I called my friend yesterday and greeted him with “Hey, I called you because I’m driving and can’t text.” It wasn’t exactly a lie. I was driving. What bothered me is that I felt compelled to apologize for not texting. The truth is I called him because I wanted to hear his voice and have a real conversation. We have become so used to communicating with friends and family electronically, it’s become almost awkward to pick up the phone and call someone. Of course, keeping in touch through social media or messenger apps have their benefits. We are all pressed for time and it’s convenient to scroll down the social media feeds to instantly catch up with what our friends are up to. I just think we do ourselves a disservice if we believe that quick, virtual communication can replace real interaction.
It’s clear from our attachment to social media that many of us are hungry for connection. I think these platforms have become such an easy habit for us because they provide an efficient – if not inferior – substitute for connection. However, what can take the place of a friend asking if you’re okay after they hear something in your voice or the powerful energy boost from laughing together about something? As much as I love my emoji conversations, nothing can take the place of an actual conversation. Next time you pick up the phone to text, WhatsApp , SnapChat or Messenger, reconsider and call me – maybe.