Old Guys & Ring Tones

When I was growing up, the only option was to pick up the phone to know who had called. There wasn’t caller ID or any way of knowing who called. We didn’t even have an answering machine until many years down the road.

But when I go out in public, there are old guys (older than me) who still have their ringer on high because I don’t think they could hear it otherwise. I notice they don’t even check who called. They just pick it up and say "Hello Joe’s phone!" It doesn’t matter if they are in a line at the bank, at the hardware store, or getting suspenders at Walmart. They just answer.

Meanwhile, the introvert and private person who I am never has my phone on ring. My sound is always off and on vibrate. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll check who’s calling. But do you know what? I have a life. Whatever I’m doing at the moment is usually more important than checking my phone. When I have a chance, I’ll see who called or texted. I’d say 98% of the texts I receive have value to me. But only about 3% of the actual calls I receive have any meaning. Most are telemarketer robocalls. And I don’t have any time for that nonsense. If I have a moment, I’ll take the time to block the caller. Otherwise, I just delete it.

I’m not a phone talker anyway. Its especially true at work. So many miscommunications can be made on a phone call. Sure, you can get a better tenor and flavor in communication by hearing vocal inflection. A much better means is in person so you can see facial expressions and body language. A phone is generally a poor means of communication. And for something technical and specific, transcribing what you hear into notes isn’t very effective. Its much better to get a list, diagram, or picture from someone. And then you have a good record that’s searchable in your inbox.

To me, texts are super awesome. You have emoji’s and other means to show your emotions. You can catch them whenever is convenient. Most often, there isn’t a rush for an immediate response. But you never have more than a half-hour to hour delay in getting a response. Its my favorite means of communicating.

My advice to those old dudes: turn off your dad gum ringer!! Nobody wants to hear that or your conversation that’s not important to anyone but your self-important self.

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