Let’s Talk

Apparently, talking on the phone has become a thing of the past. Young people won’t pick up the phone anymore and consider phone callers rude, according to an article I read recently. Much better to text, because you can formulate your thoughts without being put on the spot. One woman said one friendship consisted only of texting, and she was happy with that. I had to wonder what would happen if she and her friend met face to face. Would one say something the other didn’t like? Would they be uncomfortable? Or would they just sit side by side and text?

That’s what I saw two young men doing at a restaurant recently. This is a common phenomenon now, but it still puzzles me. If I meet a friend for coffee or a meal, we’re often the only ones talking; everyone else (that is, younger than us) is staring at their computers or phones. Way back when I was young, it would be akin to people meeting for dinner and each one reading a different book. It would have been considered rude if not strange. Isn’t the point of getting together to share stories, talk about our lives?

I was with a group of friends, all of us in our 70s, and we were complaining to each other about how fast technology changes, how we don’t understand it and how frustrating that can be. Our conversation was lively and humorous, flowing from one topic to another. I can’t imagine how it could have been reduced to texting. I guess we would have been using the LOL phrase a lot (or is that passe? Let me know) or the laugh emoji. But laughing—in person—can be infectious and, from what I read, good for your mental and physical health.

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