Friday, 4 March 2011

Curled Up on the Sofa

We are so lucky there are now many different ways to keep in touch with our friends and family. I know everyone still loves a "real letter" although I am a shamefully poor correspondent. "Thank you" letters were a purgatorial task for me and the once weekly, vetted, letter home from boarding school even worse. My poor mother, one scruffy page of Basildon Bond covered in unformed scrawl was the only way she had to piece together what my life was like. I'm pretty sure after seven years she knew that Wednesday was laundry day and I didn't like Latin. The telephone was only for high days or dire emergencies and you stood in a freezing corridor clutching your hoard of sixpenny pieces waiting for your turn, glaring at the Sixth former giggling with her boyfriend

Now there is email, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter and Skype. Everyone is just a keyboard away. Whoomph, message gone, news exchanged. Taptaptap, tweet sent, im on Facebook which can lead to some hilarious misunderstandings because of the time lag in the conversation or lack of nuance, never mind the gut wrenching embarrassment of sending a message to the wrong person when you have multiple "chat windows" open. Go on, admit it, I'm not alone in that.

This morning though I had a phone call with a good friend I haven't spoken to for far too long and curled up in the corner of the sofa with a cup of coffee we chatted about big stuff, frivolous fun and everything in between. As we talked I realised there is nothing to beat the human voice, the joy of actually being able to hear someone's happiness or, sadly, pick up from tone of voice that all is not well. Conversations run on without interruption, tangents can be explored and most importantly human contact is made.

This post isn't sponsored by BT but if there is someone you haven't spoken to for a while, ring. Life really does feel better.


Cath said...

I wish I didn't have such a fear of the phone Henri, I remember so many times feeling quite ill at business calls that had to be made to people I had never spoken to before. It'd do anything else first.
Having said that when a friend calls me I'll chat happily (spoke for an hour last night to a good friend to catch up). I just can't bring myself to do the ringing. Strange that.x

snow white said...

best boy used to hate the telephone - "if you want a chat, get a girlfriend" - and had a rule that no call could ever exceed 60 mins. That has changed: every now and then, we'll finally catch up, and it'll be like we're in the same room. Glorious. Nothing better - apart from being in the same room - as the people to whom you're closest.

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