Kerger: What happened to telephone calls?Written by Rick Kerger | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The apocryphal tale of the first telephone call is that Alexander Graham Bell knocked over a vial and hollered for his assistant to come to him, “Watson, come here. I need you.” Whether true or not, the ensuing century saw improvement after improvement in the way calls could be made.
I remember the party line in my neighborhood in Ashtabula, Ohio. You had to wait until someone else was done talking before you could make a call. Of course, you also had the opportunity to listen in on what was being discussed!
Then the phone company found a way to change the phone from black to a variety of colors. Calling cards were created to make long distance calling easier and then, miracle of miracles, they developed the cellphone, a device that would allow you to talk to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
And yet as things have developed, these devices would be better called “cell tablets” because fewer and fewer people are using them to make phone calls. Let us skip over for now the fact that spellcheck often changes a text message into a far more humorous comment than was intended, or that texting has doomed our nation to be one of misspellers.
We just don’t talk anymore. I am told there are many who consider it rude to call unless you have sent a text alerting the person to the fact that the call is coming. And there are advantages to texting. Giving directions and phone numbers is more precise. It is often quicker to review a text than to listen to a voicemail.
But it is less personal than a call. It is hard to tell the emotion behind a text, while that is generally pretty easily determined during a phone call. The dialogue that occurs during a telephone conversation is quicker than the one in which texts are exchanged. And you connect as two human beings, rather than two computers.
And to end on a cautionary note, however distracting it may be to talk on a cellphone while driving, texting is universally a bad idea while going 65 mph! But texting is here to stay, and apparently to grow and grow.
Rick Kerger is a trial lawyer at Kerger & Hartman LLC in Toledo. Contact him at (419) 255-5990.