People don’t talk on the phone anymore. This is OK with me. I don't like talking on the phone.
But you used to ring people to invite them out for coffee. Now it seems like talking on the phone is infused with special meaning. It's too intimate to ring someone on the phone. You may send an e-mail, but you probably post on Facebook or Twitter.
If you live in New Zealand, you send a text. Almost everyone I know sends texts. You don't talk to people on your mobile phone, unless you are on a “calling plan”, or you use your phone for work.
There must be quite a few of us plebs who don't want to be locked into a plan. The rates to talk on the phone are prohibitively high for us. The work-around is to pre-pay and send texts. But maybe ringing on the phone is too intimate anyway.
Since I joined Facebook, I have re-connected with lots of people. But most people don’t list their phone numbers on their profiles. They must think Facebook will give their phone numbers to telemarketers, or the paparazzi. Or someone will "stalk" them. Because they are celebrities, and they have privacy concerns.
Only one person from Facebook has rung me on the phone. And I was so stunned. All I could say was, “What the fuck are you doing ringing me?” And I wonder why people don't ring me.
Facebook is a strange place. You could be on Facebook all day, and nobody would try to chat with you. Is everyone waiting for someone else to initiate a conversation? Do we hope the one person with whom we want to chat will appear online? Or, are we afraid the people we don’t want to talk to will find us? And we will be stuck chatting with them in a Facebook version of hell?
I hoped it would be different with my bloggy friends. Surely, they aren't as paranoid as my Facebook friends. But it seems like almost everyone has been scarred by--I don’t even know what. Match.com? Missed encounters on Craigslist? The internet in general?
I guess most people want their internet life to be in a different sphere from their Real Life. They want to be anonymous on the internet. The Internet is pretend, and a phone call is real. So, I only have talked to one blogger. It was on Skype. And it was without video.
I probably should examine the role of gender in all this. Is it OK for married men and women to ring each other on the phone or Skype, or to chat over IM? Is this a slippery slope? Can men and women really be friends, or does sex always get in the way? Discuss amongst yourselves.