Hi! It’s Me…How Are You?

Just like letters received by post are a rarity these days, so are phone calls on a land line…I get text messages and calls on my mobile all day long, but my house phone remains silent as a grave…If it ever rings, it makes us jump out of our skins and it is always a telemarketer trying to sell me something I don’t need…

When I was a school kid, we had only one phone line (which was half the time dead) in the house and calls were a premium commodity especially STD calls…If any of us had to make one, we had to wait for the off peak time and then try till our fingers nearly fell off to get the call through…Calling a friend in another town was unheard of, something my daughter can’t understand…If she wants to call her friend in Gurgaon (we are in Singapore), she simply tells me to dial the number and I do so without hesitation…

Then I started working and got myself a mobile phone…Rates were high then so I mainly used it as a pager…I would see who was calling and then call that person back using my land line…

Now I’m nearly drowning in my prepaid minutes…I call my mother in India every day and still have many leftover minutes at the end of the month…I’ve started calling my sister and friends too, but for some reason I can never use up all the minutes…

So, here are a couple of questions for constant texters: “Are you really saving time and improving efficiency with all the button-pushing? Do you have to know everything NOW?”


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14 thoughts on “Hi! It’s Me…How Are You?

  1. I dont know if we are saving time or not, but the technology has brought in a lot of convenience and efficiency.
    The time you are mentioning of land lines–so many years back–is history. There was no compilation,incomes were very low and so were the priorities.
    My son lives in Singapore,even after talking to them at least four times a day, we are up to date and my wife is so relieved.Cost of calls has become irrelevent.

    Me: I agree with you…Our expectations have also changed…We are now addicted to constant information exchange…Most children have become cell phone addicts which I think is not good…There’s no doubt that cell phones have made life easier and I’m glad my daughter will go out with one when she starts going out on her own but it still makes me think about life before mobiles…

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  2. Sraboney I feel everything can be used or badly used. When pressure cookers and gas stoves started being used there was criticism about how bad the food cooked by these tasted. I have friends who think good old snail mail made us write while the internet and emailing kills creativity, expression and writing – but all of us who blog know that’s not true!

    But then we can use technology in more than one way…

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  3. While technology certainly has made cell phones a very convenient thing, as far as timely communication is concerned , what I object to is the additional unnecessary technology like Radio playing, cameras, recorders, televisions, and stuff built into phones. People with wires in their ears all appearing to talk to themselves, missing buses while playing games on the cell, and constantly exchanging messages (barring emergencies), the whole day is something I can do without . I know a lot of folks who can message very well with approved shortforms, but get tonguetied speaking extempore for 2 minutes in any situation……..

    Yes, a lot of buttons are being pushed. But with all the extra gadgetry I am not sure any time is being saved.

    Me: The worst is driving while talking…How many lives can be saved if people just stopped doing that…

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  4. Really. When I see people riding bikes with at least people on it. At least one kid would be seated on the petrol tank and most often would have dozed off and would be lying on the petrol tank. And the guy riding would be busy on the mobile clearly oblivious to all the honking behind him. I mean, how imp could that call be???

    😀 LOL abt ur land phone. Very rarely does mine ring. I would be in the house and would not realise it was my phone!!!!!

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  5. I’m afraid, your terminal question is a loaded one – with only one possible answer, a “no”. 🙂

    If you frame the question differently answer might change as well – “do we need to factor in physical proximity in prioritizing who & what we communicate with, when technology is constantly making physical distance a negligible factor?”

    Communication technology is adding to our ability to choose who to communicate with. I don’t have to ask my neighbor how a movie was, if I better trust judgement of my friend living in another city, or even a fellow blogger!

    But to highlight an issue not covered by, this ability to surround ourselves with people who share our value systems & opinions is making us more bigoted. Rejection of dissent & disagreement is only one click or push of a button away. It gives us a false sense of being ‘right’ in our opinions. There’s a decreasing need to put up with disagreements in:

    1. Face-to-face interactions. You just cannot ask a person to shut up only because you disagree with them. You’ve to reason out. Moreover, despite differences, one has to ‘adjust’ & coexist.

    2. Viewing TV programs & reading news. You can switch a channel, but only after you come to know what the counterview was. Moreover, because of limited availability of choice, one is bound to return to something one doesn’t approve of completely.

    3. People we ‘connect’ with in online communities, like blogosphere, twitter, etc. We can ‘block’ or neglect a person even upon slightest instance of disagreement. We can reject comments on our blog posts if we do not agree with them. Since many people are available online, we gradually tend to best connect with people who agree with us on almost all issues. From that point on, it’s very easy to believe that everyone I know agrees with me, so I must be so correct & so perfect! Of course, that’s an extreme I’m talking of, but gradually we’re reaching there. 😦

    Ideas in last part of my comment are not originally mine, but had found them here in an excellent blog post by Harmanjit Singh – Food for Thought, and for the Soul (click).

    Me: read it – interesting…

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  6. Constant texting is something I find difficult to understand.. Especially, as you say, calling up somebody is so much easier.

    But then again, we are probably older, I have seen a lot of younger people texting constantly. So they might just have a lot more to share? I don’t know.. All I know is that I never text, unless I have to – I find it a very painful and time consuming process.. I prefer picking up the phone and calling..

    Me: According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, at least half of 12-17 year olds (in America) who own mobiles send 50 SMSs a day…43% of teens who take their phones to school send at least 1 text from class a day, despite the fact that many schools have banned cell phones in class…Girls send and receive about 80 texts a day and boys about 30…Voice calls are usually reserved for parents…

    I also hate abbreviations and can’t understand why people can’t use predictive text…

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  7. How do you have minutes left? Please please please tell me!!! I always, but always run out of mine.:((

    Me: GM, everybody tells me I’m not much of talker esp. on the phone…So, even though I think I’ve talked a lot, I guess it’s not long enough…

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  8. There are so many other options available now–chat, social networks, etc. I know a lot of parents who have started using these mediums to converse with their kids and catch up with their own friends.

    Landed here via Indiblogger.

    -rechristened

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  9. Still dont use SMS unless it is an emergency….

    the point raised by Ketan is interesting….

    Communication technology is adding to our ability to choose who to communicate with…

    think we have now become less accommodating ..

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  10. Sraboney, I can relate to your reply to Goof. For some reason, I just cannot talk on the telephone. It makes me uncomfortable. And no matter how much I do, it is never enough for some! 🙂 Neither do I like to text. I guess I got stuck in stone age, while the whole world zoomed past me. I still believe the telephone to be just a fall back measure in case you need to urgently contact anyone – not a regular mode of communication! BUt then, that`s the wacky me. No wonder I have very few friends! :):)

    Me: We are quite similar…

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  11. I am with you with never ending minutes. With my plan they luckily get added to the next month allowance. I have had times when we had relatives come over to stay with us, and each time they had to call they would use my phone (I was lucky for they stayed only two days) for at that time I had a talk time of over $1000/- with each ten minute call around the country costing just $4.

    Like everyone else before me said, I agree with the fact that it depends on our individual preferences. So many of us prefer to use social networking/ skype to communicate rather than phones, that adds to the difference as well.

    As far texts, I limit them to the SOS only.

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  12. I still don’t know why texting is not dead. Beat me totally. Unless, of course, you don’t want to or have time to talk. May be I feel this way because I can’t key in at the lightening speed that some do. Na. Can’t be.

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