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I don't like the phone.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Confession: I'm not a fan of the telephone. I think the phone is truly a genius invention. In a way, I think it's cooler than the Internet. The fact that you can communicate in real time, via voice, with someone on the opposite side of the world is pretty fascinating to me. When you really think about it, doesn't it seem almost more advanced than sending an email or an IM? You can actually LISTEN TO someone ten million miles away--hoooo, doggies!

While I appreciate the functionality of the phone, I hate phones pretty much in general. It starts with the ring. It's disruptive and rude. I get scared every time my phone rings--EVERY TIME. It startles me. Changing up the ringtone to a favourite song or a less jarring noise doesn't help. No matter what I'm doing, the sound of the phone ringing is frightening.

After I get over the initial shock of the noise, there's a gross apprehensive feeling that follows. Who could that be and what could they want? I always assume the worst. Who calls with good news or just to chat these days? No one, that's who. It's either somebody calling to tell you something horrible has happening, or to ask for something. Both scenarios suck. The lesson here = avoid answering the phone.

Caller ID is both the best and worst thing to happen to the telephone. Screening calls is something I do all day long. It's kind of snotty though, huh? If I try to call someone and it rings through to voicemail, I worry that my call is being screened, too. I have to remember that not everyone is as rude as I am.

I hate talking on the phone. I hate marathon phone calls. I will call you to make plans...this is where we're meeting and this is the time. That's all the phone is good for. This is why we have email...so we can have a "paper trail" and also use cute emoticons ;) People worry that the "tone" of emails can be misinterpreted, i.e. something that's meant as a joke can be construed wrongly in writing. I think that if you're literate, that's not an issue. Texting is also a preferred method of communication for quick changes in plans, reminders of things to pick up at the store, and so on, but texting can get pretty onerous too, when you go back and forth 15 times to figure out what movie you're going to, for example. People need to learn to do things like HANG OUT FACE TO FACE! and make plans.

Example situation: You're meeting your pally-wally for lunch and you don't know where to go.

Do you...

a) Call him/her to get the deets and get sucked into an hour-long phone conversation about how his/her significant other is a douchebag and American Idol results
b) Text him/her and get a chain of messages similar to "Where do u want 2 eat?" "I dunno, u?" "Could do either Subway or Quiznos" "Which Subway?" "Robie St by theatre" "Huh?" "the one where Jimmy works" "I don't have my car" ET CETERA for fucking eternity...
c) Call him/her, say "Let's meet at (insert central location) and go from there" HANG UP the phone and only text to let him/her know if you'll be late?

A and B are very real dangers and happen all too frequently thanks to that ball and chain called the telephone. Serious buzzkill situations.

I admit there are some kickass phones available. H2B got an iPhone recently and that thing will do everything for you except wipe your ass. The apps are amazing. Camera phones are handy particularly in police-ish situations, and it can be entertaining when you're in a public place and some middle-aged woman's Akon ringtone starts blaring. It's true, phones aren't all bad. But I like my phone best when it's silent.

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