(Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
St. Lucy's Priory High School

Opinion: Communication and the lost art of a phone call

Whenever I hear my phone ring and see that it is not a family member, I tend to panic. Who could need something so important that they had to call me? The truth is, the new generation has grown up with iPads and iPhones at their fingertips, and society has spiraled into a technology-focused world. The world of texting, most prominent. On average the American teen sends over 100 text messages per day. The reasoning for this is simply because it is easier. I do not feel the need to call my friends when I am asking them to send me their Hamlet notes. In reality, though, I am sure it would make them feel special if I called and asked them how their day was. WiFi, cell phones, iPads, and the internet have taken over. Mentally, it is degrading.

Going on Instagram and seeing models and social media influencers everywhere you look takes a toll on mental health and puts unrealistic comparisons into the minds of so many young girls. Calling people can fix both of these issues. First, it resolves the misunderstanding portion of texting. Too often friends get in arguments because “it sounded like she was mad when she sent that text.” More times than not they are not angry. By calling, the chance of being misunderstood is lessened. Another benefit is ranting. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, ranting is defined as a “bombastic extravagant speech,” but to me it is more of a stress relief. Ranting gives me the ability to share all my feelings and concerns with someone who is willing to listen.

To call someone and vent is beneficial for the mind, and for friendship. High school is stressful enough, but adding in all the other aspects of life that may build on to this nervous tension leads to a need for a rant every once in a while. Although calling will help our texting-obsessed generation, there is a deeper issue for those currently growing up. Fifty percent of 11-year-olds have a cell phone and two-thirds of four to seven-year-olds have used an iPhone or iPad. Children are becoming obsessed with technology younger and younger each year, and it is reducing their ability to grow and learn necessary social skills.

Strike up a conversation with your friends about this issue, or so many other issues currently going on in the world. We can all use an intellectual conversation either face-to-face or over the phone. So, make the time and call that friend you have been meaning to talk to but can not seem to find the time. Call your family members that you never get to see. There does not need to be a reason for the call. The intention to reach out and further your relationship is valid in and of itself.

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