Some people- especially my wife, might describe me as a technology junkie. I spend a lot of time in front of my laptop hosting Zoom meetings, and I am on my phone all day. I have social media a website, and I blog regularly. In the car, we have satellite radio; we use Alexa to stream music, make lists, turn on our lights, and at night time, we use streaming technology like Netflix to watch our favorite shows.
Are you asking yourself what my point with all of this is? Well, I’m here to say I deeply miss something trivial from the good old days. Can you guess what it is?
If you guessed spending family time with family, undistracted, you’d be wrong. ha
If you guessed setting actual “work hours” where people wouldn’t contact you after 5 pm, you’d also be wrong.
If you guessed, making mixtapes with my favorite songs, well, that was fun; it’s not what I miss the most.
I miss slamming down my phone.
What? Aaron, what do you mean? Isn’t that a dangerous, violent, anger indulging thing to do?
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love my iPhone. Before the iPhone, you would find my Blackberry glued to my hip- in its fashionable 1999 holster. I’ve carried battery packs for cell phones and taken the business to a whole new level- especially remotely using my cell phone. But there’s something about the good old-fashioned telephone that has me nostalgic today. Perhaps I’m dating my half-century self, but the landline was something I used all the time, and I miss it.
Slamming the phone down in anger didn’t happen very often, but when it did, it was satisfying on a level kids these days will never understand. As it crashed into the receiver, the phone’s sound was like a big fat exclamation point for the world to experience- especially the person on the other line. Lightly tapping the ‘end’ button just doesn’t cut it during a heated conversation.
So what brings this up? The other day I was on a phone call, and it struck me that I was very frustrated. I mentioned to the other person if I didn’t have such a delicate piece of technology, I’d slam it down so fast.
I needed satisfaction and release.
There was a moment of silence on the other line.
Then the person responded with, “well, sounds like you need to blog about it.”
Another moment passed, and then we laughed. My state of anger disappeared, and the thick ice we were on broke. We were able to carry on a healthy conversation.
We resolved our dispute, and all was okay.
So today, I’m here to say that although I deeply miss the slamming of the phone, I might be admitting that these delicate tiny handheld computers have taught me a valuable lesson. Communication is vital in relationships, and there may be awkward moments, but talking through it is worth it.
Maybe kids these days will never know the sweet satisfaction of slamming down a phone, but perhaps what they will learn is far beyond nostalgia. In the meantime- fun fact- there are existing apps that allow for the sound of slamming a phone in that dire moment. I think I’ll pass, though, and I’m not going backward on this life lesson.