Two nights ago, I spent three and a half hours talking to an old friend (Dani Phillips) on Skype. When I had called it quits, I felt tired for two reasons: 1. Because it was nearly 2:30am and 2. Because I rarely talk to people on the phone anymore.
Tonight, ironically in a Facebook chat with a friend (Sierra Stopper), I have realized my dependency upon technological mediums to communicate with others (i.e. text-messaging, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.). I don’t think I’ve sinned, but I definitely think I haven’t challenged myself well enough. Introverts don’t need more things to hide behind; we already spend enough time to ourselves and immersed in our own thoughts. We simply need to vocalize more.
And this is what brings me to a (sort of) New Year’s resolution. It’s a very big challenge, but not for the entire year (well, most likely not for the entire year). For one month, I will only call people whenever I want to talk with them. No texts, no Tweets, no Facebook chats or wall posts, and not even Google+ messages. In some cases, not even emails. Phone calls only.
This is to force myself to return, as much as possible, to the basic human root of communication: Talking. These technological mediums offer something that talking doesn’t: Instant editing. I can write and rewrite until I find the best message without taking the human risk of being wrong or misspeaking. These mediums give me comfort instead of challenge; talking would be the opposite.
No, it does not mean that I will be off of Facebook or Twitter or Google+; it simply means you won’t be getting any text messages of any kind from me. You’ll be getting a phone call instead. It also doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop blogging; in my blog, I’m not talking to any one person, but to many people (and yes, I consider 8 to be “many”).
If this time of year is all about making adjustments to improve one’s livelihood, then why not start it off with a challenging one? My post that talked about reading and writing more revealed some rather easy things to do; the real adjustments are the hard ones to do. Being more socially intentional is not easy for me. And this is why, at least for the month of January (possibly longer), I will only be calling people. It’s a tough step toward being more socially involved. But I find it a necessary one.
Yes, I will have to manage my minutes (something I haven’t done, like, ever!) and yes, I’ll have to keep charging my phone, but it’ll be worth it. Even though the average person can’t effectively disconnect from the technological world entirely, one can still practice the simplest form of communicating. I aim to do just that.
If you care to join me, by all means do so. And if you don’t think I have your phone number, send me a message (Twitter, Facebook, email, etc.). I may not reply in text, but I will definitely call if you want me to.
Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year’s celebration!