Jan

25

In Defense of Phone Calls

Written by

what your face looks like when you talk to your mom

Give it a try

Remember when the entire lexicon of AOL emoticons consisted of tilted punctuation? Do we even need to say “XD”? How far we’ve come. Can we put down the hundreds of emoji available to us and just pick up the phone? Alexander Pines, CC ’16, says it might be time to stop screenshitting and start calling.

You’re at a party that’s quickly going downhill, iPhone in hand in order to look busy or interesting or something, and you’ve just realized that the last conversation you had with your friends consisted of sending [heart] [airplane] and [happy alien] in response to [sad face] [candy] [blue shirt]. You sent your boyfriend a panda next to a gun next to a wrapped gift and couldn’t understand why he doesn’t take you seriously. The emojis need to [stop sign].

Without a doubt, texting and smart phones have irrevocably changed the landscape of the English language. Linguists are arguing that texting improves writing and spelling for children and while Orwell might be crying newspeak and doublethink from the grave, the Oxford English Dictionary added OMG, LOL, FYI, and TMI in 2011. It follows that actual phone calls might be going the way of landlines and VHS, right?

You carry around a $200+ device that lets you tweet, text, Instagram, Facebook message, snapchat, find Google answers in lectures, and shoot birds at pigs during class. It’s time to start using it to make calls. Orwellian rants aside, the phone call needs to make a comeback.

While texting isn’t the lowest form of communication on the pillar of chat, it is not the timesaving model of efficiency we pretend it is in order to get out of phone conversations with relatives and awkward classmates. It takes more time to tell autocorrect to stop calling my mother a motherfucker than it does to actually call her. Tell me that texting saves time and I’ll show you every message I sent that didn’t have any “l”s or “m”s because every time I try typing them I hit the backspace key and delete everything. And yes, I admit it, I do use Siri to send texts for me. But isn’t it faster to call that friend and say “want to get lunch with me” than it takes to fix “one uh get lynch wifey?”

Have plans to meet someone at 1020 but they’re really late to show? Call them. It’s way less annoying than sending eight texts that all say “where are you????? :(” Not sure if your concerned tone is getting across right when you’re helping a friend through a rough time? Try actually letting them hear your voice–adding extra punctuation doesn’t make you sound more sincere.

When the most significant human interaction you’ve had in the past month is sending your parents a screencap of your bank app’s dismal account summary page after buying textbooks, the texting has to stop. You won’t turn into a luddite, you can stop worrying about picking the most appropriate emoticon, and you won’t accidentally tell your mother to suck your dick. Besides, those fingerless gloves aren’t fooling anyone—it’s just too damn cold to text.

She’s on the phone with her mother via Wikimedia Commons

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3 Comments

  1. Michael

    As someone who tries to do this, I feel compelled to warn anyone that's been swayed by the above; people will think you're super weird at first when you start calling regularly.

  2. For me...  

    ...it's more a question of not wanting to bother someone in class or work with issues that can wait until they find a minute to respond.

  3. too late  

    once I get my google glasses, i'll be able to text with my eyes, right? soon there'll be a chip in my brain that just reads my thoughts.

    i'll be able to walk around shielded from the world without ever remembering what my thoughts sound like inside my brain.

    #icanwait #stillhasdumbphone

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