Is it time to resurrect the phone call?
My son and I recently hosted a surprise birthday party for my husband. We invited a very diverse group of people to come help us celebrate a milestone birthday. There were people who he currently spends time with enjoying a sporting event, a meal, or just going out for a beer. There were neighbors. We included colleagues from his previous triple careers. And since my son and I were the planners/pay-ers, we decided to throw in a few friends of our own who my husband also knows, who could be counted on to 'up' the fun-factor. There were close to a hundred people there. All but a very few brought gifts. So at the end of the evening, there were a lot of presents to bring home. So many, that it took him almost a week to actually sit down to start opening them. His pile-o-gifts was a little overwhelming.
I told him that he might consider buying his thank-you cards first, so that he could write notes as he opened each gift, helping to ensure that the card that came with each one had less of a chance of getting separated from the present. My son was standing there as I added, "We'll have to contact everyone who came to the party through text or email to get their mailing addresses before you start writing. This whole process may take awhile and people need to know sooner rather than later that their gift wasn't misplaced, mixed up with someone else's or lost in the post party clean-up shuffle." My son said "Why doesn't he just call everyone instead?"
Hear the intent
Hmmm... what an inspired idea! I hadn't even thought of that and then it hit me... when was the last time that I had actually picked up my phone and called someone? It's become so routine these days to pick up a phone to text or send an email.
Phone calls seem to have become so rare, that when one does come in and a name from my contact list appears, I feel very honored that the person took the time to actually call me! And even when a number shows up that I don't recognize, I am so curious, I go ahead and answer it, rather than waiting for it to go to a message. I figure if it's a spam call, I can always politely decline and then block the number after I hang up. And as long as it isn't an AI call, the person on the other end may truly enjoy hearing someone pick up and at least say hello!
And especially in the case of a business connection, think of the time and energy saved in avoiding multiple emails and long text threads. Plus, rather than trying to guess the senders intent, you most likely will be able to 'hear' what is behind their message through their voice.
A one-on-one connection
I hadn't given it much thought before, but I have decided to make a conscious effort to use my cell phone for what I believe was actually it's original purpose... to actually make phone calls! Such a novel concept! Especially with all of the isolation that the pandemic has caused and in many ways, continues to cause, fostering even small human-to-human connections throughout the day can be good for the soul.
So next time you need to reach me for something, forget the text or email... just call me!