Use the Phone

On Being a Modern Gentleman:

Guideline 21: Use the Phone

Phone calls are becoming increasingly rare among younger generations. Impersonal texts, emails, and Snapchats have become the norm for communication, and I can’t help but feel like something is being lost.

Sure, texting is great, as is email. I do both throughout the day. That being said, if I have something important to communicate, I call the person. It just makes sense. And, a brief two-minute conversation is a much more efficient use of time than texting the same conversation over a two-hour period. (Also, why pay hundreds for a phone if you don’t actually use the phone function?)

1. A phone will teach communication skills.

A large part of communication is nonverbal communication and body language. Scientists disagree as to how large a part body language plays in communication, but some, like researcher James Borg, argue that up to 93% of communication is nonverbal. A phone conversation, divorced from body language, helps you to develop diction, persuasiveness, and will help you to be both precise and concise.

2. A phone will teach empathy.

A phone conversation has a receiver and sender, and being divorced from body language on the receiving end will help you to develop empathy. Unable to see facial expressions and body cues, you really have to consider how something is being said and how the speaker may be feeling.

3. A phone will teach confidence.

In the past, using the phone was a time-honored rite of passage. Countless boys became men calling cute girls on landlines, fearing that fathers would pick up first. If picking up the phone to call someone gives you sweaty palms, you need to make more calls. Frequent calls will turn a dreaded chore into a commonplace activity. There’s nothing to it.

Your challenge this month is to call someone daily–even if it’s just your mother. It’s the gentlemanly thing to do.


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