I’ll Call You Back. (As Soon as I’m Stuck in Traffic)

In an age where texts, tweets and Facebook posts are all but replacing live telephone conversations, it’s becoming harder and harder to connect with friends on the phone. It’s almost embarrassing how often I play phone tag with friends and family members. It is not uncommon to trade several voice messages before we connect, or, in some cases, just give up and trade e-mails or texts instead.

Why? The truth is that we all like to talk when it’s convenient for us. Many, if not most of the just-called-to-say hello calls I field from friends and relatives are placed while the caller is stuck in traffic, or simply trying to kill some time for one reason or another. Most of the time, callers seem to ring me while I’m: trying to get some work done, eating, tending to my kids, or, in all honesty, reading a book, newspaper or magazine, or, truth be told, watching TV.

The phone rings, you check the caller ID and you immediately think- ‘I’ll call them back later.’ But then later comes, you dial them back and, guess what? They’re busy working, eating, fornicating, watching TV or whatever, so they don’t answer your call either.

It’s a vicious cycle and there is nothing more depressing than being stuck in a traffic jam, dialing every person you know and getting voice mail each and every time. The truth is that no one likes you enough to talk, unless they have absolutely nothing better to do. The friendly conversation these days is really more of a last resort. But don’t take it personally. That’s life in America circa 2012.

If any of my friends and family members whom I haven’t spoken to in a while are reading this, please give me a buzz, I’d love to catch up. And if I don’t answer, don’t worry, I’ll call you back as soon as I’m stuck in traffic or when there’s nothing good on TV.