I have a confession to make. I avoid all calls on my hand phone – whether they be anonymous or otherwise – with the sole exception that they are friends I want to speak with at that point in time.
I don’t think the hand phone created this tendency. I think it provided us with the option of not picking up phone calls at times we consider inconvenient. When my friends call me at an inconvenient time, say, during a TV programme or when I am preparing a cup of coffee in the kitchen, I have the choice of switching my mobile to silent mode in order to stop it from interfering with my usual method of business. It will magically stop ringing and vibrating, and give me a sense of respite at knowing I can choose when to give the caller my attention. If at all.
I think we have grown to abuse the convenience of the phone. From ignoring calls when I am truly held up in the kitchen, or in the washroom, or in a conversation with a friend, I have come to ignore calls when I don’t feel up for it.
Yes, you heard me right. When I don’t feel in the mood to speak to you, I can easily ignore your phone call and then conveniently put up the excuse that I was caught in the middle of something and your call came at a bad time – shifting the responsibility of me answering my ringing phone, to you, the caller, to time your calls perfectly. I feel all (or most) responsibility is absolved when I tell the caller that “I was busy, sorry I missed your call.”
We have a reason, and a pretty valid one, on our side. That is, hand phones should not be a distraction to our lives and we should not disturbed just because we have unlimited access to our electronic gadgets. We have the right to protect the privacy in our lives and if I want some peace and quiet when I am watching my drama on the TV set, I should have the option to make you call me back again or text me. Yet, I wonder if we use this reason too often it has lost its persuasive value. Have our lives become so full of distraction itself, we shun communication with others because we dislike hearing their voices?
I think only we ourselves will know the answer.