Generational Communication Preferences

Before mobile phones, there were landline phones. If it was someone far away, they would have to pay “long distance” charges in order to talk to you. If it were someone in the local area code, they could just come over. But, with a landline phone conversations tend to be short, and there is the understanding that you are interrupting someone at home.

The key thing is that texting is asynchronous communication. You can respond when convenient for you. With landlines, this was accomplished with an answering machine. But, a text message is obviously better than listening to recorded messages.

I think there is a generational move toward using mobile phones as a substitute for synchronous, face-to-face communication, When I walk around my city, I see postal workers, and a lot of younger women, having conversations with the friends, almost as if they were there with them, while out walking. This is probably a smart adaptation when you have a life that is largely based around social media and where people are part of online communities that are not situated closely in meatspace.

But, that said, “full-on surprise Facetime their friends” is a phrase that makes me very thankful I use an Android device. And, yes, I am aware Android users can still Facetime through their mobile browsers, just as I am aware there is no chance I’ll do such a thing.