Raw Calling People Shows a Lack of Taste


Japanese aren't allowed to talk on their cell phones during rail transit. They text instead. It's fabulously quiet except for face-to-face conversations. I'm going to apply some American cultural supremacist dogshit standard and pretend to wonder why they don't think their conversations are so fabulous that they have to share the details with everyone else on the public transit.
I have no idea what you're babbling about. But I talk on the phone far more than 700 minutes a month.
You really have a rare talent. Even when I agree with everything you're saying, I still want to punch you.
I doubt I've talked on the phone 700 minutes in the past decade. The last time I had a cell phone I used just over 20 minutes in the entire eighteen months I had it.
@4, is a man of our times.
I'm pretty sure I've talked 700 minutes on the phone in a single day.
@5280: You're blowing the average for the rest of us.

In all seriousness, though, this is a generational thing. Those over a certain age (ahem) still use the phone, still jump when it rings, and still make it a central focus of their lives. I'm specifically thinking about my parents, whose phone bleats at ear-splitting volumes (god forbid they miss a call when they're outside in the yard) several times a day. I, however, have the "Do Not Disturb" button on my landline permanently on, and my cell phone is programmed to only ring once. Leave a damn message or send me a text, but don't expect me to respond to a ringing sound like Pavlov's dog.

I've long had an aversion to the phone, though, because I've worked some shitty office gigs answering phones all day long. The last thing I've wanted to do was talk on the phone when I get home.
Last month I used 0 of my minutes and about 5000 texts.
@6, where do you find the time for that, between all the Slogposts?
@ 6: but how many is it minus all the 1-900-hawt goats-n-guns calls, really?

I kid.... oh wait.
As a union organizer, I depend upon communication to move workers into action; I have found that in the last few years, even with aging boomers, the aversion folks have to talking on the phone has increased exponentially. Also, people cannot hold each other accountable in the virtual realm.

Thanks Charles. Great post, as always.
We must keep live communications to a minimum.

People in Seattle coffeeshops seem to be doing a pretty good job of that.
Couple points about the Japan thing... The Japanese don't like to wander around babbling on their phone in public as it's considered rude. They don't talk on the phone while on the train as it's not allowed. They also like to meet up and talk face to face over drinks or snacks so they're less likely to have to do that same catching up over the phone.
I know, right?

I do agree, though. My people are pretty well trained at this point. Dont call me, and if you do, don't expect me to answer, ever, unless you made an appointment. Even my boss.
BTW, google voice text messaging works great. I got an iPad, switched my phone to pay-as-you-go (and don't use it), and the thing is now paying for itself.
Cell phones and their ilk are pointless, designed for pointless people who do pointless things for pointless reasons. Their favorite album would be Nilsson's "The Point" -- if they could grasp the point of "The Point."
I never come close to using my 700 mins. In fact I've got just under 7000 roll over minutes available. My iPhone is a great communication tool but I don't use it to make many calls.
With people who are local, I'd prefer to text to figure out when we can see each other face to face and then do that. With people who are further away, I'd prefer to Skype, so I can see you face to face. The phone is not ideal for social connection, and now I have better alternatives.
I remember this trend from 5 fucking years ago. I'm so ahead of the curve that I'm already rebelling against the tendency in question by responding to people's text messages with direct phone calls (from a pay phone if possible.) It doesn't hurt that I have the voice of an angel and I'm willing to share it.
I agree and disagree, of course.

Texting turns people into information, sure. But "voice presence" isn't presence either - it's turning attention toward something that's not there. Especially when there are other people who are actually, literally present, you talking on the phone is absence.