Phil’s [Ph]riendly Phone Call

Cover image edited from:

Yesterday was my birthday.

I’m not saying that because I’m expecting you to send me presents or anything1, but something happened that reminded me of something important.

Every year our Facebook, Twitter, SMS, and other social media feeds fill up with messages wishing us a happy birthday. Some are are personalized reflecting our current age, a reference to the past or how long they’ve known us, or how much we are starting to look like our parents2. Some are clever and different. I have one friend who always congratulates people on the anniversary of some event found on “this day in history” for example3.

But most are the standard “Happy Birthday!” message with variations in capitalization and punctuation.

Of course I received phone calls from my parents, my in-laws, and my insurance company4 like always.

But the one call that stands out was from Phil. Phil is a great guy, a good friend, and a mentor. What made this call stand out was that it was more than just a “happy birthday” message, it was also a conversation. He asked how my birthday was going, what plans I had to celebrate, and how life/business was going.

The whole call was under five minutes, and (to no one’s surprise) I probably did most of the talking.

But it was still a conversation.

In this fast-paced, high-tech world it gets easier and easier to send out a message. But no matter how sincere and heart-felt that message may be, it’s still just words on a screen.

The human voice will always do a better job of conveying sincerity and warmth.

Many moons ago, the Bell Telephone company had a slogan, “Reach out and touch someone.” Social media and SMS has never quite pulled that off.

With my hearing aids, I tend to shy away from the phone. If I can’t talk in person, I tend to fall back to email and social media. But after Phil’s phone call yesterday, the phone has become my second choice again5.

  1. But if you suddenly feel obligated, feel free. Large unmarked, non-sequential bills are always nice.
  2. Those people tend to get unfriended/unfollowed, don’t they?
  3. This year was the 126th anniversary of the issuing of patent #395,791. What? He made me look it up, so can you!
  4. What? Your insurance company doesn’t call you on your birthday? Shame on them!
  5. Bitcoin is good, too. My wallet ID is: 13pDZcxiVmKYJyAjwa2WdQze6YsUhiBe3x

1 Comment

  1. Hope you’re still enjoying your special day my friend! Glad to have brightened your actual day!!

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