The Importance of Phone Conversation

The rapid development of technology in the last quarter century has lead the world to
become more interconnected than ever before. From the palm of your hand you can send a
message to a friend across the world, or see what your favorite celebrity had for lunch. In
today’s world, human interaction has been largely replaced by more convenient forms of
communication; Text, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. While technology has lead to the creation of
new industries and jobs, and has exponentially expanded and improved mass communication, it
has inhibited our ability to communicate human-to-human.
Before I started this internship, I would roll my eyes when older people would say how
my generation is doomed because we don’t get off our damn phones. I doubted the importance
of talking on the phone or in person. Why should I call someone when I could just send them a
text? So when I was first told to get on the phones here, I was surprised to feel a little bit
nervous. I had become accustomed to the certainty of text and email. I could receive a
message, read it thoroughly, and craft a well thought out response without having to worry
about coming up with an answer on the spot. Even in a world more interconnected than ever
before in history, I had trouble getting on the phone with stranger without getting a pit in my
stomach.
I’m not the only one who’s had this problem. The stereotype millennials are averse to
phone conversation is actually based in reality. Considering my generation was raised on
instant messaging, it makes sense we are wary of talking on the phone. Many millennials view
talking on the phone as a presumptuous interruption. We would rather send an email to set up a
time to talk, as opposed to possibly catching somebody off guard with a call.
When communicating digitally, we lose so much which we gain on the phone or in
person. Just by hearing someone’s voice, you can better gauge their personality, mood,
enthusiasm, or interest. This is all possible by simply listening to the inflection in a person’s
voice. You are also much more likely to avoid a miscommunication when talking on the phone.
In an email, important indicators like warmth and friendliness can be lost in translation. If you
want to build a working relationship with somebody built on trust, talking on the phone is
essential.
Perhaps the most important thing I’ve gained working here at BNA is the ability to speak
on the phone. While I’m still figuring things out and will need a lot more practice, I have learned
more often than not, the person on the other side of the line is usually friendly. I’ve learned not
to overthink each call, and to view each call as a learning experience and not a burden.

Sources:
http://www.businessinsider.com/conquer-your-fear-of-the-phone-2015-5

Written by: Andrew Shlafmitz

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