“When I want to make an appointment with friends, I mostly use WhatsApp. I rarely call them for this purpose, and they do me too, – admits 34-year-old Sergei. – Sometimes it seems to me that phone calls have become less informative, cold, and on duty. As a child, classmates always called me on a landline phone, and we made an appointment for walks or found out what was set.
From adolescence I got a mobile phone and later a smartphone. The wired telephone disappeared from my apartment, it seems, 7-8 years ago. Calls have become much less, but there are a lot of WhatsApp messages and voice memos. They also contact me via Facebook or Instagram. It’s more comfortable for me”.
And then there are chats, in which they often write just to remind about themselves or to clarify some general issues, and sometimes to throw out emotions. But in groups, no one particularly likes to answer to the point, they mostly go to private messages. “There is a lot of flooding in general chats, old boring memes and little depth,” complains 40-year-old Irina, “but it’s better to learn and exchange information in this way than to call everyone.”
The RealityMine Research Institute confirms the perception of Sergei and Irina. In 2015, scientists surveyed 3,000 American mobile phone users and found that text is more popular than phone calls, across all generations, even the mature and the elderly. Curiously, women write three times more often than they talk on the phone.
Is there any other explanation for the fashion for messages, other than the traditional “faster this way” or “more convenient this way”? And are we missing something important between the lines in messengers?
New rules of etiquette?
“It’s easier for me to call than write, especially while driving. But this is not the main thing. At some point, I got tired of the distance. I don’t think it should be this way! – 43-year-old Valentin exclaims. – At some point I started calling my friends myself and gradually taught them to do so. I did it just like that. He said: “I want to hear your voice.” At first it was strange, but in the end, I think it is very refreshing in the relationship. “
But 30-year-old Anastasia and her husband Timur turned calls into a game. “Even my WhatsApp messages are often answered by phone. And I call him more often, especially from the store. Writing is extremely inconvenient: a cart in one hand, a bag or an umbrella in the other. I become his eyes and tell what I see on the counter, together we “read” the labels, together we “smell”. And this is such a wonderful game and ritual for us.
Sometimes we switch roles. Once Timur was choosing underwear for me remotely, making a video call from a store. It’s not hard to guess how stormy our night was. “
An unplanned call seems tactless to us – and at the same time we love long telephone conversations
But we have lost the habit of sudden calls, moreover, they even frighten and annoy. Increasingly, we are worried about strangers: sellers of any services or representatives of banks – and our own people know that according to modern rules of etiquette, it is better to write to the messenger first, and then call if the other party is ready. Messengers have changed the way we communicate.
“I would like to be called more often and not to feel compelled to arrange a call time in WhatsApp. Of course, it always depends on the person, says 27-year-old Elvira. – If something happens to my best friend, I would call in the middle of the night and would not ask in advance. I prefer to warn acquaintances and less close friends and ask in advance, because I do not want to disturb them.
If I need to call a doctor or make a business phone call, I prefer to sit in silence and hate it when someone listens to me. I’m not shy or introvert, but phone calls in a large office used to be a habit for me, and now I tense up and go out into the hallway or next room if there is no one there. “
Our parents have told us so many times that over the phone everything would have been cleared up much faster. They don’t understand the mentality of generations X and Y at all. An unplanned call seems tactless to us – and at the same time we love long telephone conversations, but only when it is clear that both parties want it.
But there is something that is definitely not in the messages – facial expressions, gestures, intonation. That is why we are increasingly confronted with misunderstandings, when even emojis and emoticons do not save, and sometimes, on the contrary, bring confusion. And those who have lost the habit of calling want to do it again – in order to avoid unnecessary conflicts.
On the other hand, the biggest problem is often that in a telephone conversation we do not have enough time to think carefully about the words (this distinguishes an email message or letter). There is no “delete” button in the conversation, you can neither take back what was said, nor “improve” it, but at the same time, gestures and facial expressions – ours and the interlocutor – during correspondence are ignored.
This fear, coupled with the fact that we live in a time when phone calls are often perceived as distracting, can make them a real challenge later on. They say there are people who have developed a real phone phobia, and there are more and more sites on the internet that offer advice on how best to overcome blocks.
The spoken word “works” immediately and expresses our true emotions without a “translator” in the form of emoticons
A completely paradoxical situation: as a result, we have very intense relationships, but not with people, but with our smartphone. He accompanies us all day, from the moment of waking up to going to bed.
And yet the spoken word “works” immediately and expresses our true emotions without a “translator” in the form of emoticons, and helps to clarify the facts here and now. And who knows, maybe planning a weekend with friends will be more effective when we just say to each other: “Hey, I miss you, I want to hug you and chat face to face.”