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March 16th, 2014

CHRISTINA — DAY 12: No one calls anymore

Lenten Facebook Fast

 
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rotary phoneI was sitting at a party this weekend, and the topic of my giving up Facebook came up. This launched a discussion about each person’s experience with Facebook and how it has affected his or her life.

One friend shared a lament her parents shared with her: no one ever calls anymore. She told a story about how during one of the recent holidays, her parents noted that no one called anymore to wish their family a happy holidays. “They used to think it was a big deal that no one came over or stopped by to wish them happy holidays, and now, it’s no longer a big deal that no one comes over. No one even calls,” she said.

How true.

With each mode of new communication, we’ve put more and more distance between ourselves and others. What was once a shock is no longer a second thought. What is now a shock might no longer be a second thought a decade from now. It’s almost ironic that we call our phones “phones,” when we do so little actual calling on them. Really, they’re our smaller computers.

A couple weeks ago, I needed help from someone. I looked her up in the email directory, and before I composed a new message in my email, I thought, I really need this information…what would happen if I actually called her and asked. So, I did.

The person on the other line sounded startled at best. A random call? Not set up by email? Without having any idea who that person is? No phone date? No Outlook calendar request? A random call.

This Lent, I’ve thought a lot more about calling. Remember when people used to call businesses and ask for directions on how to get there? How much human interaction we used to have built-in, and now how much we have built-out.

Soon, calling may be as antiquated as rotary phones are today.

 
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The Author : Christina Gebel
Christina Gebel has theology and psychology degrees from a Midwest Catholic university. After college, she spent two years as a full-time volunteer at a faith-based organization in Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys writing, taking walks, photography, and serving as a doula. She currently resides on the East Coast and is pursuing a master’s degree of public health in maternal and child health.
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