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Pick Up the Phone and Make That Call
Expert Author Susan Leigh
How many of us feel a little apprehensive if our phone rings? It may be that it happens so infrequently that we're shocked and put off answering it, then later text the caller to ask what they wanted! Failing that, we may suspect that it's either a nuisance or sales call. All our friends text us these days, surely! Then there's the anxiety we may feel over the reason for the call; is it an urgent matter, is someone ill?
Recent figures released by Ofcam show that the number of mobile voice calls made in 2017 dropped by 1.7% in the UK, the first time the number of mobile call made has ever fallen.
Texting is great but it has its limitations and there is a personal, human connection from a phone call that can't be made when using text.
Sometimes we really need to pick up the phone and make that call.
- Have there been times when you've wondered about the tone of a text message? Even a simple 'thank you' can be misconstrued and interpreted in several ways, from sarcastic to appreciative, with lots of nuances in-between. Equally, someone texting that they're fine may be a cover-up to avoid displaying vulnerability as to how they're truly feeling. A text may be their way of keeping hold of their emotions, yet it serves only to distance them from true support.
- Yes, texts are efficient as they can be sent at any time, enabling us to tick yet another item off the to do list, but they can also be evasive. Many a time I've felt irritated when someone has repeatedly ignored replying to part of a question and eventually I've ended up phoning them in order to get some straight answers.
- Texts can put a space between us and our friends. We learn to protect our more personal side and issue edited highlights, so managing the information we release about ourselves. Social media is in part responsible for this as so many of the images we regularly see are of gorgeous people posing in gorgeous outfits, looking perfect at gorgeous venues. No one sees the post-selfie pictures where everyone flops back down again, letting normality resume once they'd updated their newsfeed.
- Phoning someone for a chat gives a real chance to connect, to discuss what's going on, exchange ideas and get to know each other better. Previously unplanned invitations may occur as a consequence, like suggesting meeting for a coffee, or joining in with other arrangements, things that may not have been considered in a straight text exchange.
- Some people think that phone calls are only for older people, but young people, perhaps away from home for the first time, finding their feet at university or in a new job, can be incredibly lonely for the first few weeks or months whilst they're settling into a new location. Stress and mental health issues can affect any of us and a phone call can provide an important connection with friends, familiarity and unconditional support.
Talking to someone who knows you, perhaps about trivia, can be a great source of comfort. Feeling connected to everything you know and love, even for a few brief minutes can make such a difference to feeling that you're okay and that things will turn out okay. Sharing, connecting and laughing, even at ourselves, all bring a reassuring tone to the day.
So why not pick up the phone and make that call? Set aside time to reconnect with your genuine human relationships. Invest time in your friendships. Make a brew, pull a comfortable chair and talk, really chat with that friend or relative you've not spoken to in so long.

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