Why won’t they pick up? Or…My, how things have changed.

Things were a lot different when I was a teenager. Back then, when the phone rang, we answered it. Post haste pronto. In fact, we ran and fought over who was going to answer first. Back then, we were on a party line. If we didn’t answer it, our neighbors would.


I wonder if there’s a kid in the USA who has any idea what a party line is (or was)?

Sorry, I can’t help myself…

AnsweRING a phone’s ring  was paramount because we didn’t have answerRING machines or Caller ID. The calls were so much more important and almost sacred to the recipient. They were special, especially if the call was made long distance.

And the ring itself? It was an authentic telephone bell being rung without all the fake bells and whistles of today’s world.

A techno but normal speech-impaired teenager in today’s world won’t answer the phone. They simply refuse. I’ve watched this phenomenon in person. Time after time. I have to fight the urge to walk over, snatch the plastic screen out of their hands and answer it myself.

Or, even better, put them over my knee and do a little i-phone-paddling. That too is a lost art form. Especially in the schools where it’s needed most. I know it kept me and my buddies in line, at least a time or two.

Back to the missed call. There is no doubt in my mind that the caller on the other end of the line would be over the age of 40. In fact, I’d be willing to bet 100 shares of AT&T stock on it. If I lose, give me a call to collect. For the first time in my life, I won’t answer.

There is no doubt (at least in my mind) that it is nigh impossible for anyone born after 1985 to stop texting and start talking.

Why? I think it’s because they have never learned the social art of conversation. Their social art is text, text, text. That’s it. And they’re not even that good at it. You might say they’re all thumbs.

Or maybe they can’t hear. Since texting came into play, there is no need for sound. The hearing genes haven’t been utilized for decades now. Pretty quick, these kids are going to start being born without ears.

All a teenager in today’s world has learned is to understand acronyms, send emoji’s, dabble in internet slang and see how fast he can move his thumbs. From morning until night. No talk, all text.

Even my kids who are in their 20’s and 30’s won’t answer their phones. It drives me nuts! I know I didn’t raise them that way.

And what happens if I want to talk to Michael, my youngest man-child? Forget it. The next time I see him in person after trying to call him ten times, he says “What’d you want, Dad?”

Will? NOpe with a capital NO.

Christianne? She’s a little better.

Once in a while she even answers. But then again, she’s got three kids. Most of the rings I send to her probably get lost in the ambient noise pollution of her castle hallways.

But my older kids will pick up on most occasions. The discerning factor is they were born in the early 80’s. Texting and the alphabet hadn’t been invented yet.

They must know I’m calling long distance when they answer. Maybe they have been gone long enough that they are starting to miss the sound of my voice. They might even be thinking that any day now I might fall off a grain bin and quit calling their Apple. At least that’s what I call it.

When I was fifteen I would have had no clue what ringing an Apple I-Phone meant.  My closest guess would have probably been throwing a Red Delicious at the Liberty Bell. And guess what? Nowadays, like the real ring, the Red Delicious is almost obsolete.

If the younger generation doesn’t wake up and start answering the dang phone, the Liberty Bell and everything else we hold dear may disappear too. Just like the telephone ring.


Don’t forget to read my previous blog posts telling you how to become eligible for the big $500 giveaway this Saturday!

One response to “Why won’t they pick up? Or…My, how things have changed.”

  1. Will Casper Avatar
    Will Casper

    Yes the Liberty Bell will probably vaporize if I don’t immediately answer your calls while I’m at a company lunch

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