Social Question

jca's avatar

Do you find that email and social networking has made you less likely to pick up a phone or go speak to someone in person, and phone calls and live interaction has become somewhat laborous?

Asked by jca (28674 points ) February 16th, 2012

Today at work, the receptionist wrote us all emails thanking us for her birthday present. We all, one by one, “replied to all” and told her “you’re welcome.” I was thinking how it’s funny that she sits 20 feet away from all of us, and yet she chooses to communicate by email and so do we. We’re all at our desks, communicating with each other but there is very little speaking to each other. I started thinking about communicating with my personal friends, and how now that we have email and Facebook, we don’t talk on the phone as much, like we did 15–20 years ago.

I remember once recently, I got a phone call from a good friend, and when I saw her number on the Caller ID, I thought “Why is she calling me? Why can’t she just write on FB?”

Do you find that email and social networking has made you less likely to pick up a phone or go speak to someone in person? Have phone calls and live interaction become somewhat laborous in comparison?

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18 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

Personally, I’d prefer to talk on the phone. So many of my friends and relatives have gotten to accostumed to their iLives, that I find it impossible to find a good time to chat.

Recently a phone call with a friend lasted an hour. She and I both agreed neither of us had talked to someone that long in quite sometime. A sad fact, IMO.

Considering everyone’s time is filled up by work and various activities, I understand the increased usage of other communication. I definitely use emails & messages with much more frequency than I’d prefer. Just to cut my typing time down, I tend to email things like: “It’d be faster to converse this IRL. Call me at your convenience.”

Blackberry's avatar

I went out a few times with a woman that didn’t like talking on the phone and just texted pretty much everything, lol.

I’m susceptible to things like this as well, but sometimes I just don’t like talking, I don’t know…..

marinelife's avatar

No, I still love talking on the phone and in person. In fact, I have made an effort to meet some jellies in real life just so we could do that.

ragingloli's avatar

I have never trusted klingons telephones, and I never will. I can never forgive them for the death of my boy.
Just recently, my sister called, and i did not recognise her voice over that damn machine.

thorninmud's avatar

Oh, yeah. Email is an enabler for someone like me. To tell the truth, I don’t much enjoy real-time conversation. I love to do things with people, and I even love to listen in on conversation, but I hardly ever feel an urge to just talk to someone. I like my conversations to be pithy, within the bounds of politeness.

That’s actually part of the appeal of Fluther for me; I get to limit my involvement in it in ways that I can’t limit conversation “in the wild”. Email has the same advantage.

This is all stuff I’m working to change, but having these technologically mediated ways of communicating makes avoidance that much easier for me.

SpatzieLover's avatar

This is all stuff I’m working to change, but having these technologically mediated ways of communicating makes avoidance that much easier for me.
You sound like my husband @thorninmud ;) He always says “If faced with the choice to talk or avoid, I’ll avoid”.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

Well I hate talking to people in general, so it hasn’t made me less likely to do it. In your situation you mentioned, I would say thank you in person.

auhsojsa's avatar

No not at all, if anything, learning early on in life that people are just people even a smile or conversation can change someones day. I try to be that person, involved just a bit in a subtle way in public. Complimenting someone sad didn’t push them back further in a slump, it’s a hand offered to be raised up from the depths of a well.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m glad about it. The less interaction I have with people the better. I hate talking to people on the phone.

downtide's avatar

I’ve always hated talking on the phone but I don’t like social networking much either. I much prefer face-to-face contact. But if face-to-face isn’t possible I’ll send a text or a message on FB.

fizzbanger's avatar

I hate talking on the phone, and not having Fakebook is kind of an obstacle when it comes to following up with new people.

Within my work’s network, people are just lazy and don’t want to get up and walk to another room.

newtscamander's avatar

I’ve always hated talking on the phone, so social networks are a good alternative for me. But since I grew up with them, I can’t say if they made a difference or if I would have disliked talking on the phone either way.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Sort of. I’ve always hated talking on the phone, so social networking allows me to have more contact with people than I would.

AshlynM's avatar

I’ve always been uncomfortable using the phone. If I had to choose, I’d prefer contact by email. You have written proof of your conversation and you could possibly say things you wouldn’t normally say face to face.

jca's avatar

20 years ago, it was a one hour phone call on a Sunday, or a once or twice a week, half hour or hour call for others, for keeping in touch. Now it’s email and hardly ever a phone call, except maybe on a holiday or if there’s a problem to discuss.

mrentropy's avatar

I dunno. Nobody ever calls me, really. I’m expected to call everyone else. But since nobody will call me, I say to Hell with ‘em.

Paradox25's avatar

Not much has changed for me personally and there aren’t too many people that I bother with anyways. I don’t use social networking sites and I only email on rare occasions. The few people that I do communicate with are similar to me in that they don’t have accounts on social networking sites either. I still use my phone or talk to others in person most of the time.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t like talking on the phone so much. I am most comfortable with people with whom I am most intimate. I hate talking to strangers. I just feel this hatred and suspicion pouring through. Same as I feel when a stranger calls me. They always want something from me and I resent having to take the time to blow them off. I’m sure others feel the same when they don’t know who the hell I am.

Email makes it so much easier to blow someone off without actually having to create much pain. You can ignore it or delete it, or fail to answer it and the person on the other end, most likely, won’t even notice. Most emails—people don’t expect an answer to.

Of course, there are emails where people do expect an answer, but those tend to come from people you know well or have a professional relationship to. But it’s easy to sort out those from the fluff. On the phone, you have to actually answer it to sort it out.

Or you used to. Now with call identification, you can pick up the calls from callers you know and let everyone else leave a message. Since most of the ones you don’t answer don’t leave a message, you know it is almost all fluff. Still, I resent having to listen to the phone ring and having to identify whether it is a real person or not. It doesn’t take so much time with email or snail mail, for that matter.

The other thing that happened to me was I got sick and I couldn’t handle talking to anyone—in person, on phone, email, or anything else. I have been working my way back from that.

But I much prefer places like fluther where I can control who I talk to and how much I engage. I don’t have to answer anyone if I don’t feel like it. If I develop a bad reputation, new people will come along soon who don’t know anything about my past and they might well like me. Imagine that!

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