attempt to have an adult conversation while folding laundry. I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I need that adult fellowship throughout the week. Otherwise, the majority of my conversations are with toddlers, and let’s face it, as much as I love my kids, they are not always the best conversationalists. Think of the impact a short phone call would make on your day if a friend or family member quickly called you to say, “I just wanted to let you know you are a good mother,” or “I wanted to sing you happy birthday.” How much sweeter is a call from a spouse saying, “I love you,” in the middle of the workday? Perhaps I am old fashioned, but I believe there is more authenticity in hearing words come out of someone’s mouth than reading them on a screen.
Okay, okay, I get it. Some things don’t require a phone call. Text your grocery list, but don’t send me a five-paragraph essay and expect a response. Who has time for that? Phone calls can be faster, and you can actually multitask while talking to someone. Phone calls may actually even be more considerate! Your hands aren’t busy typing, and you aren’t tied up correcting all the grammatical errors when Siri couldn’t get your voice text right.
And while I don’t hate texting, however, can we at least establish some kind of text etiquette? Heavy conversations are meant to happen in person or over the phone, not via text. In addition, text messaging makes us too available, and I’m not about it. If you call someone and they don’t answer, you don’t typically call them five more times… unless it’s an emergency. In the same fashion, if someone doesn’t answer your text, you don’t need to send eight follow-up texts prompting them to respond faster. They might actually be busy. It’s like leaving a voicemail — people call back when they are available.
Though it is 2020 and a text is sometimes necessary or more convenient, “old-school communication” isn’t completely dead… yet. This is your daily reminder to call a mommy friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Call your mom, dad, sister, brother, cousin, grandparent, or whoever else you consider family. In a world of text messages, be a phone call. Someone may really appreciate it.