From today, the 17th of May 2014, I will begin phoning my Facebook friends one by one. There are many on my friend list of 365 that I haven’t spoken to for over 25 years, there are a few that I haven’t spoken to since we were 7, and there are a couple whom I have never met at all!
No one phones anyone anymore. We keep up with each other’s news via short broadcasts on screenery. The voice has fallen silent.
I grew up in a house where the phone rang all day, and in the night too. The only way to stop the constant ‘bring bring’ was to take it off the hook completely but then the police would phone our neighbours to instruct them to run around and tell us that the phone was off the hook and no one could get hold of my Dad.
In that house, my high chair was directly under the phone on the wall and ‘Hello’ was my first word. I loved the phone. I think that the extent to which I miss it qualifies me to write a blog about how, as humans, we now feed each other news and comments in an impersonal way.
Why don’t we say ‘Hello’ down a phone line anymore and what effect does it have when we do?
It would have been my Dad’s 78th birthday today and in a way this is a memorial to him. He loved his patients and he loved his computer but all he ever wanted to do was unplug the phone. He was born too soon!