First of all, before I tell you this story, I have a confession to make.
We are old school.
We have a home phone.
It may very well be one of those things that happens because “we’ve always had one.” Nevertheless, we have it, and we use it.
So this morning when I finished talking on it, I asked our Princess if she would please go hang it up.
She took the portable phone from me, turned it over in her hands, and said, “Hang it up? How am I supposed to hang this up? Where do you want me to hang it?”
The sad thing is, I think she was serious.
And then it hit me.
We now have a whole generation of children who will never have to worry about having a long enough cord to stretch so that they can have a private conversation. They will never have to panic in the midst of dialing and have to hang up and start spinning the wheel again to dial on a rotary phone. (I have nightmares about this.) Nor will they ever have the satisfaction of slamming a phone down to end a call. (Not that I would know anything about that. Ahem.)
I just have a hard time fathoming that they won’t be able to fathom what it’s like to have a rotary dial wall phone.
This evening I was talking about that with one of our neighborfriends. They don’t have a home phone at their house–they just use their cell phones. It occurred to me as we were talking, that our children, this next generation, will have a totally different phone etiquette than I was raised with. We answered whatever call came through (this was before caller ID). We politely asked someone to hold while we got the person they were calling for–even if it was Mama and she was cooking supper and it was a telemarketer. (They didn’t call back again, I can assure you of that.) We didn’t KNOW who was calling, so we answered.
Even with our home phone, with the introduction of caller ID, my children rarely answer the phone. Only when one of them is for certain SURE of who it is will he or she answer the call. I’ve come in from walking Miss Sophie to find out we had a call, but no one answered it. Fascinating, really. I can remember my siblings and me racing to answer the phone. Except during supper. Either we didn’t answer it, or we did the “We are eating, can I call you back?” thing.
Will it be when they enter the workforce that this generation of children will learn how to answer a phone call that more than likely isn’t for them? To say politely, “May I ask who is calling?” or “Hold a moment please, I will go and get him.” Will the onslaught of cell phones, and children getting them earlier and earlier, and with texting and social media being all the rage, I do have to wonder if our children will ever learn the art of good phone conversations.
It’s something to ponder for sure.
In the meantime, in our “old school” home, I think we might have a new subject to study this next school year. Phone etiquette. I fear that it might soon go the way of the lost art of letter writing.
How about y’all? Where do you see our children headed when it comes to telephone communication?
Here’s hoping it isn’t lost forever. There’s nothing like a good phone visit to get me through a sink of dirty dishes or several loads of laundry to fold, and there’s nothing better than chatting while I sit and listen to the birds and watch the leaves bouncing in the breeze back there in my roost. May you all have a good visit today with someone you call friend.
Love to all.