When communication methods shifted to an electronic wave, I found myself saddened by a loss of personalized connection. This sadness surprised me because as an introvert I require abundant quietness. I thrive with large margins of isolation, but I’m not accustomed to loneliness.
I socialize through snail mail cards, one-on-one walks, or phone calls. People who used to exchange phone calls started answering voice mails with texts. Sometimes within a minute of my voice mail, I’d receive a text, “Thanks for your voice mail. It was nice to hear your voice.” Based on their quick response, I figured the person was available to talk so I immediately called them back, only to be greeted by their recorded voice mail message.
Our son travels for his job and often there is a three-hour time zone difference between us. He and my husband exchange texts. I send cards and emails, but because of these time zone variances, we’ve missed “live” communication.
Last time we talked on the phone, our one-hour visit was flooded with updates and we hung up with still more to say. Neither of us are fans of lengthy phone calls so sometimes it’s weeks between verbal conversations. Our son understands why I’m unable to text and we joke that as soon as he handwrites a letter to me, I’ll text him back to let him know I received it.
Instead of continuing our communication gap, we began “voice texting.” We agreed to call each other Monday through Friday and leave a one-to-two-minute voice message. These messages may include a question to ponder, a funny story, an inspirational quote, quick family news, or a song that reminds us of something.
He knows I take lunch between 11:30-12:30 Eastern Time so when he sees my number come up during that time, he knows I’m leaving a “verbal text.” After work, I turn off my phone and when he gets home late in the evening, he leaves a return “voice text.” These daily two-minute investments have yielded stronger return than our bi-monthly marathon phone calls did.
I’m grateful for this unscreened connection that has built our mother-son relationship. H
Happy Thanksgiving week from the lily pad of life,