The phone conversation is becoming almost as rare as a telephone booth. According to this story by Ian Shapira in The Washington Post, “Nearly all age groups are spending less time talking on the phone; boomers in their mid-50s and early 60s are the only ones still yakking as they did when Ma Bell was America's communications queen.”
Texting has now become the preferred method of communicating. I suppose that explains why my smart phone is at best mediocre for conversations yet excels at messaging.
“Not only are people making fewer calls, but they are also having shorter conversations when they do call. The average length of a cellphone call has dropped from 2.38 minutes in 1993 to 1.81 minutes in 2009, according to industry data. And between 2005 and 2009, as the number of minutes people spent talking on cellphones inched up, the number of cell phone messages containing text or multimedia content ballooned by 1,840 percent.”
Deborah Tannen, best selling author and professor at Georgetown sees the potential for a serious communication breakdown in this trend.
“Tannen, 65, worries that texting may fall victim one day to the same neglect that phone calls now face. Her generation's feelings, she said, are perfectly captured in a recent New Yorker magazine cartoon that shows two older, balding men sitting at a bar. The caption reads: "I used to call people, then I got into e-mailing, then texting, and now I just ignore everyone."
And then there’s that…