Sunday, January 18, 2009

Silencing It

I don't answer my phone off a great deal lately.
It seems counter-intuitive, but the silence is wonderful.
However, it makes me a hypocrite.

Let me begin by saying that hypocrisy is the greatest luxury that mankind was ever given. We can decide not to do something...then rant and rave at people who also don't.
Do as I say, not as I do. That is born from this.

My mother and father got cell phones around the same time their children did. They left their phones off most of the time. Often we would ask our parents, "What's the point of having a cell phone if you leave it off all the time? How can you be reached?"
Our wise parents would look at us and say, "Why do you need to always be reached?"

At the time I thought my parents were nuts, but the idea makes complete sense to me now.

I carry a cell phone with me at almost all times. This is because I might be needed for emergencies. I used to get angry when my wife would just look at her phone or our home phone and not answer it.
"How can you do that? What if it's a problem?" I would ask.

"If it's a number I don't know," she responded, "then I don't answer."

Now, this is the part where Hypocrisy rears its head. My wife won't answer if it's a number she doesn't know. So, she changes jobs and gets a new number. As such, she starts calling her friends and old co-workers to give them her new number.
What happens?
No one answers.
Because they don't know the number.
So what does she do?
She gets angry and asks me, "Why is no one picking up when I call?"
I love the irony.

Before you judge, however, realize that you, dear reader, probably do the same thing. You look at the Caller ID and say to yourself, "Who is this? Some charity? I'm not picking up." Or, you screen your calls. Don't lie. If you have a cell phone, you look at the screen and think about it before answering.

But most people, in this incredibly connected world, don't turn answer their phones. I never used to be that way.
If a charity called, I picked it up and said, "Sure," or, "No thanks."
If it was a survey, same thing.
If the cell phone rang, I picked it up.
Lately, however, it's been getting hard to do it.

I'm busy. We all are. With work, with family, so it's getting harder to answer the phone. I don't get a ton of time to be with my son, so if the phone rings, then I lose that time.

It's not that I don't want to talk to people. And I know that people need me at times, but it's so easy to just...not pick up.

So, dear reader, think about that the next time you call someone and they don't answer: is it that they aren't home, is it that they don't want to talk to you, or is it that they are busy and screening?

Of course what do I know? I can't get anyone on the phone. I could be wrong.


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