Losing the Art of Telephone Conversation

A couple of weeks ago, my husband travelled to Germany to attend a trade show for a week.  I stayed in Vancouver with the boys and we found coordinating times for him to chat with us was difficult due to the big time change and our busy schedules.

Whenever one of us travels, we use FaceTime to video chat with the boys, and this time, we also received a couple of phone calls while he was away. Good old telephone conversations, no video, no text, no emojis involved.

Watching my son have a phone conversation with his Dad, awkwardly looking at the cellphone’s screen to see if he could watch him via video and just not being able to keep up a fluid conversation, made me wonder if his generation is on the way to completely lose the art of telephone conversation.

Losing the Art of Telephone Conversation

I am not sure about your kids, but my kids don’t talk on the phone with people very often. We mostly Skype or FaceTime family and friends, and if we are on the phone with grandma, they would jump in to say a quick “Hi”, have some small conversation and go back to their day. But I don’t think my children have ever had a full proper long conversation on the phone with ANYONE, without having video involved.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate technology and the fact that my boys can video chat with family and friends from all over the world and connect that way. I love when they video chat with their cousins and show them their latest LEGO creation and it almost feels like they are in the same room.

However, watching the lack of conversational skills once they were talking on the phone, without the help of video, text, or emojis, was sad. At their age, I remember having long conversations on the phone with friends and family, asking lots of questions, keeping conversations going.

I think ultimately, we are all losing those skills ourselves as well, we don’t even have a landline, as we use our cellphones only. Also, looking back at my phone history, I communicate with my family and friends via e-mail, WhatsUp, text, Facebook Messenger and FaceTime more than via telephone. It is actually rare for us to chat on the phone. I mostly use my phone for appointments and rare work calls. Nowadays you don’t even need the phone to place a pizza delivery! We can do it all with apps.

How do you feel about this? Do you think your children are losing the art of telephone conversation too? Or do they still talk on the phone with others? Share your thoughts!

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!

8 responses to “Losing the Art of Telephone Conversation”

  1. I can totally relate as my own children don’t use telephones much for conversation. Sign of the times I guess. Soon land lines will be obsolete.

  2. Does it matter? I mean, is the telephone so much better than a skype call? I can see an argument against texting, but I don’t think this makes much difference.

  3. So true, most short phone conversations are replaced with text now. not just with the kids. The whole population in general has changed to it.

  4. I myself have started to talk more on the phone recently and I actually didn’t remember it being so enjoyable. I am definitely going to be trying to keep the art of phone conversation alive with my kids.

  5. It’s all about smart phones now a days, no more landlines and the kids of today will never know about the joys of using a rotary phone..lol those were fun ha! I still have a landline phone in my home and that is because it’s part of my fibre internet or else I would probably just have my cell phone as well!

  6. Maybe my comment is harsh, but I think that children are losing or have lost the art of conversation, courtesy and etiquette in general. It really frustrates me when I go to someone’s home and the children there do not greet you or say anything polite… I made it a point that my boys would not be like this; I have taught them telephone skills and also put them in etiquette and comportment classes (similar to what I took as a child). These skills are important! I know that the classes I took as a child for 12 years (as hated as they were at the time), helped me move forward in my career and life much, MUCH faster than my peers, opened doors for me into a higher socio-economic circle… And in general, its just polite and a life necessity!

  7. My daughters are 3 and 5 years old and they love to talk to people on the phone using Facetime. They will call their little friends, grandparents, uncle and aunts.

  8. I think it’s an important skill that should still be continued to be fostered in our children.

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