Remember growing up with the old corded phones? The ones that were perfectly shaped to wedge between your shoulder and your ear?
Yeah those were the days. I wasn’t allowed to monopolize our home phone as a kid. But we did have one of those really long cords that could stretch all the way across the kitchen. My mom wasn’t really one to talk on the phone too often either, but when she did have a long conversation, she always paced the floor. Sometimes doing things around the kitchen while she talked, but always moving.
I inherited her tendency to walk, pace and do things while I’m on the phone. One thing about the corded phones: you could always count on there being a tether. You couldn’t walk too far away from the phone, even if you had a super long cord like ours. Which also meant, whenever my mom was on the phone, I could count on the fact that she would not be walking into my bedroom before she got off the phone first. 😉
I kind of miss the days of those corded phones. (Besides the fact that the hand receivers wedged so nicely between your ear and shoulder.) If you weren’t home, no one expected you to answer the phone. People were more likely to leave messages. And people were less demanding of your time.
Everything is so instant today. Google and Amazon can give you almost anything at your fingertips. As a result, often people think you should be at their fingertips too. Some have the audacity to think that the instant they message you or call you or show up on your doorstep, that it’s your duty to drop everything and give them your attention.
Time is my most precious commodity. It always has been. (Concentration is a close second.) But especially now. If I haven’t planned for you to interrupt my day, then the consequences can be devastating. I can’t afford to lose too much time, there are too many things that I must do. And frankly some of them really are a matter of life and death. But even before, I didn’t believe in being a slave to the phone. If I’m in the middle of something important to my life, then it’s best if I call back when it’s a better time for me.
Still, way back when, we had a tendency to answer the phone anytime it rang. Because you never knew if it might be important. Of course this was another reason I wasn’t allowed to monopolize the phone. You never know if somebody might be trying to call, and can’t get through because the phone is busy! And we didn’t have caller ID back then. Remember when call waiting was a cutting edge service?
Some people are so obligated to their phones and I really don’t understand it. Personally, I don’t believe in being a slave to my phone. Just because the phone rings doesn’t mean I have to answer it. Just like as if somebody knocks on my front door and I’m not expecting them and don’t recognize them out the window, I don’t have to answer it. If I’m using the restroom, I will not answer my phone. If I’m driving, I’m not answering my phone. If I’m eating dinner with my family, I’ll not answer my phone. If I’m at the doctor’s office, I’m not answering the phone. If I’m busy with something else that really needs my attention, I’m not answering my phone.
Just for work, in my line of business as an entrepreneur, I wear every hat in the business. If I’m talking on the phone, I’m not writing ads. If I’m writing ads, I’m not making graphics. If I’m making graphics, I’m not answering emails.
I can’t do everything all at once and still be professional and effective. And I have a finite amount of time.
So I have to establish a budget for my schedule, just to get everything done.
It may be a difference of philosophy, but my phone is not my god.
I don’t let it boss me around.
The telephone is a wonderful invention and tool of communication.
But that’s just it. It’s a great tool.
That means it works for me.
And not the other way around.
2 responses to “Phone Slaves…”
I am with you all the way, Julia! I can’t let the phone be my driver. However, I remember, as a teenager, that if the guy I was interested in just happened to call, I would want to stay on the phone for hours, even if it meant there were long periods of silence … just didn’t want to break the connection. One boyfriend’s brother would get so frustrated with us tying up the phone line that he would have the operator break in and say that there was a family emergency and we had to get off the phone, just so that the brother could use the line to call his friends … 🙂
I kinda forgot about that feeling of not wanting to disconnect. My grandma was especially one to take half an hour to say goodbye. It felt so final then. Today, we have email, texting, Facebook and cell phones. We’re never disconnected. Can you imagine having texting as a kid?