The last time I had to buy a new cellphone, the phone feature didn’t work. I took the phone back to Verizon and the salesperson, with a bewildered look in her eye, asked me why it mattered, I could just use it to text and email anyone I wanted to talk to.
Now, I certainly do use the phone for more than just talking, but that feature seems an essential reason to have the device, so I asked for a new phone and left the store.
Our senior consultant, Jennifer, is a big believer in using the phone as it is intended. More often than not, she will pick up the phone to ask a question rather than email or text it. We tease her a bit, but as she reminds us, sometimes a quick phone call will actually save time in the long run.
I’m teaching two classes this semester – an online class at Arizona State University and an in-person class at Phoenix College. Students in both classes have my school email address as well as my office phone number in case they need to reach me. I check email once a day, but occasionally a student will need a more immediate answer and will call the office.
It is clear that using the phone for this generation of young people is something they would prefer never to have to do. If they absolutely must make a call, they just assume that they are calling directly to the intended person, launching into the conversation without realizing they’ve called an office and that likely someone else has answered the phone.
I think the phone is a great equalizer. Looking for a job? You better be able to pass a phone screening/phone interview, especially if you’re seeking a career in communications. Want to resolve an issue quickly? Pick up the phone and have a conversation.
Miss your family and friends? I bet they’d love to hear your voice every now again.