Friendships and good ol’ phone calls

How do you communicate with your friends? Are you more of an emailer, texter, or caller? How do you maintain your relationships? For me personally, it’s a mix of all of the above. But I realized that I don’t talk on the phone at length with my newer friends, and by newer friends, I mean friends made in the last 5-10 years. I generally use emails, texts and social media to communicate with them.

I started thinking about this after reading the article, Is Voicemail Over? One interesting statistic from the article was a study from 2012 that said people use their phones for actual calls only 12 minutes a day.

Most of the people I talk to on the phone I’ve known for a really long time, and we grew our friendships by speaking on the phone, so it’s normal to continue that habit, and there’s something quite comforting about it. I remember that new, fresh period of my high school friendships when a friend and I would begin talking on the phone, and how intimate it felt, even though it was just two voices, laughing and chatting. Usually it involved me sitting on the rolling office chair in my room, attempting not to lean back too far, staring out the window at the adjacent apartment, gossiping about the Backstreet Boys, and being interrupted by my dad yelling, “Get off the phone or you’re not going to that Hanson concert!” (Oh god, did I really just admit that to the world? Yes.)

My phone doesn’t ring often. The only friends I talk to on the phone are older friends. I think somehow the phone as calling and talking device hasn’t gotten a bad rap – people see the a ringing phone as an intrusion. Nowadays, people text first to ask “Can I call?” or email to say, “Let’s set a phone date!”

I guess there’s nothing at all wrong with that, but I do miss the days of getting a random call and spending an unplanned hour of your afternoon catching up with a friend. And do you think hearing our friends actual voices and having to reply on-the-spot brought us closer together?

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