Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Revival of the Telephone Conversation

The Skype/Zoom form of communication was once a novelty, and then a secondary way of conducting business. COVID-19 made it the primary way.

My kids, generation Z/ Millennial, use text for “not in the mood or place to be seen” exchanges, and faceTime/Skype/Zoom for “let’s hang out” times.  It never seems a consideration to use the phone the way we did, for voice only. To be fair, until Email that’s all we had for instant exchanges.

But having to stare at a screen and having it stare back at you for hours on end during these times of minimized in-person connectivity has brought about a kind of screen fatigue.

Young’uns, as well as us old fogies, are using the phone to call and talk, no screens. I didn’t think I’d see that again.

Other strange rollback is the minimization of using public transportation. That was the hip/environmentally correct way to go only a year ago. Now it’s best to drive the family car and better be in it alone, sans family. One car to a person? The horror. 

And remember the reusable grocery bag? That was the conscientious way to go. Now it isn’t allowed. So if you walked to the store, just let them give you those darned disposables to take your food back home.

But of all these things, it’s the sight of young adults using the phone in voice-only mode, which makes me think I went to sleep and woke up in 1990.

I wonder how to reflect all of these^ in my current WIP.


Janie Junebug said...

It's interesting that you're considering how to reflect these changes in your writing. I'm a faithful viewer of This Is Us on NBC. They rewrote some episodes so they'd reflect what's happening with the pandemic. It's always so nice to see you posting, Mirka.


Evelyn said...

I have nothing brilliant to add. It's just so true that we're living in memorable times with incredible changes in the way we do things.

Barbara Etlin said...

The closing episode last March of "All Rise" featured a Zoom courtroom and all the hassles of using that, and adjustments people made in their living arrangements as a result of the pandemic. It was brilliant (and featured Stevie Wonder's "As" as the background song at the end. :-) )

Debbie Vilardi said...

Some areas are back to reusable bags. (We are paper or reusable only here.) And who said you can't reuse a paper bag or a plastic one from the store? I always have. Anyway, many of these things will revert and others won't. The hard part is trying to predict what those will be two or more years out when the book you're working on is in print, unless you self-pub.

Mirka Breen said...

In our county you still cannot bring your own (re-usable or not) bags into the store, any store. You can pack in the parking lot at your car, but if you're walking you must get the bags the store gives you each time, no exceptions.

MirkaK said...

There was also a time when we communicated by writing letters because long distance phone calls were so expensive and I don't mean international calls. Letters were not the shorthand text of cell phones but long descriptions that included details about where you were traveling or how you were you doing in school or a job. Being able to stay in touch with friends in other countries through Skype/FaceTime is so amazing, compared to those days of aerograms and postcards. But I still enjoy the ability to pick up the phone and hear someone's voice. You can often sense a lot more about what's going without the distraction of looking at a screen. Change is a constant, the only one there is actually. Who knows what changes are coming down the 'pike.

Mirka Breen said...

I had shoe boxes full of letters. Now I have a flash drive I can fit thousands of documents on and it fits in my pocket. Yes, things change. What's more odd is when (like now) some things (from back then) make a comeback.

Sherry Ellis said...

I really do not like FaceTime calls. Not because I don't like seeing the person on the other end, but because those calls are very seldom focused conversations. They are more like I hang on my end and watch you do your thing on yours. I like old-fashioned phone calls much better.