I’ve been thinking about this short essay in the Atlantic called Why No One Answers Their Phone Anymore. It’s about the disappearing phone culture in America. The essay has bits of nostalgia and melancholy, but the author is ultimately fine and settled with the telephone culture change.
Reading it brought up a few thoughts on phone calls:
– As young parents, I remember specifically teaching our older kids phone skills for a Family Home Evening lesson. We talked about different ways to answer, and appropriate ways to hang up; we roll-played with the phone, that sort of thing. Cut to 10 years later and it’s not really a skill we’ve covered for the younger kids. Do they know the basics for phone calls? Probably. But I don’t know that for sure.
– We haven’t had a landline for about 8 years. This is definitely related to why I don’t know if the younger kids have basic phone call skills. They don’t have their own phone and so rarely, if ever get the chance to answer any phone calls.
– Did you see the Google AI phone call video? It’s super interesting. They share two phone calls made by computers to a hair salon and a restaurant. But the person answering the phone doesn’t know it’s a computer. It sounds like a person. The video might freak you out — it’s gotten a mixed reaction. Do you use the phone to call businesses? Unlike the examples in the video, I typically text for hair appointments, or use an app for restaurant reservations. But I do call businesses sometimes — like if I need to put a travel alert on my credit card.
– I have a strong memory of a commercial about texting back in the pre-smart-phone days. In the commercial, a young woman goes to her closet and finds a box of winter gloves, and then cuts all the fingers off the gloves. The ad was for an unlimited texting offer and the idea was that she would need fingerless gloves because she was going to be texting all the time. I remember being pretty baffled by the ad. Who in the world would ever want to text that much? (Hah! Don’t ever count on me to predict the future.)
– I noticed my sister Jordan often Facetimes people instead of texting them — friends, family, co-workers. Sometimes it catches me by surprise since texting is so prevalent. But I actually prefer it when there’s something to discuss.
– In the essay, the author treats Facetime calls as different than regular phone calls. But as I read, I realized I put them in the same category. I think of texting as different than a phone call, but anytime I’m actually talking with someone with our voices — whether it’s Skype or Hangouts or a Facetime — I think of it as pretty much the same as a phone call. And that’s true whether or not I’m using the camera feature.
– As for true phone calls (not Skype, Hangouts, etc.), I would estimate I use the phone for work maybe 3 times each week. When I find myself writing a long email with lots to explain or lots to ask, I find it’s better to just pick up the phone — especially if I’m trying to communicate with someone who has a desk job. As for personal phone calls, again, I would say maybe 3 times a week tops? I answer if I think it’s the kids calling from the school office (as I mentioned, my youngest 3 kids don’t have cell phones yet), and I use the phone to talk with my Mom, and with a few friends. But overall, my phone use is pretty minimal — though I’m sure I still make phone calls far more often than my kids do.
How about you? How often do you use your phone to make traditional phone calls? Do you have a landline? How did you answer the family phone as a kid? I would just say, “Hello.” And I remember noticing if I was at a friend’s house and they answered in a fancier way, like, “Hello, Jones’ residence.” I found the formality impressive and grownup. : ) Do your kids know how to use a landline? If they heard one ring, would they know how to answer or what to say? Any thoughts on the disappearing phone culture?
P.S. — If you’re feeling nostalgic, you might find this retro handset appealing. It plugs right into a cell phone. And they’re still selling this retro dial phone toy — which I think is super cute.
56 thoughts on “How Many Phone Calls Do You Make Each Week?”
I text a lot, but I also call! I talk to my sister who lives out of town at least a few times a week, and other family members fairly often, too. I think it’s a great way to communicate important information, to build relationships, and to get stuff done.
I rarely use the phone in my personal life, but I use it constantly at work. I’m a school counselor, and I find that it is so, so much better to call parents than to email them. We are able to resolve issues much quicker, parents can sense my tone, and I think they are more willing to work with me because it’s easier to hear that I care in a phone call than see in an email. When I first started as a teacher prior to counseling, someone told me at orientation that if it’s more than a yes or no answer and will take more than a sentence or two, you should just call. I’ve taken this to heart, and I’ve found that it’s been extremely good advice for my field. I truly feel that it’s made a difference in my relationships with parents and colleagues.
I love your thoughts on this Lindsey — I totally agree about the benefits of being able to understand tone and intent on a phone call. So important for a school counselor especially!
As an introvert, I LOVED the email revolution. However, I’m 5 years into a leadership role at work with responsibility for lots of people spread out geographically and in the last 6 months I have rediscovered the power of the phone call! I find I get much more done in a shorter time (no waiting for an email reply and ping-pong thread!) and make a better connection with my staff. I also find it focuses me and our communications as I’m not having to check all the different message-based tools that have sprung up over the last five years. It was becoming overwhelming figuring out which platform was preferred by each of the 60 people.
Super interesting. I wonder if we’ll see a telephone call comeback at work as people get worn out of the constant digital communication.
We have talked about getting rid of our landline, but I have resisted because I don’t want to always be around my phone and if someone’s really trying to reach me I want to be able to hear the phone. I find I have my cell phone on silent a lot because the pinging is distracting and annoying! I think if we did not have a landline I would feel more obligated to look at my phone more often and I don’t want my kids to think that I’m always on my phone!
I hear you on not necessarily wanting to have your phone nearby. Mine is often across the room or in another room entirely. Sometimes that’s fine, but other times I have missed a text or call that I’m embarrassed I didn’t respond to right away.
I agree with what Becky said re: being an introvert. For the most party, I’d much rather text or email. BUT, a few of my close friends now live in different states, and I’ve found it’s important to me to chat with them on the phone and hear their voices in addition to the texts and emails we send. I also still talk with my mom and husband on the phone regularly. And I’m on the phone a lot at work. I work with low income folks who generally seem to prefer talking over the phone over email. And I’ve never had a landline as an adult! (I’m 34) I remember, as a kid, how it was such a big deal to have your phone number and address memorized. I’m embarrassed by how few numbers I keep in my head now, though I have forced myself to memorize my mom and husband’s numbers.
Totally! I have Ben Blair’s number memorized, but I confess, I don’t know any others.
I just have to comment on the Mickey Mouse phone in the picture you used. When I was about 8 years old, we were at my Aunt and Uncle’s house for Thanksgiving. They had that same Mickey Mouse phone and we thought it was so cool. It was pretty cool up until my cousins and I had the bright idea to call 911 and hang up! Not long after that, there was a knock at the front door and it was the police! Our parent’s were so mad at us!!!
That Mickey Mouse phone brings back a lot of funny memories.
We had a family (friends of my husband) stay with us during an extended power outage post-hurricane in our area. Their son did this from our phone – he was about 5 or 6. The phone immediately rang back and it was the police (or the dispatcher). We apologized profusely!)
I remember that happening once at our church building in New York. I was there with a playgroup of Mom’s and young kids and one of them picked up the landline phone in the hallway and called 911 to be silly. Ugh!
I’m Australia, and we still have a landline because that’s how we have the internet connection. Our kids are the only ones who ever answer it because it’s only ever one of two callers: 1) my parents – a generation who much prefers to call, or 2) telemarketers. My kids know they’re allowed to hang up if noone speaks on the other end for a few seconds (while the connection from India kicks in), and if it is accidentally Grandma, she’ll call back. It’s been great to see the thrill of answering the phone, while avoiding the need to get them a personal phone while they’re young.
An extra note, a TV show has just started here call “Back in time for dinner” where they change up a house and family each episode to reflect a particular decade. The teenagers are so far unimpressed that the phone is in a fixed position and everyone else in the house can hear their conversations!
That show sounds fascinating!
Ha, I set travel alerts online ;-) But we still have a landline (mostly getting spam calls that I have to block on NoMoRoBo) and my favorite phone call of the week is the hour or two I spent talking to my sisters (we do a group call–our sisters conference call–for which we keep an ongoing Google Sheets agenda so during the week we can note topics we want to cover. It’s gotten pretty formal sounding but it’s really just an efficient and wonderful way for busy moms to make time to connect).
Your sisters conference call sounds awesome. Maybe it should be a podcast!
I do miss long phone calls to friends, although I’m not sure when I would have the time or focus to chat with anyone for more than a minute these days with little ones literally crawling all over me.
Something about phone/text culture that struck me recently is my communication with babysitters. They text me about everything, at any moment! Which milk they should give the kids, where is the baby monitor, should the dog go out. My neurotic side is fine with this, but it also made me realize what little contact I had with parents when I was babysitting just 15 years ago or so. Texting was around but not too huge then and people didn’t really have unlimited texting. I would never have contacted the parents unless it was an emergency, and then I would have called. They were out the door and off duty. It’s different now. I’m happy to stay connected, but if my kids weren’t so little I think I would have to say, “please don’t text me unless someone is bleeding.”
I’ve babysat as recently as 2 years ago, and I don’t think I’ve ever texted a parent, though I have called once or twice (once because the kid stepped on glass and wouldn’t let me near him to try to get it out, and once because we got locked out of the house). I agree- unless there’s a major issue (someone’s really hurt, etc), I want the parents to be able to be “off duty”. Maybe that’s also because most of the babysitting I did was for date nights, and I know those are few and far between for a lot of parents.
When I baby-sat in the 1990s, I remember getting a list that would say the restaurant’s phone number, and the movie theater’s phone number and which movie the parents would be watching. And maybe the home phone of the other couple they were going with. Needless to say, you didn’t call just to ask which milk to serve.
Whether your kids are little or not, I say you go ahead and say “please don’t text me unless someone is bleeding.” Or at least make clear to the sitter that you consider it part of her job to take responsibility for such minor decisions, and that you only expect to be contacted in an emergency. You’ll be doing her a favor, too – kids these days don’t get much opportunity or encouragement to learn to take responsibility without constant adult oversight, and they tend to find themselves anxious and lost when they’re suddenly out on their own.
I think you’re right about kids not feeling confident in making decisions or empowered to figure things out. I find it difficult to even find many babysitters as it is these days. Many don’t have any interest in it or are too busy with other activities.
Funny, we had a sitter last week for our baby, and all she really had to do was play with her for 30 minutes and put her to bed, which consists of laying her down and shutting the door. She texted twice right after we left…one of the times to ask “do you have a baby monitor you want me to turn on?” I felt bad, because I’d forgotten to give it to her, but also sort of though, dude, you’re the babysitter! Just keep an ear out and check on her every now and then. It’s literally ALL I’m paying you for all night! She’s a sweet girl – I definitely don’t think she was being lazy, just sort of afraid to figure it out on her own.
Also – semi-tangent, but NONE OF MY BABYSITTERS clean up after themselves/the kids at all. I don’t get it? I do not expect anyone to clean my house while I’m gone, obviously. But I babysat a lot as a teen, and I always ALWAYS cleaned up at least the kitchen (i.e. whatever mess we had made) and if there was time, picked up any games/messes we’d made throughout the time I’d been in charge. The only exception would be if it was daytime babysitting and there just hadn’t been “down” time to do so. I bet we’ve had upwards of 10 different teenage sitters in my daughters’ lives, and zero of them have cleaned up after themselves or the kids or whatever. What gives? Is this not a thing anymore? I don’t think anyone ever told me I had to – to me it was just common sense.
I’ve noticed the clean-up thing too – even our otherwise perfectly wonderful and responsible babysitter doesn’t clean up a single thing behind herself. She doesn’t clean up from her and my son’s dinner at all, to the point of often failing to put leftovers or the milk jug back into the fridge. I have to assume cleaning up behind oneself is not expected in her home, so it simply doesn’t occur to her.
I’m 24, and have babysat since I was 12, so I’m a bit older than your babysitters are, but I ALWAYS cleaned up the messes we made, with the only exception being if the parents came home and we were in the middle of making a mess or had just gotten the kids down to bed and didn’t manage to clean up before bed-time. I remember it was something my mom told me to do when I just started babysitting. Even when I babysat during the day, I always made the kids have 10-15 minutes of downtime while I cleared the table and cleaned the dishes. I also know that the “price” of babysitting has gone up, and what I made per hour was more than minimum wage- so it definitely made sense that I should clean up or have the kids clean up their messes.
Loving the babysitting conversation. I’m thinking I should do a whole post on it. Might be fun!
I talk on the phone or via computer several times a week, but I think that’s likely influenced by the fact that I’m abroad and can’t see my family/close friends face-to-face. I also find I MUCH prefer to talk on the phone than text or message for anything that needs planning or even a longer story- I can talk and work/do something else, but the same is less true for texting. Usually when I talk on the phone I’m at home, so I usually put in on speaker so I don’t have to hold my phone in my hand.
There are also certain people I’m more likely to call (especially my grandparents in their mid 80s- though they’re on social media and we sometimes do skype or video-chatting, it’s often easier to call them on their phone- which I do through Gmail on my laptop since I have limited international minutes). And I call my dad at his work about once a week just to talk (no worries- he’s the owner of the business so he’s not breaking any rules!).
I love how newer communication has changed living abroad. It used to be so expensive to call long distance. Even when we lived in New York, I remember having to watch our long-distance phone bill.
But a few years later, when we moved to France, suddenly we could videochat for free, as much as we wanted to, with friends across the world.
Amazing!! It has certainly given our family more confidence about sending our kids to live in another country.
My 10 yr old has beautiful phone manners. It started right from very young when we did have a landline because of living overseas so easiest and cheapest to call. When he was 4 a friend of his called my cell and I later asked how they knew my number and he said he gave it to them he had heard me give it out so much he knew it. It was the cutest.
Now he’ll call a friend to play and say hi this is David lastname, Jacks friend,Annet’s son, and I was wondering… funny of course because the parents know us and him so well but he does the full explanation each time.
My husband avoids using his phone as much as possible. I get annoyed with texting and will just call if it’s a lot to coordinate.
That is the cutest thing ever!
We kept a landline so our kids could learn. I wish all families did because then the kids can call each other to arrange getting together. It’s much harder for them to call a mom or dad’s cell phone, who might likely be at work or driving somewhere.
One of my biggest frustrations is that other parents still contact me to arrange play dates with their kids, who are heading into their teens! I try not to say, “When I was a kid…” but seriously, when I was 5 years old I knew how to call another family and ask for a friend to come play. It’s one major downside I’ve seen to the switch over from phone calls to text/email.
I wonder if some of that is geographic. Where we live, so many plans still require parents — to drive or to pay or to chaperone — that I don’t know if I feel a big difference, even when my kids get a cell phone and can communicate directly with their friends. I suppose it would feel different if all the friends lived in one walkable neighborhood.
The telephone is a miraculous thing! So is (was!) the telegraph.
I lived in PRC in 1980 and taught at a large and wonderful university.
The university had one very primitive telephone and one very primitive and small TV–both of which only faculty with strict-ruled permission could use.
I pondered at the time the total miracle of both Telephone and TV.
In 1992 I lived in Moscow, Russia. Renting an apartment with a telephone was
practically impossible. A telephone was a luxury. The infrastructure for it
simply did not exist in most places. Miraculous how things have changed!
and both China and Russia could “piggy-back” on America’s scientific pizass!
It has taken years of painful and frustrating scientific research (mostly in USA) to get where we (ALL!) are and I am deeply grateful.
I hope I remember as I answer my phone what an amazing miracle I hold!
It really is amazing how fast things have changed technology-wise across the world in the last 20 years. It seems like cell phones and internet have allowed countries that were behind to get caught up really quickly without having to build so much infrastructure first. I think it’s miraculous for sure!
I think living in the United States, I didn’t really realize how quickly technology has changed, but living in Moldova (former Soviet state), it’s very apparent. Here, the change happened even more rapidly, since most things were closed off until the early 1990s and then the economy was really bad. But while my partner teachers (born in the 80s) didn’t have color televisions growing up, they have smart phones and laptops now. Most Moldovans had barely ever used a desktop computer, but now many families have laptops and the internet is the 3rd fastest in the world (the US is somewhere around 35 for comparison). Many of them get internet for the sole purpose of being able to skype/call their loved ones working abroad (since 25% of the population does so) and so kids can see their parents virtually even if they only see them in person maybe once or twice a year.
I’m a dinosaur and still have a landline and no cell phone – my husband thinks I’m crazy. But it means I can still have good, enjoyable conversations with my older sisters, parents, and parents-in-law, who all live far away and have landlines too.
Alas, my younger siblings and siblings-in-law are cell-phone only types, which means we never have real conversations – the reception is so often poor, and most of them are so cell-phone oriented they always want to talk while driving (can’t waste time just having a conversation!) so the reception is even poorer. Mostly it feels like talking to someone through bubbles from deep underwater – which is uncomfortable and discourages a leisurely chat of any kind.
I think, ironically, cellphones have killed the telephone as a medium for conversation, and it’s a horrible step backward.
Another unintended consequence of no more family landlines – less contact with in-laws. In the past, even if the parent called mainly to talk to their own son/daughter, it was a given that they’d end up talking to the in-law too at least sometimes. Now, with phones being individual, that never really happens, and I think that’s a shame. My mother-in-law makes a conscious effort to call me and not just my husband, but I seldom ever exchange even a few words with my husband’s siblings, just because there’s no natural way for us to do so.
I think I talk to my in-laws and have my young kids participate in calls much more than would have happened in my childhood when long distance calls were expensive and we kids were pretty much shut out, beyond answering and handing off the phone. Phone calls with very young kids are tedious, and I find it much better to have a FaceTime call where they are present but the adult on the other end isn’t expected to hold their attention and carry on a conversation. I do find it funny that my kids get confused between live video and recordings. If we’re, say, watching a YouTube tutorial on repairing the sink, they’ll ask “can the man see us?”
Also, speakerphone allows several family members to interact at once . I supposed old-fashioned one-on-one calls are preferable for serious, focused conversation, but I like having the ability to call up my far-flung family at any time for any occasion and share a little bit of our daily lives (like my daughter performing a dance routine). A far cry from my brief monthly calls home when I did my year abroad in the ancient year of 2001.
Well, I guess it’s a matter of taste – I find speakerphone and group skype calls painful, chaotic, and devoid of genuine communication – but they’re the only way my son gets contact with his cousins at all. I’d vastly prefer to put a little kiddo on the line for 20 or 30 seconds to say hi to grandma or whoever, and then get on with things, and I think it would be more meaningful than the everybody-all-at-once, let’s-drag-this-out-endlessly-and-pretend-the-kids-are-really-engaged “conversation” that happens in my family on Skype. (Although I can imagine scenarios where it might be worthwhile – like a deployed parent getting to see their toddlers, etc.) I also find speakerphone (like cellphones) encourages multi-tasking and distraction rather than prioritizing the conversation. My parents are always trying to do bizarre, noisy things like grind their coffee (!) or brush their teeth while we’re on speakerphone.
“Another unintended consequence of no more family landlines – less contact with in-laws.”
Such a good observation that I’ve never considered — and yet it’s totally true at our house. Ben fields all the Blair family phonecalls/texts/FB messages. But if I think back, that didn’t used to be the case at all.
My four best friends and I have spent years communicating all day, every day via group text. It could be really overwhelming if you were out of commission on a day where lots of conversation went on via text, and you’d have to try to catch up and sort through all of it. But, texting works because you can text something as you’re thinking about it, and know the girls will catch up when they get a minute.
We’ve started using an app we love called Marco Polo (I’m not a Snapchat user, but I’ve gathered that one difference is that on Marco Polo, you can just ramble on indefinitely! And the conversations don’t go away after a while.) Anyway, I feel like it’s changed our communication for the better, in a big way!
We’ve been friends since childhood, but have lived far from one another for at least fifteen years now, I’d forgotten how incredibly refreshing and just awesome it can be to LAUGH with my girls. Like, not “LOL HAHAHAHAH” but good old fashioned LAUGHING our heads off while we tell a story, or respond to someone else’s story. We get brief views into the others’ days, kids popping in, husbands rolling their eyes at us…it’s just – awesome. It’s easier to tell whether someone is having a rough day and needs a pick-me-up, because you can see their expressions and hear the tone of their voice. But, it’s still convenient to pop in when you have a few minutes and know the others will respond when they get a chance.
Thanks for the heads up on Marco Polo — I haven’t heard of it. And I love that you have daily communication with your best friends. That’s fantastic!
Anna, it’s true – there is little to no contact between my husbands friends and family and myself. Part of it is that we became a couple at a time when many folks were ditching the landline. We still have one, but we’ve done without out (like when our kids were too small to answer a phone anyway.)
My children have horrible phone etiquette, mainly due to lack of practice. I try to “train” them the way I was: Answer the phone and say “Hello, who is it please?” letting the caller know you expect them to identify himself. Never volunteer information to an unknown caller.
I also answer the incoming calls at my office, and I am continually shocked how supposed professionals my age and older have horrible phone etiquette. If you don’t want me to think you are a random telemarketer, please identify yourself and your business when you call. Everyone here is working and no one wants to be interrupted unnecessarily.
My daughter is a bit more comfortable than my son is on the phone. But recently we were talking and she was shocked that there were no cell phones when I was a kid, and that I might be out all day without my mom being able to reach me!
I socially speak to a few friends that live far away whom I can’t see in person. Otherwise, I think texting and email are great! Especially if you’re communicating with someone who tends to remember things differently from the way you do – if it’s in writing, you can refer back to it.
Huffington Post recently had a list of introvert tweets, this one hit home:
Just listed my wife as my emergency contact and added the note “please text, she doesn’t answer calls.”
That tweet made me laugh!!
Anytime my phone rings, my kids assume it’s “popo” or “gung gung,” my mom or dad, because they are the only ones who really ever call! We haven’t had a landline in almost ten years. I don’t mind calls, but it comes down to whatever is easiest. if I can make appointments or do something via text or online easily, then I will. But for certain things it’s easier to call and talk to someone.
No kids, so I can’t speak to that, but I have found it necessary to instruct young (17-20) co-workers in phone etiquette: that they really must answer with, “Hello, this is (unit), (blank) speaking, how may I help you?” because they’ve grown up without landlines, & don’t realize that the caller doesn’t know whom they’re speaking to unless they’re told. Since we work in long-term care a lot of our callers are elderly, & will just assume that they’re speaking with mannerless yobs, never imagining that it’s just ignorance.
For myself, I rarely call anymore. I love texting & email, because I can send either when I’m awake–I work nights–without disturbing anyone, & they can respond when THEY are awake without disturbing me.
“They’ve grown up without landlines, & don’t realize that the caller doesn’t know whom they’re speaking to unless they’re told.”
That reminded me of my younger kids figuring out you can’t rewind TV — like if we’re watching at a hotel. Every other video media they come in contact with can be paused, rewinded, etc.
As a funny aside to all of this, I guess I mostly only use speakerphone. I realized this yesterday when a little school friend called my cell phone and asked to speak to my daughter (8). When my daughter grabbed the phone, she kept holding the bottom of the phone up to her but I had to keep telling her to put the top of the phone to her ear because it wasn’t on speaker phone. Ha!
On a more related note, I talk on the phone to my Mom and Dad at least once a week. And my husband is out of town for half of the year so we call morning and night. Plus I have a few childhood friends (out of state) I catch up with on the phone. Don’t get me wrong, I love texting and a good group thread, but for me, there’s so much more to say when you’re actually on the phone. I get so much more connection out of talking on the phone!
I think the allure of the phone is hugely diminished by how often telemarketers call! We moved overseas 10 years ago and before we left (and where we lived in Ireland) that wasn’t a thing. When we returned to the States a few years ago, I couldn’t believe how rampant the telemarketing had gotten! It’s so disruptive!
On another note altogether, I will never not have the two phone-related positive memories etched in my brain: I can remember every single detail about where I was when we got the two phone calls that we had been matched with our two babies!
I am sad land lines are going away, especially in families with children in the home. You never know when an emergency might arise and a cell phone 1) is not around; 2) cannot be found; 3) is not charged; 4) is unfamiliar to the user who needs to make the emergency call; 5) requires a password or fingerprint or some other specific access trick to use it; 6) or doesn’t have service for some reason.
This is such a good point. The reception is too spotty where we live to feel safe enough in an emergency situation. Even calling the pediatrician is so much easier with a land line.
I’m not sure if this is still true, but when I worked as a lifeguard supervisor at a pool several years ago, we were also told to always use the landline in emergencies because it immediately gives the 911 responders your location, while a cell phone doesn’t. Maybe now it’s just as easy to track a cell-phone location, but I’m not sure.
We did not have a landline for years but actually plugged it in the last six months and it really freaks us out if it rings. I speak with my Mom on the phone mostly but if she calls my cell and I am at home I will call her back on the land line so we don’t have to deal with static and dropped calls. Our neighborhood does not have great cell reception at all.
My partner just decided not to replace his cell phone and uses the land line to take calls with clients if needed but communicates primarily through e-mail. We use jabber to talk to each other and with friends via a web connection.
I text with my sisters but would prefer to talk to them on the phone and hear their voice. I love talking on the phone with my best friend who lives far away. She calls me on her long drive home. It is so much more fun than texting! When I speak with my Mom (who is 81) I can tell how she is feeling and if she slurs. My daughter will jump on to chat with her too and ask her a thousand questions. Her favorite is “What did you have for breakfast?”
We live in France and still have a landline and we will keep it.
We have a rule with close friends and family to always try first the landline at night and weekends. – mainly because we turn off our cell phones if we are at home. Otherwise, we were interrupted all the time on the cell phone for basically nothing. We find that if it’s important or meaningful, people will call the landline. We don’t need to get news 24/7 (most important news, it doesn’t matter if we receive it at night or in the morning), we don’t need to see everyone’s cute or funny or even political post 24/7.
We try to be really intentional about our time and how we communicate. We are also trying to teach our child that you can live a fulfilled life and be being more present without being connected all the time. She doesn’t have a cell phone yet, but she is learning by what she is seeing.
I also find that it’s more pleasant to have a long conversation on a landline than on a cell phone.
I don’t think that skype or facetime is the same than a phone call, though. I can be on the phone still in pajamas, or without having brushed my hair, or with a towel (if I was about to get into the shower) on the phone, but not on Skype.
But that’s us… and I like writing handwritten letters to everyone I know and even to strangers…
My 16 year old texted me at work asking how to use an extension on a phone number. He was calling someone about a summer job and had no idea how an extension worked. I think he only talks to his grandparents and parents on the phone. I use the phone all the time at my desk job but not much otherwise except family.
We got rid of our landline a year or so ago and I don’t miss it. The only people that used that number were scammers and salesmen. But, I find I avoid making phone calls because reception in our house isn’t great and I have to either be on the 2nd floor or in one corner of my first floor. Not an easy situation when you’re trying to keep an eye on an active 3 year old.
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I just read another blogpost about phones –