On My Mind: The Telephone31 May 2007
- Category: Columns
- Written by Anne-Marie Woods
Now many of you may wonder, just why the telephone is on my mind this week. To be honest it’s been on my mind a lot lately, but primarily since my move to Toronto six years ago. Now this could be a huge generalization about this very large Metropolis city, but it seems that people here don’t like to communicate on the telephone; they seem to prefer inhuman contact via e mail rather than a good old shoot the breeze, how’s the weather conversation. Okay you got me, I do like to talk. But, in that way I am old fashioned. I prefer good old fashioned communication. (Yes, I still have dial up). Some people laugh because I use dial up, but hearing the various problems associated with having wireless accounts I am proud to have my dial up. (Okay okay I just graduated to a CD player a few years ago). Don’t tell anyone but I tried to hang on to that cassette walkman as long as I could before it got embarrassing at the gym. I finally bought a CD walkman and of course now people have ipods, and before that mp3’s I figure by the time I make that investment people will have a microchip attached to their ear. I do however, own a cell phone, and I recently upgraded to a flip phone; imagine that!
I still write letters, I admit my penmanship is not the best because of the many years of creating scripts, proposals and other projects on the computer. But, I found a great font that expresses what I think I could write like, if my penmanship were great and I use that. I still send Christmas cards in the mail; those I actually write in and sign by hand. I mail thank you cards to friends or to clients. I write letters to family and friends, and yes I post them with a stamp. I am not saying that I never use e mail to communicate, but I really do prefer old fashion modes of communication, when it comes to friends or family or things that are important. (Okay okay you got me again, I uh still have floppy diskettes).
And now back to the telephone. I have a few friends, some new, some who moved to Toronto recently and I have noticed a trend. They never call me to say hello, they will e mail me to ask how I’m doing or what’s going on with me; and it makes me very uncomfortable. If you are a friend, a true friend, how hard is it to just pick up the phone even once a month and dial a number. In the past few weeks I have completed a life changing course, I have become drastically ill, and I had to deal with the anniversary of my sister’s passing. Do any of these so called friends know this? No. The funniest person is the one who always writes me saying that they’d like to meet up sometime. But, how can we meet up if you never call me? I have also tried to call them, but they never pick up the phone and are never available. So, there you have it: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. I was told by them that they are not a phone person. I on the other hand, don’t understand friendship via internet communication unless you live in another area code; for which I have a great solution, because I also have a very good long distance phone plan (smiling).
So, maybe I have missed something as I grew older, maybe back in the day my friends never liked to talk on the phone but they had no alternatives. Is it just me? Or is synthetic communication a problem for anyone else?
Today, home very ill, with no one calling me to see if I was all right. (Except my family who I called long distance to let them know and the two friends in Toronto who actually answered their phones)… the telephone was on my mind.
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