Ramble #67 Your Call Has Been Forwarded…

 “You sent me to voicemail?”

No I didn’t actually send you to voicemail. You were already headed to the
land of voicemail. As a matter of fact, all I did was help speed up
the process a tad bit. But the real question is, why is this an issue
that we must discuss?


When I call someone and I receive the obnoxious
notification that my call hasn’t just been missed but it has been
purposefully turned down, I don’t feel bad at all. In fact, I feel
acknowledged. It is one thing to miss a call, but it’s another thing
to have your call rejected. I always assume someone is driving,
eating, they’re already on the phone, or my most frequent reaction to
the voicemail sending is, “Who cares what they are doing? It is none of
my business.”

Now of course if this is an important call, or we are meeting up or
whatever detail makes the call time-sensitive, that could come into
play…but for the most part I hear complaints about calls that were
meant to go nowhere.

See this isn’t just about sending someone to voicemail city; this is
about talking on the phone. The phone conversation was one of those
activities that ruled the world for decades. When you met someone new, you called that person. If you missed someone, you called that person. When you wanted to do business with someone, you made a call. And then you talked to them.

Back in the days, you were excited to answer the phone. People were so
hype that they didn’t even need to know who was calling. Those rotary
phones took effort and concentration. And then the phones with the
cord forced you to sit in one spot and converse with a human. The
phones got cordless but they needed charging and good reception, and you had to remember people’s numbers and type them every time. Then speed-dial came around, the phones got directories, we got more freedom, caller ID showed up and we got extra picky. Cell phones killed the payphone and put landlines on life support, and now your phone is a mini-computer, a camera, and a transformer that speaks to you and answers any random question you
might have.

So now when someone calls my phone from a number I don’t know, and they just start speaking, I’m almost offended. How did we get here as a
species? Hearing voices and inflections are time-consuming, and what
is it that you have to say that can’t be said via text?


I don’t feel that way but most of us do. We have our small circle of humans that can just call for no reason but everyone else better text until they
can’t text anymore or announce that a call is coming with one of these:

The mobile phone suggests that the person with the phone is actually
mobile at the time. And when 2-way pagers came out, they changed the
way people communicated because we no longer had to speak. So with
texting, it adds another barrier and breakthrough simultaneously to
the world of communication.

Have you ever answered someone’s call with that shocked and annoyed, “Hello?” You would love to just say, “What are you calling me for exactly?” Some of us like to get to the point and keep it moving. Others feel like we can’t have a true connection by just texting, emailing, viewing Instagram pictures or scrolling through Facebook statuses.


So this brings me to my original issue about being sent to voicemail. I hardly check voicemail anymore. I laugh when people ask if I checked the voicemail they left, and I feel bad because it is appreciated and customary…but that’s just my jerkdom. And it is slightly time-consuming to type in a password and hit another number, then listen, then decide if I want to keep the message, call right back or listen to other messages. That’s a lot. I have probably missed job opportunities, sweepstakes victories, wedding proposals, and all sorts of fun stuff because I’m too lazy to check voicemails.


I don’t think it’s laziness, I think it is the fear that I will hear a message that was really important days ago but by the time I get it, it will be too late, and I will be sad or upset about it. So I feel like if I miss all of them and they just fade away, then I will never know what I missed.


Actually it might just be laziness. I have no idea why I avoid speaking on the phone yet I make sure I pay for unlimited minutes just because I never want to go over. I think phone companies are offering lower minutes now because they realize how much talking is out of style. It makes me think of the many humans that I hear say this phrase, “I don’t answer calls from numbers I don’t know.” Who the hell are we hiding from? Are we taking the “no new friends” movement too far? People used to use music and have friendly greetings with their own voice as their outgoing message so you know who you reached. Now they keep it standard with a recording for fear that you, the caller, might have proof that this is their number and put it with their name.


They even have custom made text messages ready for when you reject a call. Sure I hit the “I’m driving” one when I’m on my couch and I made up some of my own that read, “Charging my phone,” “One sec,” “ I’m talking to someone a lil more important than you,” and lastly, “Is this a booty call? If so I will return your call much faster, just kidding I will call back in a few minutes…but seriously though, is this a booty call?”

6 Comments on “Ramble #67 Your Call Has Been Forwarded…”

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