The Spoken Word In Decline: Mobile Communications

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Mobile Communications

I love my mobile device, LOVE it.  I am happy to live in a time when any kind of communication can be achieved at any time.  My mobile carrier is AT&T and for the most part, I have been very happy with the service – as a matter of fact, it seems to get better and better, all the time.  I realize that not everyone can say this – I used to be one who couldn’t say that at all until I switched our household phones over to AT&T; I used to have four other cell phones with an alternate carrier – they sucked in our area.

A Change in How We Communicate

While the decline of the written word has plagued me for many years now, the deterioration of the spoken word has shocked me, often.  We are a society and species that is dominant because of our ability to communicate.   How that communication is achieved can be incredibly technical or as simple as the lovely word, “yes”.  I watch very carefully my phone bill and make changes, as needed, to my family plan.  I have watched an interesting development over the last two years, you may have observed this yourself.   Talk time usage has dropped dramatically at my house.  I have had unlimited plans, 5000-minute plans, 2600-minute plans and last year I went to a measly 700-minute plan, of course, with unlimited texting – a standard part of my phone bill for the last seven years.

A Different Kind of Phone Bill Shock

Incredibly, a recent phone bill showed the total “shared minutes” of talk time between my three children at a paltry 120 minutes.  120 The total number of text messages sent, between the three of them?  3,256!  Hmmm, let’s see, texting seems to be the way teenagers and young adults talk.  I already knew this was happening and even though I have watched it evolve over the last five years…, It was just a complete jolt to my communication psyche to see this broken down, minute by minute, text by text.

The NOW Generation

This is the new and upcoming workforce.  My children are between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four and they are all bright and well-spoken.  They just choose the quickest, fastest, least taxing way to stay in touch.  Makes sense.  There is a rather sad sentiment:  if words are not spoken, than time is not wasted.  And yet, how often do we sit back and send a text or a Facebook message and wait and wait and wait for a response, instead of picking up the damn phone and dialing a number and getting it done.  There is also something to be said for cementing relationships with an actual voice-to-voice dialogue.  I am  guilty, too.

Goal

This is an ongoing and seemingly never-ending goal for me:  Respond to at least 50% of all incoming written or texted messages via live voice on the phone.  This will be a hefty undertaking for me – a serious enterprise.  But here’s the thing.., what if it makes a difference in my life, my relationships, my business?  How could any benefit be denied?  I may report back on this and let you know how it’s going.  You too – I’d love to know how you succeed in communications today…

 

I am all for the road less traveled, how about you?

 

by Rayanne Thorn

 

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Comments

  1. Well said Rayanne.
    Many people don’t realise that as well as harking back to the “good ole’ days” we are also trying to get the best out of the present.

    I wrote a piece on a related subject a while ago, about Recruiters avoiding using the phone at all costs. http://goo.gl/JKPp

    Reply
  2. Thanks Stephen –
    I hate that recruiters avoid the phone!
    Thanks for sharing your post…
    Great minds, huh?

    -RT

    Reply

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