I called my sister-in-law by accident, and it was just really nice. How you can call someone in this day and age by accident is fascinating. Surely there should be all sorts of alerts and failsafe systems to keep you from doing this right? We can, after all, use a phone to have our laundry done, so we can assume they would have figured this bit out.
But I made a call, an actual, real-life, voice connection, by mistake. The machines aren’t supposed to let this happen anymore. But it was good. It was actual contact, as in no typing and waiting, with another human being who I care about. This contact is altogether rare anymore, but it was fast, and it was human. More than anything, it was just nice hearing someone and talking.
Before the mobile epoch, if needed a favour or just some good ol’ human contact, you would call someone. They might not answer, so you might leave a message, and that was that. If they answered, they were at home and probably in a good place to talk. Then the phones came, and people started texting, at first because it was cheaper than talking. Then people were emailing more than talking. Then people stopped talking altogether. And this is the problem. We’ve lost the best way to communicate with each other, the way that we’ve evolved over two million years to do.
Something has been lost in our relationships inside of these damned virtual networks: a combination of contrived politeness and convenience have taken over from humanity. We live in an asynchronous condition, anxious for messages and nervous over replies, and it has made us into snivelling, inhuman wrecks. I know you have a phone, now go and use it like a phone.