Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Are Phone Conversations Becoming Extinct?

I have two sons, ages 10 and 13.  I've recently noticed that they avoid using our house phone as if it's a rabid animal about to bite them.  Neither of them have mobile phones yet, so if they want to contact a friend, they typically ask me to call or text the mother.

One day recently I refused to make the contact for my older son, since he has the phone numbers of his friend (both home and mobile).  I forced him to actually CALL his friend himself. What a revelation.   He could barely use the house phone (and habitually uses the speaker function rather than holding it to his head, oddly).

What the heck are we teaching our kids?  Is it really such a big deal to call and actually SPEAK to someone?  What will he do when he gets a mobile phone later this summer?  I suspect that he'll use it almost exclusively to text, rather than to actually make phone calls.  I'm curious to see how that pans out over the next few months... stay tuned.

I suspect it's laziness that is at play here.  I mean really, is it that much more effort to call and have a 5 minute conversation?  Especially if the person you are trying to reach is not responding to your texts?  My kids just have no idea about the normal etiquette for contacting people.  When you try to text someone and they don't respond, then try to call and they don't answer - it's pretty obvious that they are not home or not available.  Calling them repeatedly is not going to change anything, and you're being a pest!  Yet another thing that I'll be teaching them, starting now.