Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Busy Bees

I received a phone call recently. It was a friend, asking me why people pick up the phone to answer or make phone calls when they are too busy to talk.

She'd left a message for her stylist. Her stylist called her back. From. Church. Indicating that she couldn't really talk.

This is becoming an ever increasing phenom. It really should be clear, but apparently it's not: in an age of voicemail, e-mail, and caller ID, there is never. Ever. A reason to engage someone in a conversation just so you can indicate that you are busy. Repeat after me: I will only initiate interaction when I have time. No one is sitting around on pins and needles, waiting for my attention. I am only unnecessarily interrupting others when I contact them only to discuss how busy I am.

While the problem isn't limited to cell phones, I believe the cell phone culture was the egg. People are altogether using their phones inappropriately. The phone has become the cure for loneliness.

This is not something I can relate to. There is a short list of activities during which I become lonely if another person isn't there. For instance, sex. I do not, however, become lonely during rides on the metro, my morning commute, or while sitting in restaurants. Therefore, I only make phone calls during these activities if I already wanted to talk to the person I'm calling. I never make phone calls to pass the time.

I mean, how rude. "My busy life has been interrupted, so I'd like you to entertain me now. You have five minutes until my stop. Go."

Rude, I tell you. That, along with answering the phone when you are unable to actually converse. What is the point? Does the caller, in your opinion, not have anyone else to talk to? Do they hang on your every word, pining for even a few seconds of your time?

I am here to inform you that they do not. Feel free to allow someone to leave a voicemail. Do not return the call until you have finished your activity. This is not a difficult task.

In fact, I think the next time someone does this to me, I'll reciprocate by calling them next while I'm engaged in something.

Like, perhaps, sex.

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