Remember when there weren’t any cell phones and you had to call a landline to speak with someone? Furthermore, do you remember how certain rules of etiquette went hand-in-hand with having a landline phone?
Here are a few of those ‘understood’ rules:
1. You had to speak to the person you were calling – not text or email or use HeyTell or any other alternative to avoid actually speaking with someone.
2. The person that answered might not have actually been the person you were calling for, which sometimes could require another does of courage for the caller (especially if you were a dude calling a chick for a date).
3. You actually had to carry on an active and live conversation with someone if you answered the phone – you couldn’t wait 5 minutes, an hour or days to respond to someone.
4. It was considered rude to call too early in the morning or too late at night. I really miss this rule and wish it now applied for calls AND texting.
5. Before caller ID existed you never knew who might be calling, BUT you would actually answer the phone anyway instead of avoiding people’s calls.
6. Before call-waiting existed if you received a call while you were on the phone, the person trying to call would get a busy signal – you wouldn’t rudely put the current conversation on hold so you could attend to someone else. The second caller had to try back later.
7. If guests were at your house visiting and you all were enjoying one another’s company, you wouldn’t answer a phone call. Your time was currently being spent with your guests and you would honor that.
8. Before cordless phones, the phone was often located in a central room in the house. This meant it was likely that someone else might hear your conversation and therefore your conversation had to be clean. If you didn’t want your mom to hear what you were saying, you didn’t say it.
9. You had to leave your phone at home and make arrangements before you left the house. This also meant that your phone wouldn’t interrupt every part of your day and run your life.
10. You spent less time on the phone – seeing as it was wired to the wall, didn’t have text, didn’t have apps, didn’t have social media, didn’t have email.
11. Speaking of no email on your phone – that meant work stayed at work and you were able to enjoy your actual life outside of work. Whether you love your job or hate it, it’s important to disconnect regularly.
This list is just for starters.
I miss the days when people knew how to communicate. If you ever catch me going against any of these standards, please put me in my place. It’s important to show that we value the time we are spending with people in that very moment. It’s important to have discipline in our communication channels. It’s important to respect other people’s time. It’s important to be a person that runs their technology and not a person run by technology.
Laughs and Love,
What ‘rules’ have I left off?