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The (Almost) Lost Art of Talking with Family and Friends on a Telephone

 

According to consumer behavior measurement company, Nielsen, the traditional phone call “died” in the autumn of 2007, when in the last quarter of that year the average monthly number of texts sent on mobile phones (218) exceeded, for the first time in recorded history, the average monthly number of phone calls (213).

Gone were the days of hours of conversations, laughter, real-time reminiscing and truly “catching up.” Along came the iPhone, introduced in June 2007, which made phone call reception worse, but did everything else so well that everyone had to have one. It was a “telephone,” but for its functions, including text and social apps like Facebook, we stopped thinking of it as a phone and started calling it a “device.”

Facebook and social media are poor substitutes for truly catching up with family and friends. We all tend to be so spread out geographically, that we would think we would call each other more to keep in touch. But then Facebook came along – an unprecedentedly popular and useful means of updating – broadcasting one way – events and goings-on’s in our lives. However, updating is not a conversation, is it?

Haven’t you ever cringed at the types of updates some are willing to share on Facebook? Medical emergencies, deaths, divorces and other life challenges are posted as if they are on par with recipes and home improvement updates. The distance between us feels greater somehow.

“Back in the day,” a loudly ringing telephone caught everyone’s attention because you never knew who it might be! There was a welcoming openness to long, meandering conversations which provided insights, history, stories, laughter, communion. Connections. Our connections through text and social media now include emojis to help to explain in text what would have been pretty clear through our voices.

Today there is some evidence that phone calls are making a resurgence as voice connections are technologically better than ever. (See Wired magazine: “It’s Not Just You – the Lowly Phone Call is Making a Comeback”. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a “best-in-class” technology for the delivery of telephone service over the Internet. At SpeedConnect, we’ve been providing and advancing this reliable, secure and inexpensive phone service along with our internet and satellite TV services, because it fits with our goal of connecting our customers as best we can.

John Ogren
Founder and CEO

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