People don’t use phones for their primary purpose anymore. These things were invented for calls. Ringing up your comrades, seeing how they’re doing, getting a slice of their life right now. Today they’re used for everything but. Shampoo shopping, full moon rituals, even Fred Again boiler rooms.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I miss the flip phone era. I have a feeling being in your 20s and 30s back then was less complicated. Your friends and loved ones were always a ring away, without FOMO or Zuckerberg to distract you from the moment.
Texting sucks. It’s impossible to convey tone and it takes four hours to make plans. There are typos and it’s basically a diet conversation. You could bang away at 15 different apps on your phone, wasting the diminishing oxygen our planet affords us. It sucks. What if you just called someone?
I don’t think anyone’s ever walked away from jamming texts into their iphone like, wow, I feel listened to and communicated. You know those videos of some poor soul scrolling through their laptop, literal pages of blue on the right, not a single pixel on the left. It’s a tough look and it doesn’t work for our hero. But smile because the solution is easy: just call them. Looking to escalate? Try long, dramatic, maybe even toxic voicemails. Pouring monologue, vocal inflections, indiscernible but intriguing background noise. If the thought of doing this makes you nervous, learn how to for christ-sake, you’re 28.
“There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception.” -my boy James Thurber. Subways, mosques, movie theaters. Obviously, places where texting is the move. Group chats are also nice. Way nicer than group calls, which can become a clusterfuck of bad service and people dropping in and out. I even know a guy who uses three-person group chats as his primary form of communication. Won’t ever text you one on one. It plays really well, and you should try it.
But back on topic, having a phone call is the easiest way to look cool in public if you’re alone. After smoking cigs. You can talk at a normal level or maybe louder, like Ari Gold when Lloyd got Clippers tickets instead of Lakers. Intersect chats to your dad with ordering a coffee or picking up dry cleaning. Compare this image to someone hunched over their phone on Instagram, fingers rattling, oblivious to life in front of them. Bleh.
People rave about how phones have made us less social and how the younger generation has no idea how to look someone in the eyes, deliver a firm handshake, or engage in casual conversation. This has more to do with lazy generational stereotypes and fading patrician expectations, but if it were true, part of the problem would lie in texting and the death of phone calls. If we abolish texting and bring back calls, society rejuvenates, romance flourishes, and the market rallies. So try this: next time someone other than your mother texts you, just ignore them. If they text you again, check raise and call them. Don’t type, just talk.
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*For each moot, we generate a cover image using DALL·E, an AI art platform that generates images using natural language processing. This image on the right was generated using the title, 'Phone Calls' in the style of Albert Bierstadt, Gunther's artist of choice.*
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