Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Sad Side-Effect of Cell Phones

Once upon a time, when I called my mom to ask a quick question, sometimes my dad would answer.  Then we'd chat for a few minutes.  Or if my in-laws called to talk to Gary, sometimes I'd answer the phone.  When the kids grew old enough to answer the phone, they might catch a few minutes to say hi to Grandma and chat for a minute or two. 

With cell phones, that doesn't happen.
When I call Rachel, I don't bump into Matt.  Calling Paul to ask a question won't provide the opportunity to shoot the breeze with Mandy.  I have to choose which number to dial.

Even with landlines, the caller-ID provides a heads-up of which person should answer the phone.  So when I call Katie, Nathan seldom answers, assuming (usually rightly) that I'm calling to talk to her.

In the last couple of weeks, I'm recognizing these technological "advancements" as unpleasant barriers.


  1. You must just be unlucky (lucky?)in calling us- we tend to leave both our phones in the same place, so whoever is closest is the one who generally answers. I've had several chats with Mary because of answering Matt's phone!

  2. Quite true. . .I haven't talked to my in-laws on the phone in years for this very reason. Larry will sometimes call my dad with car questions, but I am not a phone person so I seldom call anyone but my mom.

  3. Like Rachel, I leave my cell-phone on the counter and it is generally the kids who run and answer it when it rings. Which now I count as a good thing as they are getting the chance to talk with my mom.

  4. Susan, this is something that I lamented after Kelsey married Andrew, because I am afraid that she will not have the close relation with her mom-in-law, like I had with Esther. When the in-laws call they call Andrew's cellphone.

    I have talked about this at quilting and the other ladies tell me that they never talk with their grandkids anymore, because they all have individual cellphones. The ladies are afraid that they may bother their grandkids, and also it is a hassle to call each individual phone to talk them.


  5. I must be the only one who finds this a benefit.

    But then, I'm terrible at making small talk, and find I'm awkwardly casting around for *something* to say to be polite when both parties know I need to speak with the other person.