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Why don’t we phone each other any more?


Think carefully about the last time you made a phone call. Who did you call? What was the subject? What type of phone did you call from? Chances are, the number of people you’re willing to call are small? With the ever-growing dependency on texting, email and certain social networking services that encourage self-publishing, we are becoming more and more reluctant to actually phone each other. In the UK, nearly three fifths of the population will text daily, but less than half of us call daily. We can’t even blame it on the younger generations now either – everyone’s at it. So why exactly have we stopped phoning each other?

The internet age

It would be a lie to say that the internet hasn’t totally revolutionised the way we live, especially in how we communicate with each other. With over 500 million users, Facebook can lay claims to being one of the biggest services in the world for connecting with each other, but what is so appealing? The possibility. Sitting in comfort of your own home and being able to talk to loved ones across the world, random strangers, and send messages ranging from video chat services like Skype to ‘memes’ is far more convenient and interesting to many than leaving the house, spending money on the landline or taking your time with a letter. The speed at which we can do things now has eaten into our attention spans and made us communicate in more creative but often less sentimental ways. Thanks to the internet’s capabilities, the use of landlines are exponentially decreasing in the UK, with some figures saying by 10% within a year. The novelty of the internet is yet to wear off.

The smartphone

Proving a deadly combination with the internet is the smartphone. With iPhones, Samsung Galaxys and HTCs rapidly developing into mini-computers in their own right, for most people the basic function of what a mobile phone achieves has long become extinct. Distracted by the ability to conduct their whole lives from one touch screen, communicating has had to become bitesize, reduced to a small notification on the top of your phone. It gives you more time to find directions, shop, read the news etc. etc. Some figures quote that there are now more smartphones than people ready for shipping. With over 40% of adults in the UK now owning one, expect that statistic to rise.

Dirty little secrets

In a more liberal UK, the average adult lifestyle has changed drastically to what it was even 15 years ago. Communication now has currency and power that it didn’t have before, especially if it is covert. From exposure to developed communication technology, couples have suffered. Many relationship breakdowns of this decade can fall to blame on ‘sexting': sending sexual texts and pictures to others, and not necessarily just your partner. With websites and online communities set up to support all sexual interests, cheating is far more enabled than it used to be.It’s much easier to be bad when you don’t use the phone.

The overlooming question is whether the fact that we are less likely to phone each other is a bad thing. With therapy groups to help with ‘phubbing’ popular in America, it appears texting and certain social media addictions are potentially a problem. Some medical reports suggest that using your smartphone can be more addictive than smoking. In addition, there is a general concern that the internet is a detriment to our social skills, with many people saying they now try to avoid talking face-to-face with others. Whilst some phone calls have now been made redundant, important ones still remain and they now have a bigger impact. Take the time to perfect your talk, a future boss or loved one in need might appreciate it.

If you are a part of the majority who have been affected by reducing your ability to communicate in the good old fashioned way don’t worry. Our Video Moods series is available to help improve your communication skills & confidence step by step. If you still find it hard to speak to people directly due to personal insecurities or other worries, then chat to our supportive ladies in our empowering community or book in with one of our life coaches to help get your confidence back.


This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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