OpinionPOSTED May 5, 2014

The phone isn’t dead

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I hate talking on the phone

I hate talking on the phone.

As a teen, I would talk on the phone for five hours. Then this thing called the Internet came along and I stopped talking to everyone on the phone except my mom. When friends call me instead of text or email, I am horrified.

Being an email addict/active phone avoider has, I believe, done wonders for my written communication skills, which is important when you work at an agency, pen hundreds of emails a week, and need to express yourself clearly to clients and coworkers.

The downside is my phone skills have deteriorated, to the phone where I avoid the phone at all costs. When I am forced to reach out to someone by phone, the luxury of being able to carefully craft my thoughts into pristine, edited sentences is taken away from me, and I panic. I ramble, I stammer, I mumble. It’s bad.

Okay, it’s probably not that bad, but my phone skills could definitely use some polishing. For one thing, the phone isn’t going anywhere. Email is huge LINK TK, but for the sake of clarity and building relationships, sometimes it’s best to put the brakes on the email back-and-forth and pick up the phone (or, even better, meet IRL).

So as part of our PUSH YOURSELF blog challenge, this month I will “dare” myself to make 10 phone calls to people I don’t know. I will work on speaking clearly and letting go of my nervousness, because, really, what is the big deal? And I will start looking at the dreaded “telephone” for what it really is: not an enemy, but a crucial tool for building relationships and getting your point across without the ambiguousness of email (i.e. “This person didn’t use an exclamation point, are they mad at me?”).

Stay tuned for the follow-up post!

Amanda Factor primarily uses her iPhone as a pocket-sized computer and calculator. Follow her on Twitter.

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