I turned 37 on December 1st.
*Thank you! Thank you!!*
And while it was a wonderful weekend of birthday busyness (Mondays are too manic at our place for any celebrations), I realised something that made me a bit sad. 😦
My iPhone was put through its paces on my birthday. The greetings via Facebook were flooding my Inbox and the texts were teeming. I could barely keep up with my replies.
But the birthday phone calls were restricted to just those from my family and closest friends. Yes, over the past few years I’ve noticed that the ringing of incoming phone calls have steadily been replaced by the “pinging” of incessant incoming texts.
Don’t get me wrong, I love how technology and social media help people connect over continents. Skype is my saviour that lets me keep in touch with my own parents back in Bombay. WhatsApp was my wonderlink to the husband and kids while I was in New York…
But I have realised that all too often we seem to be replacing heart-to-heart, face-to-face conversations with texts. One-liners SMSed frenetically while doing the school run/laundry/grocery shopping. With a Smiley Face added for good measure!
It’s easy; it’s cheap; it’s quick – but it lacks warmth. It’s a tad impersonal, don’t you think? Let’s face it, an “LOL” is no match for actually sharing a tears-rolling-down-your-cheeks laugh with an old mate. It’s no match for “seeing” your mum’s smile in her voice when she answers your phone call.
And I’m just as guilty. I’ve failed to get in touch with friends and family on important occasions. ‘I’ll do it later,’ I tell myself. But days roll into weeks which turn into months and that ‘later’ never eventuates. I wonder how many friends I’ve upset with my shoddy lack of communication…
So I made a “Birthday Resolution” last night. I resolved to keep in touch the old-fashioned way. I want to take the time and trouble to stay in touch with people who matter to me. I am going to make the effort to pick up the phone and have a chinwag. I want our conversations to go beyond text talk. I want to see my loved ones’ emotions tip-toe across their faces rather than resort to emoticons. Perhaps we can catch up for a coffee, or get our kids to play in the park together, or go for a morning walk and talk.
And if distance means that we can’t meet in person, I aim to pick up that phone for a “What’s Up?” rather than text them on WhatsApp.
I’m hoping that this Birthday Resolution, unlike her famous sibling, the New Year’s Resolution, will not be broken a mere month later…
P.S.: This post, like all others, is just me sharing my thoughts. It is not a veiled message to anyone, so please do not take it personally!
So tell me, do you enjoy speaking to people over the phone or do you resort to texting? Are you good at remembering people’s birthdays?