In Defense of Landlines…

I will readily admit that I have generally clung to the tail end of the technological curve in life.  I was the last of my friends to have a cell phone and will admit here to having had only four different phones in the thirteen years since I first adapted.  As you can imagine, this drives my cellular service provider batty, and ensures that I never pay for hardware.

Ironically, throughout my career, most of my clients have been in the Tech space or highly tech oriented.  And while I’ve generally stayed current in my understanding and knowledge of what was cutting edge, I never felt the need to be there myself.  At home, my husband heads our IT department and ensures we’re well equipped with the latest gadgets, ignoring my resistance to replacing functioning and, in my mind, more than adequate equipment.

At a basic level, I’m not a believer that new is necessarily better.  This supposition is best illustrated by the replacement of home and office phones with cell phones.  Like all of you, I love my smart phone.  Its an appendage more than a telecommunication device, and I rely on it as my administrative assistant, personal trainer, and social filter.  Until this past weekend, it was also my office phone number and the line I used for dialing into conference calls and coaching CEOs.

But over the last nine months, I’ve become increasingly frustrated with communicating via mobile device.  Between poor sound quality, dropped calls, and a micro-second delay on the line, conversations don’t flow the way they should.  I believe many of us have adapted to these expected pitfalls and have learned to speak one at a time.  Its like passing a “talking stick” rather than engaging in real banter or dialogue.  This “everyone takes turns” approach to phone conversations substantially degrades the quality of the interaction.  Its more akin to reading emails or texts back and forth than to an in-person dialogue, which, to me, is what phone conversations aim to replace.

So, over the weekend, I tested and then purchased a calling plan on Skype.  Its a baby step back toward the 90s, but I’m not quite ready to install a wall mounted rotary telephone in my house just yet.  Today I attended my first two conference calls using this number rather than my mobile and it made a marked difference.

I don’t anticipate this blog to have “call to action” tone.  But in this instance, I posit that considering a good old fashioned landline (or Skype number) to avoid your conversations having an oversees-tin-can-two-second-delay quality is worth looking into.  Try it out and see whether you, too, find an elevated and interactive discourse results.

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In Defense of Landlines…

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