Why Social Media Will Never Replace Phone Calls and IRL Meet-Ups
Most people bang on about the fact they abhor speaking on the phone, that they prefer texts, WhatsApp, DMs or anything else which doesn’t require them actually speaking and it makes me sad to be honest, because they’re missing out. Big time.
I love social media, it’s power to connect and also offer a voice to the voiceless is unprecedented but equally it’s made people lazier when it comes to communication and the fallout is a loosening of ties. Look, Twitter and my blog were emotional lifelines to me when I was suffering a traumatic birth and a recipe post I wrote here reunited long-lost relatives of mine from one side of the world to the other but social interaction mustn’t replace interaction full stop. Our digital world is liberating and empowering but it can’t offer us everything. I still feel my MOST connected with others via phone calls, FaceTimes and my all-time favourite: meeting up IRL.
I’m sure we can all agree nothing compares to real time human engagement in person!
Importantly, social media conversations can easily omit tone and emotion (it’s why trolls find it easy to do their worst hidden behind a computer and under the illusion who they are hurting is not real) and it can never match reading facial clues nor the meaningful connections meeting people brings.
The telephone is a close-second in my opinion as you can hear someone’s voice and read them far more easily than if you were texting or messaging them on SM plus it’s personal between the two of you not a video or FB Live that is broadcast publicly. It’s a sacred conversation between two people. I tend to speak to best friend Carlie and my mum most days and it serves to reinforce the strong bond we already have. Actually speaking to someone soothes, supports and entertains. FaceTimes with my other bestie Caroline (usually drunk) are the funniest thing ever. Thank goodness we don’t have video evidence of them, though!
Nothing compares to that instant phone call, especially when things go badly. When SKY News cancelled me 2 seconds before going on air (miked up in the studio), Carlie was the first person I called. Hearing her voice instantly reassured me and we ended up laughing about it all.
The phone is a precious tool.
Take faraway friends. One of my oldest mates Sharmin and I have started speaking regularly despite her living in Amsterdam. We have such a good laugh when we chat, that we’ve promised to keep up with our regular calls as we both enjoy them so much.
The same applies to my honorary ‘Big Sis’ Maria and ‘Little Sis’ Lucy aka Ms Motivator: I can’t imagine our friendships without long phone calls putting the world (and our worlds) to rights, so much so, they’re the backbone of our friendships in fact.
So what does all this mean for those I rarely chat to on the phone or see in real life? Honestly, for the most part, it means I don’t feel as close to them (soz).
There are exceptions to that rule though, very old friends I have history with, or the odd friendship with peeps I might not see for years but meet up with and feel like no time has passed, yes but on the whole, I need and love using my phone for what it was originally intended for: to speak to people I love, ideally planning when we’ll next be meeting up.
Equally, phone calls are great for business too. There’s fewer misunderstanding and it’s easier to brainstorm on the blower or in person…
So if you haven’t called family, friends or even business colleagues in a while, why not try it, you might just remember how much you actually like it!
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